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JUDAS PRIEST To Embark On Second U.S. Leg Of ‘Invincible Shield’ Tour In September


In a new interview with Crash of the 96.1 The Rocket radio station, Ian Hill was asked about JUDAS PRIEST‘s ongoing U.S. tour in support of the band’s latest album, “Invincible Shield”. The 72-year-old bassist responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “The tour’s going great. It really is. There’s a hell of a lot of interest in the band, I think mainly because, well, the album is very good and people had to wait a long time for it as well, because of what happened with COVID and what have you, the long protracted recording process. And, of course, there was also the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame [induction in November 2022]. I think that put a lot of focus on the band as well. And we were grateful for that. Everywhere’s selling out, which is great news — most places, anyway. There’s one or two places which aren’t far away [from being sold out]. And I don’t know — it’s just all bubbled up again for some reason.”

He continued: “Back in the ’80s there, we were going out and playing in front of 15,000 people a night, things like that — it became a fad in the ’80s — then it went back down to normal. And now it’s having a resurgence. It’s good news for all metal bands, not just us. [There is] a lot more interest, and you notice it on stage as well. You’re looking down into the audience, and there’s a hell of a lot of young people there — probably dragged initially, screaming and yelling by the parents, but they’re loving it. They’re getting into it. They’re loving it. They wear the t-shirts. They know the words to the songs, which is amazing. And I think there’s a great future for the genre. And, like I say, it’s good news for us all.”

Asked if there are any new metal bands that he has heard that he has found particularly impressive, Hill said: “Yeah, you run into bands all the time, especially at festivals and things like that. I’m not that familiar with them. I mean, metal was always a versatile sort of genre, really. If you look at our song catalog, we’ve done things that’ll make you weep and things that’ll make you scared and most things in between. In the ’90s there, it sort of fragmented, didn’t it? There was speed metal and death metal and grunge metal and goth metal and things like that, and that’s all I did. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it sort of fragmented the audience as well. I think it’s coming back to the way it was before now, and I think the newer bands, it seems that they’re becoming more versatile, which is what metal always was in the early days. If you listen to early [BLACK] SABBATH as well, they did a lot of more subtle things as well. So, yeah, you have that, and then the younger faces in the audience, and I think it’s got a great future.”

Hill also talked about PRIEST‘s touring plans for the rest of 2024, going into 2025. He said: “We’ve got about another three weeks, maybe, in the States. I mean, we’ve only really done the East Coast. We haven’t ventured over any further than about Chicago. So we’ve got about a week off. Then we go back to Europe. We’ve already done one European leg, but there’s a lot of festivals during the summer in Europe. So, we’ll go and do all the festivals in Europe. And we’ve got August off, I think. And then we’ll be back here [in the U.S.] in September to do to the rest of the states, do the West Coast and Texas and wherever — and Canada; we haven’t touched Canada on this run either, so we’re gonna be going up there too. That’ll take us probably to maybe October. And we’ve got a little bit of time off then, and then off to Japan in December. [Then it’s] Christmas and then possibly next year, South America, maybe Southeast Asia. We’ll see what crops up next year. Then we’ll take stock.”

JUDAS PRIEST kicked off the U.S. leg of the “Invincible Shield” world tour on April 18 at Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Singer Rob Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003. Original guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Faulkner.

Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 10 years ago — after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier — but announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of JUDAS PRIEST‘s “Firepower” album. He was replaced by “Firepower” and “Invincible Shield” album producer Andy Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT.

“Invincible Shield” entered the U.K. chart at No. 2, just behind Ariana Grande‘s “Eternal Sunshine”.

Prior to “Invincible Shield”‘s arrival, PRIEST‘s highest U.K. chart achievement was with 1980’s “British Steel”, which reached No. 4.

PRIEST‘s 2018 album “Firepower” entered the chart at No. 5.

“Invincible Shield” was JUDAS PRIEST‘s fifth Top 10 album, after the aforementioned “British Steel” and “Firepower”, as well as 2014’s “Redeemer Of Souls” (No. 6) and the 1979 live album “Unleashed In The East” (No. 10).

“Invincible Shield” landed at No. 1 in Germany, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as No. 5 in France, No. 8 in Italy and No. 16 in Australia.





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