An Interview with Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest

Recently, we caught up with legendary axe-slinger, Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest. Among other things, we touch on how Judas Priest is kicking off 2022, the band’s ongoing 50th Anniversary Tour, the new boxset, the recording of their newest record, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Judas Priest, the link to their webpage is here. Once you’ve checked that out, dig into this interview with Glenn. Cheers.

Andrew:
Glenn, thank you for taking the time. How have you been holding up? What have you been doing to stay sane?

Glenn:
I’m never bored — I’ve always got something to do — obviously, I can still write music and have been working on ideas for the new album.

Andrew:
I’d like to dive right in, and first, mention the rescheduled 50th Anniversary Tour that Judas Priest is about to embark on. 50 years is a long time. Looking back, what you first began, did you ever imagine the band would make it this far?  

Glenn:
No. In my wildest dreams, I didn’t think that 50 years later, I would still be writing and performing heavy metal.

Andrew:
After being off the road for so long, how has the band gone about getting back into fighting shape, so to speak?

Glenn:
It’s not difficult for us. As soon as we strap on the guitars, etc., the Priest machine is ready to roll. Of course, it’s a little different for me these days. but I still get a great buzz when I hear the roar of the crowd.

Andrew:
Judas Priest has had many significant moments in their career, but the 50th is truly special. Who are some of the bands who will be supporting you on this tour? What went into the selection process?  

Glenn:
Queensrÿche will be our special guest on this next US leg. There are many bands that we would love to support us when we tour, but at the end of the day, it’s down to availability.

Andrew:
What are some of the cities the band is most excited about visiting this time around? Are there any “lost cities” you’ll be visiting?

Glenn:
It’s always good to play New York, and of course, our hometown, Birmingham in the UK, but we love playing all over the world — Japan, Europe, South America, etc.

Andrew:
In recent years, while you’ve continued to record with the band, you’ve been limited from a performing standpoint. We know Andy Sneap will continue to perform with the band, but do you expect to take the stage more often than in recent years? If so, how will you decide when and where?

Glenn:
I shall just take it as it comes and see how I feel healthwise. However, I’m looking forward to playing as many shows as I can, if possible.

Andrew:
Also of note, Judas Priest has its 50 Heavy Metal Years of Music boxset out. What extras are you most excited about that are included to make it special for the fans?

Glenn:
I would say the previously unreleased material that we’ve included makes the boxset very special and brings back many memories.

Andrew:
50 years as a band is a long time, looking back, what are some of your fondest memories in Judas Priest’s long and storied career? What are you most proud of in terms of both your accomplishments and the band’s accomplishments?

Glenn:
I’m most proud of the fact that during our career we have written some great heavy metal songs,  which have become classics, and the fact that we have inspired so many bands. Many shows throughout the years were very special to us, the US Festival, and particularly, Live Aid to mention just two.

Andrew:
Throughout its career, Judas Priest has released many incredible records, from your perspective, which ones are the band’s strongest, and why?

Glenn:
I think British Steel, Painkiller, and Firepower are three landmark albums, which have helped shape, and define Judas Priest’s special brand of heavy metal.

Andrew:
On the subject of the band’s latest albums, in the past, you and K.K. Downing shared lead guitar duties. How has the dynamic shifted with Richie Faulkner in the band, who is a true force himself? How are things different in writing with Richie as opposed to the past?

Glenn:
It’s great to write with Richie. When Rob [Halford] and I started writing with Richie, it fell into place very easily. with Richie being such a great guitar player, it made things very easy on a writing level.

Andrew:
Judas Priests’ most recent record was the fierce Firepower, released in 2018. You’re still very active on the studio side of things, so, do you have anything new to report to the end in terms of new music from Priest?

Glenn:
Rob, Richie, and I have already worked together on new ideas, and the band is in the studio now putting down some tracks for the next release.

Andrew:
Circling back to the 50th Anniversary tour, will Priest be inviting any special guests to perform with them on stage for some of the higher-profile, or historic gigs as things move along?  

Glenn:
No, we’ve got no plans to.

Andrew:
With such a vast and diverse collection of songs, how does Judas Priest, as a band, choose a setlist for such an important tour? Do you focus on what the fans want to hear, what you want to play, or is there some sort of delicate balance? 

Glenn:
We usually put a setlist together from classic Priest songs going way back, and also newer songs from the most recent album, as well as everybody’s favorites.

Andrew:
For you personally, looking back, after 50 years of being a band, breaking ground the way you have, what does Heavy Metal mean to you? In your eyes, what is the significance, and legacy of Judas Priest?  

Glenn:
We have always flown the flag for heavy metal, and we believe that it can be what you want it to be. Rob has very often introduced songs on stage as, “Judas Priest style heavy metal,” which sums it up as they range from titles like “Last Rose of Summer” to “Killing Machine.” The legacy that we will leave behind is that we have widened the horizons of what is acceptable in heavy metal.

Andrew:
Last one. Will the 50th Anniversary Tour be the last for Judas Priest? If not, what’s next for both yourself and the band?

Glenn:
The 50th Anniversary Tour has a long way to go yet. We’re not thinking past this current tour at this stage.

Interested in learning more about Judas Priest? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
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