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ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION


"Here comes the revolution
Time for retribution"
- From the single "Revolution"

     "Judas Priest will never be a nostalgia band. That's part of our longevity. We've never rested on our laurels."
- Rob Halford, Revolver, April 2005

    "This album is unmistakably JUDAS PRIEST; no other band sounds quite like them. The songs pay tribute to classic Priest albums of years gone by, yet have a fully modern sound as well. This is pure metal and it sounds huge."
- Blabbermouth, December 13, 2004

     "This record has its own identity, along with all of the other great Priest back catalogue. But I think there's something more in this record - I don't know what it is yet, I can't put my finger on it, but there's a particular strength that's coming through on this release that's gonna make it one of the unique standouts in the Priest works."
- Rob Halford, WMGK, December 16, 2004

     "We knew we had a great record in us. I've been doing this for 30 fucking years. If you can't make a great record after 30 years, then you've got no right to go into the studio."
- Rob Halford, Revolver, April 2005

BAND MEMBERS:


Judas Priest L-R:
Ian Hill: Bass Guitar
K.K. Downing: Guitars
Rob Halford: Vocals
Glenn Tipton: Guitars, Piano
Scott Travis: Drums

Don Airey provides keyboards and is mentioned this time in the album liner (he was not mentioned in the PAINKILLER and DEMOLITION liner notes, though he did add keyboards to those albums as well)

Management: Bill Curbishley and Jayne Andrews (Trinifold Management Limited)

ALBUM:

     "Nothing more need be said but, 'All hail the Priest!' "
- Billboard
     "One of the best Priest records of all time."
- Playboy magazine
     "ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION hits hard and leaves bruises."
- The Trades
    "An album that holds up well next to Priest's strongest, most sustained recordings. Now that's retribution."
- Rolling Stone
 

     "A blistering dose of 1970s-sounding fury that's damn near as good as anything they've ever done."
- Chicago Sun Times
 

     "Tipton and Downing are shredding, kicking your ass, and then when you’re pulverized, Halford comes in to finish you off."
-
Attila Juhasz (Rob Halford Web Administrator)

 

     "Priest always out-riffed and out-vocalised every other band out there and ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION is a forceful reminder."
- Garry Sharpe-Young, Rock Detector

 

     "The leather-clad metal warriors have returned with what just may be their best album in decades. Looking for your defenders of the faith? The Priest is back, and on ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION they rip through the air with no remorse, unleashing a musical barrage that rattles the very core of our heavy metal skulls."
- Metal Edge


Album:

Judas Rising Deal With The Devil Revolution
Worth Fighting For
Demonizer Wheels Of Fire
Angel
HellriderEulogyLochness

Bonus DVD:

Breaking The LawDiamonds And RustHelion/Electric EyeTouch Of EvilMetal Gods
Hell Bent For LeatherLiving After Midnight
Documentary
 

     "It needed to be a very metal title. I said to the guys, 'We've got to get away from the one-word experience: 'PAINKILLER', 'DEMOLITION', 'JUGULATOR'.' I think it's important to recapture some of the poetry of statements like 'SAD WINGS OF DESTINY', 'SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE', 'DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH'.
     "We're not a political band by any means, but the title is also partially a reflection on today's state of the world. There's so much retribution going on, whether it's Enron or accounting scandals or the Roman Catholic Church. People are finally being held accountable for their actions."
- Rob Halford, Revolver, April 2005
 

    "Actually, we had enough material for two complete albums. We probably had close to two dozen amazing songs, and we really had hoped to include all of them. We tried to create an 'A' list and a 'B' list of tracks, but that didn't really work. At some point reality set in, and we came to the conclusion that we'd need to cut down drastically in order to find the 12 tracks that we wanted to comprise this disc. But it is nice to know that there is some amazing Priest material already done and ready to go whenever we may choose to utilize it.
     "The album is very cohesive though I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it a concept album, but there are musical and lyrical threads that do make the whole disc flow very well. It's a very special album in many regards - the power of the songs, the unbelievable playing of Glenn and Ken, the dexterity of the vocals, but one of the most special things about it is the fact that it
does have the kind of magical flow that we were seeking."
- Rob Halford, Hit Parader, November 2004


US and French advertisements

 This album is released in 3 different versions:

  • CD audio only version
  • Limited DualDisc format (CD audio only on side 1; Entire album in enhanced stereo audio, 30-minute documentary and video of 7 live songs filmed in Barcelona and Valencia, Spain June 2004 on side 2)
  • Special Limited Edition Digipak with separate CD and 40-minute  DVD

The DVDs are region locked and formatted for their respective countries

FEATURES OF EACH VERSION:

DualDisc (CD and DVD on one two-sided disc)

Positives:

- The DVD side of the DualDisc has Enhanced stereo audio (clearer sounding, with better highs and lows) not found on the Limited Edition Digipak version. The images from the inside of the liner notes is displayed on screen (one image per song) while the music plays. Of course you can only get this enhanced audio to play on a DVD player - not on a CD player.

- The packaging comes in a standard protective hard plastic CD case with liner booklet.

- Lower price than the Digipak.

Negatives:

- Has the documentary mixed in with the songs, so the songs are not in their entirety.

- No 5.1 audio.

- The disc has no graphics on either side.

- The CD side may not play in all CD and DVD players because it does not conform to the standard CD spec.

Limited Edition Digipak (CD + DVD on two separate discs)

Positives:

- Option to play the live songs in their entirety (this is where the extra 10 minutes vs the DualDisc comes from).

- 5.1 audio for the live songs.

- Nice glossy packaging on the outside.

- You can take the CD seperately and play in any CD player, including your car.

Negatives:

- The discs slip in and out of cardboard slots inside the packaging which can easily scratch them.

- No enhanced audio.

- Higher price.

 

  • Released February 22, 2005 by Sony/Epic (JPN Cat. # EICP- 469 CD-only and EICP- 467  Limited Edition 2-disc digipak),
    February 28, 2005 by Sony Music BMG International (UK Cat. #
    5193002 CD-only, 5193003 Limited Edition 2-disc digipak)
    and March 7, 2005 (UK Cat. # SNY93966DD DualDisc),
    March 1, 2005 by Sony/Epic (US Cat. # EK92933 Limited Edition 2-disc digipak and EN93966 DualDisc)

Produced by Roy Z and Judas Priest


Photo © Daniel Cordova

Roy Z is well-known to Rob Halford fans who have continued to follow his career from 2000 on. Roy has been the producer for all of Rob's own 'Halford' band albums and even joined the band on guitar in early 2003 when Patrick Lachman left the group. Roy also has his own band 'Tribe Of Gypsies' and has been the long-time producer for Bruce Dickinson's solo projects as well as producing albums for Downset, Helloween , Bob Rock and others.

     "When I mixed this record, for some songs, I would pan the tracks from an audience perspective. I imagined I was sitting in a concert hall dead center and 15 rows back watching the band. I also like panning of solos and other sound elements as a means to keep the music exciting and to juggle the listener’s ear."
- Roy Z.,
Ferrante's Power Equipment, May 12, 2005


Engineered by Roy Z; US Engineer: Joe Barresi


Joe Barresi Photo by Mr. Bonzai

Joe Barresi grew up on the east coast of the US where he studied music theory and engineering and learned to play several instruments. After college, Joe moved to Los Angeles where he worked in numerous recording studios and mixed for Monster Magnet, Hole, Veruca Salt, Bauhaus, Anthrax and more. As a producer/co-producer, Joe has worked with Buckcherry, Fu Manchu, Loudmouth, Melvins, L7 and others. He also produced the debut album by Queens Of The Stone Age, which would later go on to gain success as one of the 10 most hard and heavy bands of the year, according to Rolling Stone.

Mixed by Roy Z and Stan Katayama

Stan Katayama has engineered or assisted with such albums as Bruce Dickinson's CHEMICAL WEDDING, the debut by Rage Against The Machine, Dokken's BACK FOR THE ATTACK, Pink Floyd's A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON and Kansas' IN THE SPIRIT OF THINGS, among others.


Recorded December 2003 - May 2004 and October - December 2004 at The Old Smithy, Worcestershire, UK and Sound City in California, USA
Mastered at Precision mastering, California, USA by Tom Baker

     "We had a lot of fun making this record. We recorded in both L.A. and England at various studios and we used all types of gear, both modern and vintage. All the elements came together with ease."
- Roy Z.,
Ferrante's Power Equipment, May 12, 2005

DVD footage produced and directed by Aubrey Powell
DVD audio produced and mixed by Tom Allom at INFX Studios, High Wycombe, England
Engineer: Warren Bassett (BCUC)
Editor: Benny Tricket

Chart position: UK #39; Billboard 200 (USA) #13; Japan #8; Germany #5; Finland #6; Ireland #40; Holland #46; France #43; Norway #6; Switzerland #19; Czech Republic #13; Canada #12; Austria #10; Spain #6; Sweden #3;  Italy #26; Belgium #37;
Poland #23; Denmark #19; Hungary #14; Greece #1
Nielsen SoundScan: 57,522 units sold
Media Traffic United World Global Album Chart: #13

SINGLES:

  • Revolution (Single Edit)/Revolution (Album Version) released January 3, 2005 by Epic (US Cat. # ESK58158 promo only)

  • Revolution (Radio Edit)/Hellion/Electric Eye (Live) 7" picture released January 3, 2005 by Sony Music BMG International
    (UK Cat. #
    XPR3849 promo only)

  • Revolution (Radio Edit) released January 3, 2005 by Sony Music (UK Cat. # XPCD3011 promo only)

     "With tracks like 'Revolution' on the album, which is all about, you know, the, the metal revolution back in the '80s of Deep Purple, Sabbath, Priest, and now again, we're hoping this'll spearhead a whole new revelation and revolution, and inspire all those kids out there to look deep inside them now, and kick-start a whole new revolution."
- Glenn Tipton, Launch, January 2005

      "You never know how fans will react, do you? Our fans are so much like the band - they're very real people, and they'll be the first to speak their mind, as they did initially when they heard the first rumblings of our first single 'Revolution'. It was interesting to see on the Internet those first responses, which were really varied. But I think that displays the tenacity of the fans. You get some Priest fans who want everything to sound like PAINKILLER, and then some who want it to sound like BRITISH STEEL. That's because they've been delivered such a tremendous variety of material. This band has never been redundant or repetitive, so Priest fans never know what to expect. But I think this record will take care of business as far as what the vast majority are looking for."
- Rob Halford, Kerrang!, February 19, 2005

  • Worth Fighting For to be released May 16, 2005 Epic (US Cat. # promo only)

ARTWORK:

Cover concept: Judas Priest
Design and illustrations: Mark Wilkinson

SAD WINGS OF DESTINY RISE UP FROM THE ABYSS
INTO THE METAL HEAVENS
HERALDING A NEW AGE THAT BECKONS REVENGE
FROM THE ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION

For the 2004 European summer festival tour, a new logo, based off Roslav Szaybo's 1978 design, but adding Patrick Woodroffe's "pitchfork" cross in place of the "t", was designed for the ELECTRIC EYE T-shirt and the band's stage backdrop.

     "The new artwork has been selected and can be described as an 'impressive iconography'."
- Rob Halford, Rock On magazine, July 2004

    "I think the artwork is gonna be another great classic moment for Priest. We’re noticed for BRITISH STEEL or SAD WINGS OF DESTINY or SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE and I think that the artwork will come into the same degree of the qualities of those three. I think this new artwork has that kind of essence. It’s another unique moment. The artwork is always very, very important for this band. I think that what we wanted to try and do with this particular piece of artwork was try and capture all of the elements of the band in certain imagery, and we appear to have been able to have done that and we’re all kind of looking at it now in it’s final stages and nodding and agreeing. It’s had some little touch ups here and there along the way, but it looks great. All I’ll say is that it’s very simple and direct and pure. That’s the best way to describe it without letting the cat out of the bag.
     "We used Mark Wilkinson, who did the PAINKILLER release. Only because Mark’s got a great imagination and Mark is able to kind of sit down and listen to what we’re talking about, what we’re thinking about. Between the three of us, myself, Ken and Glenn, we’ve always been involved in the artwork. Again, like everything this band does, it is so closely monitored. We just threw out some ideas to Mark and he was, because of his talent, able to kind of come back with some sketches and we developed it until we all agreed and said, ‘Yes, lets go for this’, trying to bring something in the final stages of that idea.
     "We've got a handful of titles that we’re chewing over and we’ll do that - we’ll probably do that when we’re being held in a stranglehold by Sony, telling us, ‘Give us the title because we’re ready to press go.’ It’s time as much as everything else has taken it’s time because this is a very important record for the band. But everything connects, the music, the artwork, the title, it all connects in one piece."
- Rob Halford, BW&BK, September 15, 2004

     "Having an incredible visual image is almost as important as having great songs. When you think about some of our past albums, whether it is BRITISH STEEL, SAD WINGS OF DESTINY or SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE the cover art springs to mind. That's all part of the metal experience. It's vital to feature the kind of art that will look great on the cover, on T-shirts and on-stage. Our only regret is that the CD format forces us to reduce the size of the graphic. But, as you can see, we figured a way of
expanding upon it once you get the packaging open."
- Rob Halford, Hit Parader, November, 2004

     "Going back to the angel on the cover of SAD WINGS OF DESTINY, he's now risen up and he's the angel of retribution, so if you don't dig this, he's gonna come and get you basically, you know. When you see the cover, you'll see what we're trying to do - it'll all tie in."
- Glenn Tipton, Launch Radio Networks, December 14, 2004

PROMO VIDEOS:

  • Revolution

Released by Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd. on February 9, 2005 and debuted on the official Judas Priest website.

The video is an exciting collage made from film taken during the 2004 United tour...

     "It's classic Judas Priest with Harley's, twin guitar solos and pure live rock!!!"
-

ANGELOFRETRIBUTION.com, February 9, 2005

OCTOBER 2002: Sanctuary Group acquires Trinifold Management

On October 7, 2002, The Sanctuary Group (whose Artist Management division managed Halford at the time) surprised Priest and Halford fans, who were closely following rumors of a reunion, when it announced that it had acquired Trinifold Management, the company that handles Judas Priest, the Who and Led Zeppelin alumni Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Trinifold is run by Bill Curbishley, long-term manager of The Who, and partner Robert Rosenberg, who will both remain with the company.

The deal involved an upfront payment of £8 million ($12.5 million) with a possible further £13 million ($20.35 million) due, dependent upon significant performance levels over the next 10 years.

An interesting side note: Sanctuary Group co-founder (and former Halford manager) Rod Smallwood had actually signed Judas Priest to London's MAM Agency back in 1974!

     "I have known Bill for many years and it's great to welcome him to Sanctuary. The quality and reputation of Bill and his team and the artists they represent brings a lot to Sanctuary and we, like Bill, understand the value of loyalty to our acts and the importance of long term focus, imagination and consistency for an act's career. This is a major step in the continuing process of enhancing Sanctuary's position as one of the world's top management companies and Bill's assistance in this will be invaluable. We will also welcome the expertise of Bill and his team in other areas of the Sanctuary Group, including Sanctuary Visual Entertainment, where we have developed a fast-growing catalogue of quality music DVDs and television programmes."
- Rod Smallwood
, Chairman of Sanctuary Artist Management, October 7, 2002

     "The way Sanctuary operates shows that music can remain a profitable business and that if the acts are properly looked after and allowed to flourish creatively, the fans will get the music they want. Trinifold has always been a very artist-friendly company and this is also very much the Sanctuary way. I felt that this was the environment in which I wanted to continue my career and I am very pleased to be working within Sanctuary and fully utilizing everything the company has to offer to enhance the careers of our artists and the advantages that economies of scale and specialized worldwide back up can bring. All this while still retaining our independent image and day to day activities."
-
Bill Curbishley, October 7, 2002

     "Some of you will have read about The Sanctuary Group acquiring Trinifold Management. This is correct, but does not make any difference to the day-to-day running here!! Bill Curbishley/Trinifold Management still manage Judas Priest (and The Who, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page) - nothing has changed there! The Sanctuary Group are not involved in the day-to-day management of the artists. That is, and always has been, dealt with by Bill Curbishley! I work directly for Judas Priest, so again, nothing has changed. We know there are certain 'people' making comments about big changes, reading between the lines, and me being out of a job, etc. etc. This is all rubbish, so please don't take any notice of it!"
- Jayne Andrews, October 9, 2002


Three of the four headliners at this year's Ozzfest — Judas Priest, Slayer, and Slipknot — are Sanctuary-managed. The Fourth — Black Sabbath — lets the company sell portions of its back catalog outside the U.S.
-
New York Post, July 18, 2004

     "We just want to put the record straight!! Despite some people being misled by inference that Judas Priest are being managed by Sanctuary Management - this is definitely not the case! Sanctuary have absolutely nothing at all to do with the band in any way - the band's Manager is still Bill Curbishley and everything relating to Judas Priest should be directed to Bill Curbishley and Jayne Andrews - nothing has changed!! Any enquiries regarding Judas Priest should be directed to Trinifold Management in London - tel: + 44 207 419 4300/ fax: +44 207 419 4325 or via email to the main address: trinuk@globalnet.co.uk
- Judas Priest, July 28, 2004

It was later revealed that Sanctuary's Rod Smallwood had been involved in a bitter conspiracy: Sanctuary had dropped their support of the last Halford release and tour in an effort to break the band up and drive Rob back to Priest. Rob ended up leaving Rod Smallwood, and Rob's business manager, John Baxter, took over to keep Rob from altogether retiring. But Sanctuary Group didn't stop there. During the 2003 METAL GODS North American Tour, Sanctuary personnel were pitching the idea of a Priest reunion/Iron Maiden bill to promoters to feel out the waters and several promoters let the word slip to the public, causing a flood of unfounded rumors. By March of 2003, legal actions were taken and Halford had extracted themselves from their recording contract with Sanctuary and the Metal-Is label...

     "Briefly, I want to apologize to my audience for the numerous rumors being spearheaded by my former manager of approximately two years, Rod Smallwood and his firm Sanctuary Music Management - whose Companies have an interest in the three bands (Halford, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden) involved in the gossip.
     "The visible intent in creating the multiple rumors clearly is meant to disturb and confuse my audience, the North American concert promoters, and others.
     "I find the behavior appalling, for throughout my 30-year career, I have prided myself in being forthright with my audience. You can trust the legal eagles from both sides will end the juvenile action immediately.
     "What I will affirm to each of you again is, I am not a member of Judas Priest, and I have no plans to reunite.
     "What I’m sure all of you will be pleased to know is, I have been periodically working on my relationships with Ken, Glenn and Ian since 1999, but we are certainly not at the stage where we see ourselves working together any time soon. The 1992 break-up took a lot out of us, and we are taking our time in mending our personal friendships.
     "Finally, for the avoidance of doubt, I removed my activity from Rod and Sanctuary last year due to artistic, business and philosophical differences. Providing a perfect example, their recent action falls within the latter of the just-noted. Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts.
     “I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on ‘The 2003 Metal Gods North American Tour.’ All the best,"
- Rob Halford, Halford Quorum, March 19, 2003

     "Halford were released from its recording agreement with Sanctuary, with two albums remaining, in March. We all appreciate Sanctuary's gesture and understanding that we see no future together."
- John Baxter, May 19, 2003

     "Last summer, Sanctuary did everything it could to dismantle Halford. So there was never an option of them stepping up CRUCIBLE or the tour, as we were able to experience with RESURRECTION. They didn't step up on the LIVE INSURRECTION release either, plus they made a critical error insisting the band not tour to support LIVE INSURRECTION.
      "I worked hard to get Sanctuary to support LIVE INSURRECTION by booking Rob on MTV's 20th anniversary program, getting the VH-1 BEHIND THE MUSIC underway and putting together the video for 'Made In Hell'. I tried to get them to commit to other promotional plans for LIVE INSURRECTION, but they became the invisible indie.
     "Upon the release of CRUCIBLE, Sanctuary had already formed their plans to remove Rob and try and put him back with his former band. Their efforts were rebuffed by both bands. Unbelievable as it sounds, that was their agenda. Rob, the band and I were deeply angered the day we learned of their dismantling plan - only two days after the release of CRUCIBLE.
     "Rob was so upset; he was unable to perform his show in Germany. That was the day all of you heard reports that Rob did not sing well at an European festival.
     "By July 2002, it became clear that Rob's former label was not going to support CRUCIBLE or Halford. And when you really look at that position, you’ll recognize that most bands would have never tried to move on. With the talent of this band behind me, and all of your support - I have worked tirelessly to push Halford through the period of September 2002 to present.
     "It's an enormous task to take a band forward without a label and network of support, weeks after the release of a new recording, but that's what I took on. Add in all the other experiences, and to this day, you should know it means a great deal to me every time the band performs CRUCIBLE material.
     "Also, if you're going to measure the success of RESURRECTION with CRUCIBLE, each of you need to understand I worked nearly every issue with Sanctuary during that release and tour. They recruited me a month after I stepped away, and we worked with some friction, but all was mostly forgiven, for we knew each were after the same goals. Jealousy set in with Rob's former manager shortly thereafter, and he chose to try and block all Rob's and my attempts to move the band forward. The relationship dissolved a short time later."
- John Baxter, May 13, 2003

     "Sanctuary were not there for the Halford band. They were more focused on breaking the band up and trying to reunite Judas Priest. RESURRECTION and the tour went very well. I worked to make sure of it. When I took over last fall, the label decided it would dump the band at the curb. That was the difference. They frustrated every move they could. That's why I stepped in when Rob threatened to retire in the summer of 2002. CRUCIBLE had everything we needed promotion wise, but again, folks were more into breaking the band up in the summer of 2002. CRUCIBLE is a masterpiece. All the Halford records are masterpieces. The band members, Pat and Ray included, will always be proud of the work we did that last four years.
     "CRUCIBLE tested very high at radio, etc.; we knew we had a great release. The label (Metal-Is) didn't know what they had. They'd only been in business for two to three years...
     "It's all Rob wanted. It was tough to park the Halford band, but in this biz, you always do what your artist seriously wants. Rob wanted to be back in Judas Priest. We could have produced another great Halford recording this or next year, but Rob wanted to return to Priest - Judas Priest was more important to Rob. That's what took them the most time to sort through. It's between four brothers and no one else. He loves his solo band, but at this point in his life, he wanted to be a part of Judas Priest. I don't live in his body or mind, but that is what he desperately wanted."


- John Baxter, online chat, August 16, 2003

     "Our management company, Trinifold, was bought by Sanctuary, but is still responsible for Priest. I don’t think Rob has got a problem with it - John Baxter is still working for him."
- K.K. Downing, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "As for the situation between Rod Smallwood and myself, conflicts between management and musician happen from time to time and sometimes you have to have the balls to sit together with them to talk about what went wrong and to solve the problems. I don’t expect any problems with Rod Smallwood, and the fact is that Sanctuary is a very strong company. And you need them, if you want to progress."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

DECEMBER 2002: Priest leave Atlantic Records

After the 2001 release of DEMOLITION, hopes were high for a strong showing in promotions and the charts, but Atlantic did very little to push the album. While tour dates and interviews were plentiful, there was little to no visibility for the band anywhere else. The LIVE IN LONDON DVD was released the following year on the Priest Music label through SPV, without involvement from Atlantic, and a companion CD was released at the beginning of 2003, after Priest and Atlantic agreed to part company a month prior...

     "For your information, the band are no longer with Atlantic Records - we parted company at the end of last year."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, May 19, 2003

    "...CMC did not work out in the US, so when we were free, Atlantic showed great interest, so we decided to go with them, which as it turns out, didn't work out either!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, March 15, 2003


     "
Just to put a couple of things straight - first of all, the band signing to Atlantic had nothing at all to do with Glenn having had a solo deal with them - the band as a whole make the decisions, not just one member! Atlantic came forward with what seemed like a lucrative offer and they ALL decided it was the way to go. Unfortunately, as we all know, it didn't work out! I personally object to having the finger pointed at 'a few people at management'..!! As I have explained on many, many occasions, the band and I work very closely together, but the ultimate decisions are always theirs. No one tries to steer them in the wrong direction.
     "Unfortunately we've had a few hiccups along the way, what with total lack of promotion, etc."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, April 7, 2003

JANUARY 2003: Scott lets the cat out of the bag?

Almost a year had passed since the DEMOLITION tour had ended, and nothing was said about the band's activities. The long break was getting to both Ripper and Scott, who found themselves passing the time in local bands to pass the time. Then at the Winter NAMM show, Scott Travis was, unbeknownst to him, tape recorded stating his desire to have Rob return to the band for a summer tour:

     "We hope Rob rejoins the band so we can go out this summer, but part of the ball's in his court, so he's going to have to make a decision."
- Scott Travis, January 23, 2003     Hear Scott's quote

     "There are yet again stories circulating regarding a 'quote' that was made. I really do not know where this came from, but there is no truth in this comment about Judas Priest having a reunion with Rob Halford and doing some dates in the summer. To put the record straight, this is totally incorrect. Ripper Owens is Judas Priest's vocalist and we are not planning any summer shows with Rob Halford. In other words, nothing has changed!!! As I have said a million times, unless you hear it from us as an OFFICIAL announcement, DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!!"
- Jayne Andrews, January 26, 2003


     "I have spoken to Scott and it turns out, he was at the NAMM show and a guy started talking to him asking him some questions - he asked if Rob was rejoining and then he asked about Racer X and then more about Priest. Scott says he first of all did not know the guy had a tape recorder and secondly, was only saying something that he would have liked to happen at some stage. This is not anything official - if we have anything to say it will come via me! There is no truth in this."

- Jayne Andrews, January 27, 2003

Even though Scott was sharing nothing more than his own personal desires, it was a dream that was about to come true!

JULY 2003: The Metal God returns!

As late as June 2003, Rob Halford made it clear that his relationship with the rest of the members of Judas Priest still had a ways to go and that no reunion with the band was anywhere near in sight:

     "Briefly, I want to apologize to my audience for the numerous rumors being spearheaded by my former manager of approximately two years, Rod Smallwood and his firm Sanctuary Music Management - whose Companies have an interest in the three bands involved in the gossip.
     "The visible intent in creating the multiple rumors clearly is meant to disturb and confuse my audience, the North American concert promoters, and others.
     "I find the behavior appalling, for throughout my 30-year career, I have prided myself in being forthright with my audience. You can trust the legal eagles from both sides will end the juvenile action immediately.
     "What I will affirm to each of you again is, I am not a member of Judas Priest, and I have no plans to reunite.
     "What I’m sure all of you will be pleased to know is, I have been periodically working on my relationships with Ken, Glenn and Ian since 1999, but we are certainly not at the stage where we see ourselves working together any time soon. The 1992 break-up took a lot out of us, and we are taking our time in mending our personal friendships.
     "Finally, for the avoidance of doubt, I removed my activity from Rod and Sanctuary last year due to artistic, business and philosophical differences. Providing a perfect example, their recent action falls within the latter of the just-noted. Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts..."
- Rob Halford, Halford Quorum, March 19, 2003

     "There's three answers to the question of what circumstances could bring me to record and tour with Judas Priest again:
     "As I've said for quite a few years now, if ever there was an opportunity that we all agreed was worth pursuing, then we would look at it. That's one way of looking at it. Secondly, they have a lead singer, Tim, who's a friend of mine. He's doing a great job being the singer for Priest, so that's what's happening right now. Tim is the singer for Judas Priest.
     "And on the level of building friendships and speaking to one another, that's good, but it's nowhere near as close as it used to be. We see each other about once or twice a year, and it feels good, but it's a little bit strained. And I think even before any music is talked about, you have to make sure you can just be friends, you know? I mean, just get back on the track of being able to hang out without any questions that need to be answered and asked of each other. Because I know that's inevitable: 'Why did you do this? Why didn't this happen? Why didn't that happen?' It's a healing process and you have to go through all that psychology. So, that has to be dealt with. And how long would that take? Is it going to be over in a conversation? A week? A month? A year? Who knows?"
- Rob Halford, BayInsider, June 3, 2003

A month later, that question would finally be answered. Indeed, it was over in a mere conversation, when the band met together in Rob Halford's Birmingham home kitchen to discuss their 30th anniversary as a recording band and the special boxset they wanted to put together in celebration, and Judas Priest Management Co-ordinator Jayne Andrews popped the question:

    "It happened in my kitchen, which is a bit like the Camp David of heavy metal: Some of the great decisions we've made over the years have taken place there."
- Rob Halford, Guitar World, October 2003

     "We were over at my house in England, sitting in my kitchen looking over what was going to be the concept for METALOGY. We were all there except Scott, and we were talking about the box set. And I think it was Jayne Andrews who brought up the subject - 'Well, what are we going to do about the reunion? Are we going to get together again?' We all looked at each other and went, 'Oh yeah, I guess we might as well. If we're not going to do this now, we're never going to do it.'
     "And that was it, you know? We all said, 'Okay, well, let's get together at such and such a time.' And then, five-minutes later, everybody was out of my house and driven off in different directions. And I'm sitting there going, 'I'm back in the band, I'm back in the band.' Well, that was a bit of an anticlimax! Of course, I just felt so great. It was such a wonderful feeling of coming home, to be back in this band that I love so much."
- Rob Halford, Revolver, August 2004

     "It was very emotional. When I saw Rob, we decided right then to reunite and go back out there. It felt just like it did before he left the band. And the world's just gone mad about it. It's very exciting.
     "The most important thing for us to do now is to put pen to paper. The old writing trio of Tipton, Halford and Downing will be back together, and that should make for some classic songs."
- Glenn Tipton, MTV, July 15, 2003

     "...It was very funny to see that the sarcastic humour and the individual characteristics didn’t change over the years. It was like in the old times. And then there was the moment of truth when we all decided, it's now or never."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

The 4th of July: For Americans, it celebrates the day independence from the British was finally won. But for the heavy metal nation that stretches around the world, it is now a celebration that the British have returned, for THE PRIEST IS BACK!

One week later, on July 11, the news was officially announced, to an overwhelming response. CNN got exclusive rights to break the news, with major news outlets and internet forums flooded with overwhelming support:

THE METAL GOD RETURNS TO THE MIGHTY PRIEST!

July 11, 2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ROB HALFORD REUNITES WITH JUDAS PRIEST

WORLD TOUR COMING IN 2004

SEVERAL PROJECTS ARE IN THE PLANNING STAGES


After more than 11 years apart Judas Priest and original lead vocalist Rob Halford have reunited for a global live concert tour in 2004. The definitive Judas Priest lineup of Rob Halford, lead guitarist Glenn Tipton, lead guitarist K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis is back.

The original band members have been re-establishing their personal and professional relationships since 1999 along the way sparking hundreds of reunion rumors.

Several exciting projects, in addition to the 2004 world tour, are in the early planning stages.

The long-awaited reunion of Judas Priest and Halford will thrill fans around the globe, and once again provide them with the opportunity to see and hear the band that defined Heavy Metal as we know it today.

Judas Priest rose from the gritty, working-class steel town of Birmingham, England, and quickly became one of the biggest bands in the world. Judas Priest are considered the groundbreaking inventors of true Heavy Metal music. From their debut release 'Rocka Rolla' through monumental albums such as 'Sad Wings of Destiny,' ''Sin After Sin,' 'Stained Class,' 'Hell Bent For Leather,' 'Unleashed in the East,' 'British Steel,' 'Screaming for Vengeance,' 'Defenders of the Faith' and 'Painkiller,' titanic songs like "Victim of Changes," "Sinner," "Exciter," "Hell Bent for Leather," "Living After Midnight," "Breaking the Law" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin' '' were born. Judas Priest defines and epitomizes both sonically and visually the Heavy Metal genre.

Next year's reunion tour will also celebrate the band's 30th anniversary of their union.

Judas Priest and Ripper Owens, who replaced Halford, have parted amicably. The band is thankful for Owens' work in bringing Judas Priest music to millions of fans and they expect big things for him in the future.

Updates will be posted regularly at www.judaspriest.com.

     "This is a reunification experience. We want to let people see Halford the Metal God back in the band."
- Rob Halford, The Hartford Courant, July 8, 2004

     "It's a wonderful feeling; the family's back together again, the world's greatest heavy metal band, and we're still out there, flying the flag of metal."
- Rob Halford, Entertainment Tonight, July 14, 2004

     "The whole reunion pivoted around the meeting that we took at my house for the box set. I would like to think that the whole METALOGY box set experience played a major part in the reunion. The last question that was asked is 'Are we going to reunite?', are we going to do it. In an underplayed British way, we all looked around and nodded at each other as if to say, 'I will do it if you do it'. Five minutes later, I was sitting in my kitchen thinking that soon the world will know about the reunion. As you know it was a piece on CNN, it was such an important moment in the music world that it was covered on a major news outlet.
     "So, I think in our hearts we all hoped and wished for a reunion; the pieces were in the right place at the right time. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it the Lord’s intervention - we are just thrilled to back together again."
- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004

     "I went through all these different seekings, and really looked to see if there was anything else that was calling me that would fulfill me as much as Judas Priest. And quite frankly, there's not. Not on this scale. I'm back where I belong."
- Rob Halford, MTV, September 2, 2004

After a 12 year departure from the Birmingham band that defined the look, sound and innovation of heavy metal - a band that unselfishly aided the careers of many aspiring bands and epitomized what it meant to be "for the fans", the "Metal God" Rob Halford has returned to the fold to reclaim his rightful place, restoring the unsurpassed magic and chemistry of Tipton/Halford/Downing that made the band international superstars and provided some of the greatest groundbreaking metal works to ever be recorded!

     "I think it was very important to go and do what I did with Fight and Two, because it focused me and brought me back home to be where I really needed to be. It was a walkabout to see what other possibilities were out there for me as far as a performer and a musician. I enjoyed those times, but at the same time, as I was proceeding through that work, my yearning was to be back with Priest; it is where I belong and it is where my best work comes from. It was important because it brought me back to Priest.
- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004

     "None of us will deny that relationships were strained for a long period of time. But that is now in the past. We're all very happy to have Rob back with us, and as we look ahead to celebrating Priest's 30th Anniversary as a band, we feel that we couldn't be in a better place in our heads, or more focused on the task at hand."
- Glenn Tipton, Hit Parader, February/March 2004

     "We were crushed when Halford left the band. But you have to get on with it. There is always good that comes out of bad. After so many years of work, we all loved Judas Priest deeply and Judas Priest music and at that point in time, we didn't see anyway to actually go out there and perform it anymore. Now, it is just like we never have been apart. It really is. It is so natural to have Rob back on stage with us. It is just fantastic."
- Glenn Tipton, El Paso Entertainment, August 3, 2004

     "At the time of Rob's departure, we had all been working very hard without any sort of break. We were going non-stop. There was that and also I think Rob just wanted to explore other avenues and get away from it all for a bit. And to be honest, given where we were then it was about time for a break and that ultimately did the band a lot of good.
     "We had a meeting some time back to discuss the current release, METALOGY, and we sat and talked quite a bit. No one had thought much about it going into the meeting; we hadn’t talked in a while, but we thought it would only be just the one meeting to put the package together and that would be that. But by the end of the meeting and the day, we had reached the decision to get back together.
     "I think the turning point was discussing the value of Judas Priest and what it meant to the members of the band to be a part of that. At the end of the day I think that what being in the band had meant and did for all of us was really the impetus to work together and carry it on again.
     "We’re all very good friends and we always will be. We’ve had our moments and some of it wasn’t very nice when we parted company and overall we’ve all been through a lot with each other. We’ve had management problems and record problems and much more, but now we’re closer than ever. And we’ve had nothing negative as a result of how Rob feels. It’s 2004 - the music’s the only thing that matters, and I think people realize that and don’t worry so much about irrelevant outside factors and just enjoy the music and the band being back together."
- Glenn Tipton, 411 Mania, August 9, 2004

     "The reunion was kind of like riding a bike, really. We played Rob the new music we were working on, and from that moment we were a band again."
- K.K. Downing, Guitar World, September 2004

    

     "The genetics of a great band can never be recreated until you see those same four or five people together again."
- Rob Halford, Guitar World, October 2003

     "We really felt the loss of not being together and performing live. It's like having three wheels on a car instead of four - something's missing."
- Rob Halford, Spin, June 2004

     "Obviously when these things happen, a lot of questions and considerations run through people's minds: ,What's it going to be like? Will it be as I remember it? Blah, blah, blah...' So all I'm trying to do is reassure people that it is very much as strong a metal band as it ever was. This is the first true original heavy metal band in existence. It's as important as when Bob Dylan walks out on stage, when the Rolling Stones walk out on stage - Judas Priest carries that on its shoulders."
- Rob Halford, Rolling Stone, July 23, 2003

     "I think we can still stand on that stage and be believed, you know, because that's what's kept us alive and accepted, that this is real. Priest is a unique animal, if you're fully aware of what we've been through and achieved. We've made so much music over the years, and though we've never kind of dwelled on the how-great-they-are kind of syndrome, we feel proud of what we've achieved, to be the first true British heavy-metal band."
- Rob Halford, The Hartford Courant, July 8, 2004

It all started a few years ago, when Rob was faced with the realization that his true home was in heavy metal. More importantly, Rob realized that he had walked out on a long-standing friendship. So at the end of 1999, Rob sat down and wrote a letter of apology and reconciliation to his former Birmingham mates:

"Rob Halford is not rejoining Judas Priest as rumored", says his current manager, "but he has, at least to a minor extent, made an attempt to kiss and make up."

Longtime Halford associate John Baxter [who in another statement described the revamped Judas Priest as "silly and offending at the same time"] reports on Halford's official Web site that while his client hasn't requested a return to the band (or vice versa), the singer has sent conciliatory letters to Priest's three original members in what's referred to as an attempt to recapture a 20-year friendship.

The singer left under less than amicable circumstances almost nine years ago, and he hasn't spoken to his band mates since the divorce.

Baxter, responding to faked reports on the rowdy (but official) Judas Priest message board, took the opportunity to state his client's terms if a reunion was ever to take place, bringing to mind the old "If elected, I won't serve" joke. He wrote that Halford will never agree to return to Judas Priest as long as the group's current representatives are looking after the band's affairs, and that a mutually-agreed-upon management group would have to be selected by all four original members.

Representatives for Judas Priest were not available for comment at press time.

Oddly enough (or not), Baxter is stepping down from handling the music end of Halford's affairs. He will stay on as the singer's business manager...
- MTV News by Sorelle Saidman, January 5, 2000

     "You know what bands are like. It's not really that uncommon to create that kind of divide, so I wrote an extensive letter just telling them how I felt. I think that was part of the very slow rebuilding process. I think you just go to the music, because somehow it's bigger than everybody."
- Rob Halford, Rolling Stone, July 23, 2003

     "I can recall being back in San Diego at my favorite coffee shop, just sitting there smoking a cigar and thinking about life, like you do, and I thought to myself, this is crazy, because I missed the guys so much more than anything else. So I started to put my feelings and my thoughts down on paper, and that ended up being quite an important letter."
- Rob Halford, The Hartford Courant, July 8, 2004

     "I can even recall that from the early days, there was a lot of respect for each other, and just a lot of camaraderie, a great kick from knowing that the chemistry was working and we were making great music. So we never really hit that wall of a kind of breakup that would never come back together, or if it came back together, that it would be for the wrong reasons. The reason we were apart from one another was just for us to go - well, for me personally to do a bit of soul-searching musically, and of course I found my way back home with metal, which is probably the greatest thing that's ever happened to me as a musician, because it just grounded me so solid now to the music that I love."
- Rob Halford, Hartford Advocate, July 8, 2004

     "There's nothing wrong with saying, 'Sorry'. I don't think people say they're sorry enough. I felt that I had to get a lot of these emotions out and connect with the guys. And that's what I did. I wrote a letter and explained my feelings and basically said how much I missed everybody. That was the start of the very, very slow process of reunion."
- Rob Halford, IndyStar, August 20, 2004

K.K. and Ian first hooked up with Rob in 2001 to attend the 50-year wedding anniversary of his parents:

     "When Ian and Ken showed up to a party for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, that was the initial moment of contact. Glenn couldn't make it - he was in Spain - and I'd seen Ian on the odd occasion because, of course his son Alex is my nephew. But I'd literally not seen Ken since the time I walked offstage in Toronto."
- Rob Halford, Revolver, August 2004

     "The main thing is that obviously we were very close in the early days, family-like, really. Rob knew my family and I knew his family well and it was actually Rob's mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary - which is obviously the big one, isn't it? - where we got together. I was invited to that and of course Rob was there and that was the first time I'd seen him in many, many years. And we didn't discuss anything about anything at the time. It was just a celebration, a big bash."
- K.K. Downing, June 15, 2004

     "Of course, we go back to 1999, when I took pen to paper and thought it was time that I made the gesture to reach out to Ken and Glenn and Ian and Scott, and basically just put my feelings and my emotions down on paper as I thought was the most sincere and personal way of making the first extension of an open hand of, 'Let's make the first move and start to talk'. So really, it was that moment that opened the door very, very slowly to this moment in 2003, so it's been a long time, and as you know and your listeners know, we've been in each others' company off and on since '99 and most of those times have been very, very short ones and it's only really been in the last year or so that we've spent any considerable time together, and it's been at my home in England and it's been that slow process that we've let everybody know we had to go through, and the process entailed rebuilding the friendship and the trust that's important to any band before you even go into the possibility of a musical reunion. We really had to get back on track as buddies, as best friends, as family before we could even consider the moments of walking out on stage together. I don't think any of us expected it to be an overnight solution; I think we all felt that because so much time had passed - and 12 years is a hell of a long time to go by - there's no way we could have rushed into this and patched things up as quickly as I know a lot of the Priest fans were wishing and hoping for, but the hard-core Priest fans have been incredibly supportive and understanding that it was going to take time for this to happen, and now of course, there's just this great feeling of joy in the metal community - not only here in the United States, but worldwide. Millions of Priest fans are just thrilled that the reunion has been announced!"
- Rob Halford, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), July 18, 2003

     "We've always stayed friendly and built bridges and gotten together from time to time. We've all known Rob for 30 years, since the band members were 17 or 18 years old, and they know each other's families, so they got together to talk about old days and things just started to develop. The time just felt right for them now."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator, MTV.com, July 11, 2003

     "Even though I felt okay doing all of that Fight, Two and Halford stuff, at the end of the day, it was a bit deflating. I used to lie awake at night thinking, 'What have I done?' because the magic that we had in Priest was exclusive."
- Rob Halford, Guitar World, October 2003

     "Rob and Priest fell out quite heavily in 1992 and were fairly bitter enemies. When we began discussing the possibility of working with Rob again, it was very important to re-establish the friendship we had together. We were so glad to see each each other when we made up two years after Rob sent a letter of apology in 1999. It was very emotional. We hugged and all the nastiness and animosity began to repair itself right away."
- Glenn Tipton, Guitar World, October 2003

     "The problems of the past are long gone - (don't start trying to say they were between Rob and Glenn because this is not true!) - we have all moved on - why don't you guys!! Forget trying to analyze what you think might or might not have happened - it's past - long forgotten!! Things are great and we have the 'family' back together again - let the music speak for itself! Enjoy the reunion like we are going to!!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator, Judas Priest Noticeboard, August 1, 2003

     "Three decades have all passed in a flash. But in that time, we've all grown up and learned our lessons, and now we realize how much we've missed that classic Priest lineup and sound. But we're fine now. I can't see any problems on the horizon."
- Glenn Tipton, Guitar World, October 2003

     "Realizing that we've lasted for 30 years made us see the importance of getting back out there again. This is a monumental point in time."
- Glenn Tipton, Revolver, November 2003

Then, around Christmastime, Rob got a chance meeting to see the guys for the first time in 10 years when they met at Glenn's house to talk about friends, family, music and more:

     "Basically, around about two years ago, we all met up with Rob and he came around to my house one afternoon, and it was very emotional; we hadn't spoke for a number of years and it was great and we had a great afternoon, it was a nice day. From that point on really, we sort of built the bridges back and renewed the friendship."
- Glenn Tipton, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), August 8, 2003

     "We've been bonding our friendship again with Rob over the last two years or so, and we've had a lot of offers to reunite, but we've all been doing our own things. We've only just come to a point where we felt everything's right...Obviously when we split there was a lot of animosity and we didn't speak for a number of years. I saw Rob for the first time in years about two years ago, and it was very emotional. Anything that was said or done was all forgotten. We've been together for 30 years and we've been through a lot together in this band. It just needed time really. We all did our own thing, and it ran its course. It's all about timing."
- Glenn Tipton, Billboard, July 11, 2003

     "When Glenn and I met again in 2001, we hugged because we were so glad to see each other.
     "People are saying, 'Can they still do it? Will it have the same energy as before?' The simple answer is, 'Yes, 100 percent - if not more!' "
- Rob Halford, Revolver, November 2003

     "...It was very emotional when Glenn and I met for the first time and he came towards me on the driveway. We’ve known each other for such a long time and experienced so many things together – I mean, it’s quite natural that all these feelings and memories came up."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "I was talking to Ken yesterday. We speak to each other on the phone - we usually end up reminiscing... But he did say, 'Tell me what songs you're doing, so we don't do the same ones when we go out...'
     "I don't think that what I do, or what Priest represents, is nostalgia. I think it's very current, very fresh, very important, very much a 'now' feeling musically. I'm happy that I can still maintain my friendship with Ken and Glenn and Ian and we can be civil and polite and give support."
- Rob Halford, Launch, July 23, 2002

Though the rebuilding of family friendships was a few years in the making, the actual time involved in reuniting Rob with Judas Priest was short and sweet...

It wasn't until both parties were for once, at the same time, free from their tour and recording schedules, that they came together on the 4th of July, 2003 at Rob's house in Walsall, England and sealed the reunion:

     "We don't want anybody to have a feeling that this was some kind of deceitful ploy that we've been working on because it really is the fact that this became real, this became an absolute certainty, just a few short days ago. All of the things we needed to do to rebuild those bridges came to a head and we were sitting in my kitchen at my home in England last week, and we talked about what was left to do and of course the overwhelming thing that's looming towards us is the 30th Anniversary of the band next year - 30 years since the release of ROCKA ROLLA - so that, amongst everything else, was primary in making the decision."
- Rob Halford, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), July 18, 2003

     "One day, we had a meeting at Rob's house. We were just sitting there with no intention of talking about reunions. By the end of the afternoon, the subject came up and we thought it was now or never, and we all wanted it. We walked out of that meeting and we were reunited. It was that simple."
- Glenn Tipton, El Paso Entertainment, August 3, 2004
 

     "It's just a testament to the great love and power of the music of Judas Priest. This has been wanted and pleaded for for so many years. And obviously, with us all being in our separate worlds musically, we haven't really been able to seriously consider it until now. It's been almost a five-year process of rebuilding our friendship and musical bridges, so this reunion has taken a lot of love and repair work and obviously we're thrilled that it's finally happened now.
- Rob Halford, MTV, July 15, 2003

     "It was very emotional. When I saw Rob, we decided right then to reunite and go back out there. It felt just like it did before he left the band. And the world's just gone mad about it. It's very exciting.
     "The most important thing for us to do now is to put pen to paper. The old writing trio of Tipton, Halford and Downing will be back together, and that should make for some classic songs."
- Glenn Tipton, MTV, July 15, 2003

     "We had to work on our friendship, but all the bridges have been rebuilt and we put that animosity behind us. We had a lot of offers to reunite, but Rob was committed to his projects, and we were doing our own thing. But we met two weeks ago and it seemed like the right thing to do. I think we all knew deep down that if we didn't do it now, we'd never do it."
- Glenn Tipton, Rolling Stone, July 23, 2003

     "We actually made the decision in a meeting about the British box set. We went into the meeting with no intention of discussing reformation and when we came out, we decided to do it. It was a completely spur-of-the-moment decision. We had offers for two or three years and as you know, Rob was doing his solo thing and Priest was touring with Ripper, so we turned them down. But then we just realized that if we didn't do it now, we'd never do it. It was that simple."
- Glenn Tipton, Billboard.com, June 28, 2004

     "In February and March, we were offered tours to reunite and we turned them down; for this summer, we had no intention of any reunion - and then just really, totally out of the blue, like I said, two weeks ago, we had a meeting at Rob's and everything just seemed right and I think really we realized that if we didn't do it now, we probably never would do it. And I think that's when it just clicked and we said, 'We've got to do this; it just seems logical'...I can only repeat that really, we had no intention of a reunion until this meeting two weeks ago and it just sort of fell into place and it seemed right, it seems very right to do at this point in time...
     "We called the meeting a month or six weeks before Rob happened to be in the UK, and we said, 'Look, let's all get together'. And I think as that meeting neared, it became apparent to us really why we were having the meeting. We had to plan the destiny from that point on for Priest, so it was a very appropriate time to have a meeting and as we set the meeting, it just became obvious that this is the way forward...
     "Again, once we made the decision to go forward with the reunion, we've announced it straight away. We felt that that was fair, to let everyone know immediately what our plan was, but that does mean that it's a little premature at the moment and in exactly the final plan, the way forward, set lists, etcetera, it's very early days in that sense...
     "We shall start to put pen to paper in September; we're sort of all going to take a break through August and then we shall start work, start to write in September. There's no doubt at all we'll be out on the road next year and for a long time, and the bonus to that would be hopefully a brand new Judas Priest album, and that's exciting - it excites me anyway to think that we can have a brand new Judas Priest album out there, all being well. I presume we shall be out on tour next spring, from next spring onward. That's supposition, but that's what we'd like to do."
- Glenn Tipton, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), August 8, 2003

The band got a kick when they were asked if they put Rob through an audition to rejoin the band:

     "That's a good one! Oh my God...
     The truth is, no, we didn't have any kind of 'audition'. I'm sorry, that's just so funny. No, it all came quite naturally really."
- Glenn Tipton, Guitar World, September 2004

     "We should have, that would have been fun!"
- K.K. Downing, Guitar World, September 2004

     "I suppose they wouldn't have been out of line entirely, now would they? Goodness knows, I'd be disappointed if I didn't pass the test."
- Rob Halford, Guitar World, September 2004

Of course, with Rob returning, there was the issue of Ripper Owens, who had remained loyal and was a major factor in Judas Priest even continuing after Rob's departure. But it turned out that Owens was just as much for the reunion and even made the suggestion for the move several months back:

     "I knew in the past that eventually there was going to be a reunion. Everybody knew there was going to be a reunion; I know there was talks and I know they were offered money and I know it was a thing that was always lingering while I was in the band, and no matter how good I could sing or whatever was being done, it was going to be lingering there, and I really thought to myself, 'This has to stop.' So I've said to the band, 'You know, it's going to happen, so let's let it happen.' I kinda let this thing be known months ago. Both of us have realized that Priest needs to get Rob back; let's get it goin' on, let's do the reunion thing, and you know what? I need to go out and do my thing because I wanna tour! You know, and I don't want to be at home for two years straight and not do anything.
     "Both parties decided that the best thing for this band is to let me go do my thing and let the band get Rob back - and I'm all for it. And really, I cannot be happier, to a certain point. It's a pretty devastating day that I'm not the singer of Judas Priest anymore - that kinda sucks. But on the other hand, I'm free to do anything, and I've had a lot of offers while I was in Judas Priest, and now I'm just going to wait for the offers to come in now that I'm not in Judas Priest... I guess if I wasn't ready to move on and I didn't want to do something else, I probably would be pretty devastated, and if the band and I wouldn't have been ready to move on, I mean if they just all of a sudden said, 'Alright, you're gone' - like the rumors in the past were, that would have been pretty devastating. But I think now that it was a mutual decision, and we decided as a band that it was time to make this decision, I'm all for it...I just hope it lasts.
     "My fear is - I hope that it's not a Judas Priest record, tour and then they're done. Glenn's a workaholic. I think the difference was they knew with me vocally, I'm just getting to the prime or just past the prime really, but I think they want to see the legacy of Priest to go out and they've worked hard for a long time and they very well are ready to go out and I'm definitely not, so I would have liked to go out with them and then went on to do my own thing, but this is just as well for me and I think that they probably are like, 'Let's get Rob back and let's do a tour'. You know, everybody's gonna want that and they did want it and I'm happy for it.
     "You know, I am so ready to go on; I just recorded some vocals on a side project that I have coming out. Of course I can't mention anything about it, but it's phenomenal. Old-school metal. Very old-school metal, very Maiden-ish. This is very, very good. Now this is before we'd come to this conclusion now, so I've got things on the side I'm working on...
     "I was given the word probably a few days ago; the decision came down that it was time just a few days ago. And you have to move swift, 'cause once you make that decision, it's going to get out. And I think with all the rumors that have happened in the past, we didn't want this to happen, so I think we decided, 'Tim, here's what we're going to do, this is what we all want' and I was with them and I said, 'Okay, this is exactly what we want' and we discussed the way to release it and I agreed this is how we should release it and that's what we did. It's a business decision and we're all friends, and I include that with Rob.
Sometimes I just feel like a big weight was lifted of my shoulder and I get to go out and do a career now. The big thing about being in Judas Priest was, you live all your dreams: I make my favorite band of my whole lifetime, I get a Grammy nomination on my first record, I've toured the world, I play in front of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and it was like going to college for free! My world right now could not be any better!
     "Maybe I'll be on the road with Priest next time - maybe I'll be in a band and we'll be supporting Priest - that'd be a hell of a tour there! I'm not just going to do one thing: My goal is to do a project, to get in another band and have a side project to do my own solo thing, so I'm gonna stay busy!
     "
It was sad because the moment did come when it was done and they are my friends - I actually emailed Glenn and I said, 'Glenn, you know, if it made you that mad that I beat you at golf the whole tour, I wouldn't have beat you!' "

- Ripper Owens, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), July 11, 2003

     "I discussed it about five months before, saying, 'Listen, if you're going to get Halford back, get him back, because you have my blessings to do it. I needed it. I had talked to Ronnie Dio on the phone about what I should do. I said, 'Should I quit the band?' His suggestion was that I should quit if I have feelings of doing my own thing. But I would have never quit Priest.
     "Judas Priest and I are the best of friends still. I just talked to Glenn and Ken the other day. They were in the studio writing, and we just laughed. It's like nothing's different."

- Ripper Owens, Cleveland Scene, December 17, 2003

     "Ripper's such a tremendous guy, and a tremendous singer, and there is no one else on this planet that could have done what he did. And we just felt it had run its course. And when we told Ripper we were considering the reunion tour, he was great. He said, 'I don't blame you,' and he actually agreed that it would be a good time to do it. Both Ripper and ourselves have expressed a real desire to maintain a friendship and we will - he will remain a friend of mine, you know? I've got to beat him at golf a few times - I haven't beat him yet, so, 'I can't die until I beat you at golf.' "
- Glenn Tipton, Launch Media, July 16, 2003

     "There is no one who could have stepped into Rob's shoes except Ripper. He's been fantastic. We told him last week, and basically, he said, 'Look, I've got to agree with you.' He's a big Priest fan and he's been a real gentleman about it. "
- Glenn Tipton, Billboard, July 11, 2003

     "I wish I could have been in town, but I didn't know exactly when they were going to make the announcement. I discussed it with them months back, so I wasn't upset that they were going to do it.
     "
Halford was out there doing things, but it wasn't as big as he probably wanted and it probably wasn't as big as Priest wanted either. And money eventually talks, so my feeling was, 'Why not now, when it's best for all of us?' I wanted to go out on package tours. Nobody goes out alone nowadays but us. You'll see four, five, six bands touring together and they all have platinum records. Even those tours draw only 8,000 to 10,000...
     "Obviously, I didn't get to really write, but I was all right with that. In the last year, I've kept every idea for myself. Now the good thing is, I didn't write anything. If people consider that things with Judas Priest failed with me, it's not mine. Everything you heard would have been there anyway.
     "I won't sing Judas Priest material without the guys, except in a local band. But I think there are people who will want to hear those songs. You never know what would happen if they play Cleveland... I know I'll be backstage - I know where they keep their beer!
     "If you hear the live CDs, you'll hear those songs sung as well as they've ever been sung live. They're not overdubbed like a lot of live recordings were in those days. And since I've joined the band, I've gotten remarried and had a son. I'll always be indebted to Priest for my lucky break. This is a happy ending. Life goes on and I go on."
- Ripper Owens, The Ohio Beacon Journal, July 15, 2003

     "We have really no choice in releasing Owens. If we wanted the band to continue, this is what we had to do. He stepped aside like a gentleman. He gave us his support, and we all phoned him individually and said our own things to him. He was great about it."
- Glenn Tipton, El Paso Entertainment, August 3, 2004

     "Ripper was told of course and did know about everything BEFORE we made the announcement - he purposely went on a road trip out of town so he wasn't around when the news hit the press - it was his choice to do that. He asked us to let him know when we were making the announcement and he made plans to be out of town."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator, Judas Priest Noticeboard, September 22, 2003

     "We were quite happy being out with Ripper. He was the only person that could have stepped into Rob's shoes. We've all been enjoying ourselves and we've been relaxed, but we all feel the time is right now to go back out with Rob again, and Tim understands that."
- Glenn Tipton, MTV, July 15, 2003

     "There had been talk of Halford rejoining for a while. There had been so many big-money offers for them to reunite. I knew the reunion was going to happen; I knew this wouldn't last. Rob is the original singer, and so he should also be the one there at the end.
     "
When I joined, they had been broken up for about five years. The band had lost a lot of momentum, and it was hard to make up for lost time. Some people were disappointed, but they can't blame me. My vocals are right on. I just sang the songs they gave me. I had no control over decisions. At the same time, I couldn't pursue other projects because I was the lead singer in Judas Priest. It was frustrating, especially when we stopped touring this year. I even considered quitting, but I couldn't. I figured something would happen. This was the best solution, for them and me."
- Ripper Owens, Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 20, 2003

     “I’d known about it for weeks. I pushed them to get Halford back. I’m a Judas Priest fan, so I’m glad they can get along and do this. People have been calling up like there’s been a death in the family but I’m actually happy with the decision. My run was done...You don’t make any money when you’re not on the road,” Owens says. “Taking a year or two off between albums is a long time. I’ve got a family to support...My phone has been ringing nonstop.”
- Ripper Owens, Canton Repository, August 8, 2003

     "I think the comeback of Rob with Priest is great. It's a real good thing, both for Priest and for me. It should work better for them now, and I'm in a situation that works best with me. I'm still their friend. Rob needed to come back to Priest, and they needed Rob. I hope that the new album and the tour will have success. It would be really great if we could be their opening act. In August, they'll play in Cleveland, and I will see them. I don't have a single reproach to give to them..."
- Tim Owens, Rock Hard, June 2004

     "We consider the Ripper years to be great years. We did two fantastic albums and it proved a lot to ourselves and to the fans, and it proved to be very interesting, a slightly different angle to the band. And it was certainly commendable, from Ripper's point of view particularly, and I think important for the band's survival through difficult years. So, I think it does make the reunion, I suppose, more nostalgic in that sense."
- Glenn Tipton, Billboard.com, June 28, 2004

     "Well, from our point of view we had to listen to those rumors that were totally unfounded for a long time! And then suddenly, for a very short space of time - and it was very short really - they were actually true. But we didn't know what was happening until we met up to start discussing business matters, mainly the METALOGY box set which is out now, and a few other things. And basically it was Rob indicating that he'd wrapped up his other commitments and was available to do some work. It was just getting the timing right.
     "We'd just done two albums and two world tours with Ripper Owens and so everything just kind of came together. We'd be traveling the world and we'd always get a massive amount of people wanting to know if Halford was coming back. And it seemed to be intensifying rather than diminishing, the demand from the fans.
     "So we thought even though we're making great records and sounding great and Ripper's a brilliant singer - there's no two ways about that - it just seems the people want the original. And as I've said before, it's a historical fact that that's what people want. And I think they've got a point really, when they've gone out and dedicated themselves to a band for so many years: bought the albums and bought the t-shirts and stayed loyal. Then they want that original line-up back and feel they're entitled to it.
     "In the end, people just wanted THE Priest. I'm a firm believer that every band with any sort of status, just like they have the musicians and the sound of the band, they also have the voice of the band. And Halford is the voice of Judas Priest as far as everybody is concerned.
     "And why shouldn't he be, having worked on so many albums and songs? And it's difficult to top that, even with a great vocalist like Ripper, because everyone is so used to the sound, which I think is the most important part, but it's also the performance, the personality and the charisma.
     "I think people were very good to us with Ripper, but a lot of people could have given Ripper a bit more leeway in the sense that Rob had twenty years of experience with the band - and most of that on big stages - where Ripper had never had any experience on that level. But you know, at the end of the day, it's just the trademark line-up is what people wanted.
     "If we hadn't been known as Judas Priest and were a new band, I believe that group would have been big. But it seemed to be pushed down a little bit because it was Judas Priest that wasn't Judas Priest in a lot of people's eyes."
- K.K. Downing, BayInsider, July 2004

     "We have a great relationship with Timmy, he did a wonderful job at keeping Priest alive for the '90s and we are very happy that he is focused on his own new projects now."
- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004


Exit The Ripper

Members of Halford's own band also saw the inevitable coming:

     "I realized very early on that a reunion would happen, so it was always in the back of my mind. To be honest, I'm happy. I think it's the best thing that could have happened to Rob at this point in his career. I got involved with Halford because I was a Priest fan. Rumors didn't affect us on stage. Off stage however, it always felt like it had an expiration date on it, we just didn't know when it was. The facts were always kept from us. Management made us feel expendable and replaceable and tried to keep some kind of distance between Rob and the band. Just look at the constant line-up changes. I assume all that was due to the fact that a reunion was in the planning stage from the beginning. The quote from CNN was, 'Rob and the other Judas Priest members are so happy this is all a go', the management team member said. 'We've worked so hard over the last four years to make this happen.' Four years, huh? I guess that says it all. Rob was always great to us though. We're still friends and we still keep in touch..."
- Patrick Lachman, Halford guitarist, Judas Priest Shrine, July 13, 2003

     "Over time, as the possibility of a Judas Priest reunion loomed, I spoke often with Mike C., Pat, Bobby, Ray, Mike D. and of course Roy, and as I expected, they were full of encouragement. Their reaction and continued support provided a constant reminder of their professionalism and integrity towards me, at a time when I was facing several significant choices in my life and career. On many levels, they each were a vital part of what has now materialized. I extend my sincerest thanks and love to them, and I'm confident they will continue to make great music as each continues their own career path.
     "I may be home to stay, but I promise I will not close the door entirely on the thought of working with the 'Halford' lineup in the future. I am truly blessed to have worked with some of the finest people and artists on the planet!
     "John Baxter's unyielding tenacity and belief helped steer this moment toward reality, and I'm grateful for his assistance. John will continue to manage my businesses and deal directly with related creative ideas outside of Judas Priest, and Bill Curbishley and Jayne Andrews will manage my Judas Priest activities. Both Management teams are respectful of one another, and this has made for a very comfortable environment.
     "Finally, it all comes back to you - the fans. Many of you wished over-and-over for an opportunity to experience the original Judas Priest, and it is a comforting thought to know we all get to ride the reunion side-by-side. I can't wait!"
- Rob Halford, Halford Quorum, July 15, 2003

     "I personally, as well as the current members of Halford, am very thankful to have John Baxter looking after us. We marvel at the knowledge, confidence, energy and endless ideas he brings forward and solicits from us - he's truly one of the best in the biz and he's not afraid to take you lot on while also mapping out what you'll see weeks and months from now. Bill and Jayne are more than qualified to handle Judas Priest biz and they don’t deserve outsiders second guessing them either.
     "JB was pursuing other dates for the band after The Metal God tour stopped, but met with me and realized the intensity of the Judas Priest issue was overwhelming and he shut Halford down so I could have discussions with Glenn and Ken; he also took the heat on last year's visa matter. Again he was unphased, for the reunion may not have taken place had I not made that trip.
     "The Halford band is a great band; it’s a heavy machine, and I sense everyone’s passion for the band to succeed. You’ve put a challenge in front of me and one day I’ll honor it, but now it’s time for me to have my fun as the lead singer of Judas Priest... Things couldn’t be better right now - let’s focus on the reunion and move away from past events."
- Rob Halford, Halford Quorum, July 18, 2003

LETTERS TO THE FANS:

HELLO TO THE WORLD!
Well I guess you have all heard by now - yes Rob Halford is back in the saddle again! We are all primed and ready to rock! Rob's infamous deadly Priest screams are razor sharp and ready to inflict some damage!

Rob and ourselves are also really looking forward to thrashing out new Priest riffs and melodies for you all to savour and of course as soon as the new Metal is forged, we will be hitting the road with a vengeance. The wheels of the mighty Priest Machine will soon roll again - even though Priest have been around the world many times there are still a lot of countries we have not covered - you know who you are, so please be patient - we will be coming soon! I would like to say a really big metal, 'Thank you' to Ripper for being a truly great singer and performer and a really good friend. There is no doubt that Ripper will continue to be a great Ambassador of Metal and we all wish him every success - although we already consider him a Legend! Also all of you Metalheads out there, I can't say how much your devotion to Judas Priest is a credit to you and without your loyalty and support, we would not be able to continue this, the next chapter of Judas Priest history!! Sincere thanks to you all,
- K.K. Downing, July 21, 2003

Hello Priest fans worldwide! I am thrilled to be making my first post on the Official Judas Priest web site...We are all about to embark upon an exciting journey together in metal music-new and classic-along with the spectacle of the legendary Priest Live Show...Like many of you, I've thought about this moment frequently over the last couple of years, as Ken, Glenn, Ian and I slowly rebuilt our friendships. Happily, the reunion is finally upon us. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the band and we are determined to put together an outstanding release and go out on a massive world tour in celebration. Priest fans all over the world will once again witness the exciting performances from this legendary lineup...In a few weeks, the writing sessions will commence on a new Priest metal masterpiece. I extend my gratitude to everyone on this site and those linked to the Halford site for their wonderful words of support and encouragement of the band's reunion and you have our promise we will work to produce one of the best Priest releases ever!! You can also be sure all of the memories you have of "The Metal God" on recordings and stage will be screaming back at you throughout 2004...To Glenn, Ken, Ian and Scott, I send my thanks and love to each of you - words can never express how I feel to be home again...Thank you Tim for all you did and all the best to your Metal future! I know we will all remain good friends...Lastly I have to say that without supportive fans no band can exist. And so it goes Judas Priest fans from around the planet are to be congratulated for their efforts. Thank you each for playing your part in the reunion. I look forward to seeing everyone on the road...The Priest is back! My love to all of you,
The Metal God
- Rob Halford, July 22, 2003

As every one knows by now Priest is back together with Rob and it’s more appropriate than ever to thank every single fan out there for their loyalty and patience through the years. We shall start to put the next Judas Priest album together in September and there’s no doubt that we shall be out there next year touring every square inch of the planet . I CAN'T WAIT !!!!! On a personal note I'd like to thank Ripper for helping us keep Priest alive over the last few years. No-one else on this planet could have stepped into Robs shoes and his work on the ‘Jugulator’ and ‘Demolition’ albums is sensational. He stepped aside like a gentleman to allow the reunion and I'm sure he's going to have success in his own right now.
- Glenn Tipton, July 22, 2003

Greetings Metallions, the long awaited event has happened! After twelve years, the Metal Gods are as one once again!! Rob’s return to the band promises exciting times ahead for us all as the magic spells of Priest’s earlier years with Rob are cast once more!
The growing voice for a reunion from fans and media alike was getting so loud, that it made it increasingly impossible for us to ignore, and as it’s our thirty year anniversary of our first album release, the timing now is perfect...It will be a special time, not just for our long-term fans, but also for our newer fans who may have been too young to witness the trademark line-up of Judas Priest in the flesh! With tours being planned to start next Spring, you won’t have to wait much longer!! Of course, I’d like to pass on my deep and heartfelt regard to Ripper, without whom the band would probably have been dormant for all this time. Over the last six years or so, we have all become very fond of Ripper and his family and I’m sure our friendship will endure. With his undoubtedly superior vocal talents, he is destined for a great future and I wish him all the best – he deserves it! KEEP THE FAITH!!

- Ian Hill, July 22, 2003

Hi everyone - just wanted to say a quick hello!  Glad to see you are as pleased as us about the Reunion news!  

It's great for me to be working with Rob again -  we've always got on really well so it's good to have him back in the 'family'!  We are working on a lot of projects, so we'll announce them as we go along over the next few months!  Very exciting times to come!!  Our friendship with Ripper will always stand firm - we care about him very much and obviously his vocal talent speaks for itself!  He knows that we're here for him - and  we all feel that he will do great things!  As Rob has told everyone on his website, the reunion is being looked after by Bill Curbishley and myself - it's great to have the 'Judas Priest' team back together again! More later!
- Jayne Andrews, July 24, 2003

As someone famous once said...'THE PRIEST IS BACK!!'
This was the lineup when I joined the band in 1990 and I'm extremely proud to be part of such a legendary unit. I echo all the of thoughts and sentiments conveyed by my bandmates...Rob, K.K., Glenn and Ian concerning our dedicated fans worldwide and our sincere support for Ripper. This is truly an exciting time for us and all Judas Priest fans. We can't wait to get started.
- Scott Travis,
July 29, 2003

MARCH 2004: Writing and recording
 

     "When we start writing, having a camera in the studio to document the reunion event for a future DVD might be an option we'll pursue..."
- Glenn Tipton, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), August 8, 2003

     "We are writing now, slowly bit by bit putting the pieces together; all I can see is the bar is higher and we will sail over it! It's all ready to go. I have everything ready in my head and on paper - my work room is awash in paper! All I can say is that all the things you have come to expect from Priest will be in the new songs... It's been cool getting the same feelings for songs like I did before; I thought that might be over - it's not..."
- Rob Halford, online chat, August 16, 2003

     "We got together at Downing's studio and pooled our ideas, and it was amazing, really - the floodgates just opened. We hadn't written together as a trio in the last 14 years, but it was just a great experience, just so natural."
- Glenn Tipton, Revolver, August 2004

     "We've got a writing formula with Rob that works, and we're very lucky we've got that. We get riffs and musical ideas and structures and we all meet up with Rob, who has lyrical ideas and we kick the ideas around until the room lights up. Then we start again with another idea."
- Glenn Tipton, VH1, February 18, 2005

     "The guys are all working as they always have worked to start off with - individually. They work on their own, then get together and pool their ideas and and then continue working as a team. They are in different parts of the world at the moment, which is why we haven't put new photos on the website or have it full of new messages from the guys. They feel that the new material is what counts at this time..."
- Jayne Andrews
, Management Co-ordinator, Judas Priest Noticeboard, September 8, 2003

     "At the moment the guys are still working individually but Rob and K.K., who are out of the UK at the moment, are both flying in over the next few days - I'm picking Rob up at the airport and driving him home - then Rob, Glenn and K.K. will meet and work together - all of their energies will be put into writing some great material!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator,
Judas Priest Noticeboard, September 25, 2003

     "There's been some talk of possibly joining up with Tom Allom to try and really give this album some nostalgia, you know, but whether that will materialize, I don't know. Until we actually start to work, which will be in September, there will be a lot of unanswered questions... I've been in touch with Tom over the years. He's a good friend of mine. Tom actually left the music business for awhile but he's never left it completely; he's always dabbled and done little bits and pieces. He's always kept his ear to the ground, so to speak."
- Glenn Tipton, BW&BK, September 2003

     "We talked about this completely unprejudiced. The problem with Tom was that he hasn’t produced any metal band in the past few years. Of course, he probably still knows how it works. But this album is too important for us - we didn’t want to risk anything. There were a lot of reasons why we hired Roy Z: he’s a huge Priest fan as well as a very talented guy. In his mid-twenties, he’s got a lot of fresh ideas and is a great guitar player. It’s always good to produce with someone who knows what a band is and who’s able to bring in new ideas. I can assure you: the album is full of intensity, vitality, distorted guitars, powerful vocals, fast songs, groovy tracks, epic as well as emotional moments… Although there are two experimental tracks, like on any other Priest album, the fans will not be disappointed."
- Rob Halford, Metal Hammer, August 2004

     "I understand if fans expect something in the direction of a modern PAINKILLER. PAINKILLER was a very important album and established Priest as a band without any compromises. We’re not focused on a certain style or whatever. We never followed a certain pattern or plans - the music dictates the direction as long as the feeling is right. Same with the new album... There are no plans for a release date yet. The album's finished when it’s finished and no one should expect anything else before.
     "We didn’t talk about a producer or Tom Allom yet. We’ll talk about it as soon as there’s a certain progress in the songwriting for the new album. Honestly, I haven’t got an idea if Tom’s very keen on working with us - he retired from the business quite a while ago. But I wouldn’t say it’s impossible..."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "Planning the reunion was a very slow process – there’s not a certain date. We weren’t in contact with Rob for years and didn’t know anything about his career plans. Last year we met up a few times and started to build bridges to each other. Here and there, a few beers - and the relationship got better from time to time. And honestly, if you’re putting so much energy and money into two album productions, like we did with Tim - and if you don’t see a development in the right direction, in the commercial sense - then you have to think about some other options. I would be lying, if I said anything different... I don’t want to beat around the bush. We’re not in the '80s anymore. The '90s were damn hard for the whole metal scene and we felt the consequences. We weren’t happy with the sales, of course. Nowadays, the kids spend their money on computer games and clothes - in the past, most of it was spent for the music. If you want to have a chance, then you have to make the right decisions, even if they’re hard to make sometimes. I still like a lot of the songs on JUGULATOR and DEMOLITION. Both albums brought us through the '90s, thus, I cannot suddenly speak negatively about those albums and the fact that we changed the musical direction. It’s been positive from my point of view. We didn’t want to sound like lame old men, and Tim wouldn't have wanted it as well. We knew that some fans were not very happy with the new sound. But with Rob, we probably will continue where we left off before Tim joined the band. That’s natural...
     "All of us already got a few ideas for the next album and already recorded them, and they’ll be played at the next band meeting. I’m really looking forward to it..."
- K.K. Downing, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "Like every Priest record we wrote as a threesome, we never really thought much about what we were going to do or when we were going to do it by. We let the music take us where it felt right, and did what made us feel good. That's what will happen this time."
- Rob Halford, MTV, July 15, 2003

     "Hi everyone - Jayne here again! Just a quick note to let you all know that Rob, Glenn and K.K. are working very hard and really enjoying writing together again! The creative juices are flowing hard and fast!! ...To the person talking about a Farewell Tour - give the guys a chance! We haven't even done the Reunion Tour yet!! We have no thoughts of any Farewell Tour just yet!! ...Sorry no photos just yet; when the guys are ready for new photos you will all see them straight away. This is their decision. They don't want the 'casual shots in the studio' - they are working and just want to get on with it, and ask that you are all patient and accept their decisions. When they are ready, new photos will be done! Yes I've heard a few little snippets - the guys are really enjoying writing together again and the creative juices are flowing hard and fast!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator, Judas Priest Noticeboard, October 10, 2003

     "Currently, I'm recording with Judas Priest, the new album. We don't have a title yet, so, I can't give you a heck of a lot of information, but we're working on that now. It probably won't be released until late 2004 or maybe early 2005...
- Scott Travis, DrummerDude, January 17, 2004

     "This is not about nostalgia. It's about completing a cycle that Priest started three decades ago. We honestly believe that we can make the best Priest album of our lives, and do the best tour - or we wouldn't even consider it in the first place.
     "Judas Priest's goal has always been to deliver our own particular style of heavy metal music. We've always been aware of the music going on around us, but we've tried to keep outside influences to a minimum. Our goal was to create the purest form of metal music, and I believe at times we've definitely succeeded.
     "The material we've been working on so far sounds very much like classic Priest - but with a few definite twists. I'd like to think we'll have everything wrapped up in time to tour in the summer."
- Glenn Tipton, Hit Parader, February/March 2004

     "...I've been up to my eyes what with sorting out the new record deal, arranging the world tour, working on the boxset, sorting out studios, stage sets, stage clothes etc., etc., etc!!
     "The band are working with the producer ROY Z on the new record and things are going really, really well!  Scott flew over to the UK last week and is now working on his drum tracks. Glenn and K.K. have been very busy with their guitar parts; Rob will be flying back to the UK very soon to start on his vocals and of course Ian will be laying down his great solid bass lines imminently!
     "We know you are all impatient but you have to trust the guys and know they will come up with a great record - they like to keep their heads down and get on with it! ...They are very busy working on the new album!!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, March 23, 2004

     "Believe me, Roy Z is doing a great job and don't forget - most important of all - the record is being co-produced with Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing - they know better than anyone how to get the classic Priest sound. They always co-produced all of the classic Priest albums in the past!!
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, March 24, 2004

     "We met at Glenn's house in October of 2003 for the first of the writing sessions and they were just playing all the riffs and I was listening. I had all the ideas for lyrics and song titles and we were just going, 'Oh, that's brilliant. Oh, that's great. That feels good...' and just putting it together like we've always done..."
- Rob Halford, REUNITED documentary DVD, 2005

     "We're working at Glenn's house, we're working at Ken's house, we're working at mine - this is one of the advantages of working with Pro Tools - you can literally work wherever you want to do your work. We're doing some work in L.A., for the drums especially, but yeah, you can do it any place now.
     "They're working over there in England, I'm going to be joining them next week, doing the vocals for the record. The whole music is written. It sounds great. We're very excited. All the great things you expect from Priest will be on this record. It's 'Priest in the vein of Priest' - it's Priest being Priest - it's the classic moments... We're not trying to be clever, we're being who we are."
- Rob Halford, KDKB, March 30, 2004

     "In early April I start work as a drum tech on the Judas Priest record.”
- Mike Fasano (Drummer for Warrant), BW&BK, March 8, 2004

     "I talked with Scott. I know he finished recording in Los Angeles at 4:30AM on Monday, April 19. The recording process is done, unless they have fixes or touch ups. Scott really liked the songs and thinks everyone will be happy with the result. He said no less than a handful really stood out."
- Ken Hower, Web Administrator for Racer X, April 2004

     "We're hard at work in the studio. We're in the final stretch of the recording sessions for the new album, before we start playing live together for the first time in over a decade. The hardcore fans can expect what they were experiencing right up until PAINKILLER (my last album with Priest) - all of the same attitude, power, glory and majesty."
- Rob Halford, Spin, June 2004

     "This album is something that's been on our minds for quite a while. It's obviously a very exciting project for us because it signifies something so exciting - the return of the classic Priest lineup. It's amazing to hear what we're doing now; the music has definitely taken on a new life. I feel confident that people who are truly familiar with what Priest has been throughout the years will be both pleased and amazed."
- K.K. Downing, Hit Parader, June 2004

     "Rob is a great lyricist. And it's the old team back together, it's the three of us writing and it's exciting because that is the team that's written Priest classics for the last 30 years. There's just some magic about it and we shall just proceed and start where we left off, really. I'm sure the floodgates will open. It's been a long time and we're quite eager to get going, so that's when you usually write your best material."
- Glenn Tipton, Billboard, July 11, 2003

     "Making new music is very important to us. I don't know if any of us would be as excited about getting back together if the process didn't include making a new album. It's part of the cycle that a true band needs to form - work together to make a great album and then take the music on tour. That still lies very much at the heart of the Priest idea."
- Rob Halford, Hit Parader, June 2004

     "The new album's so close to being done, it isn't funny. We've got a few days of guitar overdubs, and maybe one day of vocals to do. But it's there, it's pretty much complete, we've played it to the record company. But obviously, we're on tour now in Europe and it's going fantastic. We must have played to about 10,000 people last night; it was sold out last night here in Prague. Luckily, we brought the record company out, Sony, and the promoters, so we're talking about putting on a worldwide tour, releasing the album in early November, and then get Christmas out of the way, and then we've already put dates in in the UK and already put some dates in in Japan.
     "The record won't be out until November, because we've literally got to put the finishing touches to it, at the end of this leg, prior to the Ozzfest. And then obviously we've got to give it to our producer to start the mixing process, and then we want some involvement in that along the way. And then when you give it to the record company, they preferably want six to eight weeks to turn it around. But it's good, because we're doing all these festivals and that throughout Europe to re-present ourselves, and we're doing 29 shows at the Ozzfest, throughout the States. Only one in Canada, I'm afraid, at the moment. But it will be great to get out there and reconsolidate our position, and obviously put a world tour together, which will be totally revamped, the whole thing, for a Priest spectacular in 2005."
     "The only thing I can say about the new record is that at the moment we're all convinced that we'll be able to keep our testicles next year and that the fans are not going to string us up; you know, 'Hang on, this isn't what we want.' Hopefully it's going to be pretty much exactly what everyone wanted from Priest. We think there's a lot of good stuff on there. It's pretty long; we've got a lot of material leftover, so we're going to do our best. But we're going to be playing it to a few people, just as a backup, saying, 'Hey, is this OK?' You know what I mean? Maybe we'll drag some fans in off the street and say, 'Hey, do you like this or not?' "
- K.K. Downing, June 15, 2004

     "The new album happened very quickly. We haven't beaten around the bush. And immediately, obviously with Rob's voice, it sounded pretty much like traditional Priest. So, without having to look to any other influences, I think we were able to look to ourselves and what we do best. I think pretty much you'll hear songs on there that could be on the PAINKILLER album, could be on BRITISH STEEL maybe. Who knows, there could be a song on there that could've been on the TURBO album. It's for everybody to decide when they get the goods.
     "
I haven't really noticed any difference in Rob's personality since the old days. By and large, he's a gentleman. People might think that he's a very sort of dark, sinister, aggressive character; maybe, I don't know. But he's a mature gentleman, very professional in his approach to everything he does. He's very much got a grip on what is right for us and what isn't. He's pretty cool, really, amicable, pretty democratic in the studio. And Rob really does have a good sense of humor, because we all come from the same neighborhood. He's a very funny guy, you know. A lot of people don't know this, but he's a very good impressionist. He's always been able to do these impressions. He doesn't make that well known. He can take virtually anybody off. So he amuses us endlessly."
- K.K. Downing, Chart Attack, July 2, 2004

     "The material on the new album will qualify the importance of the band."
- Rob Halford, The Hartford Courant, July 8, 2004

     "The new album will be very much in the tradition of past Priest records, keeping with our heritage. I don't want to reveal too much about it. But there is a LORD OF THE RINGS-like epic song, which I believe will be another Judas Priest classic. And there's a bit of a J.K. Rowling influence on the record too. It will reflect everything we've done from SAD WINGS OF DESTINY to PAINKILLER, and Priestheads will be satisfied. We're looking at the artwork right now and have a couple of ideas for a title. After the Ozzfest tour, we'll get to mixing the record."
- Rob Halford, Eastbay Express, July 28, 2004

     "We have tons of material. It actually hard to figure out what's going to go on the album. I think everybody's going to be pleased with it. I think people will be pleased to have the traditional Priest sound back. I'm not saying that there won't be a couple of surprises in there, but it's not going to be like a guitar detuning thing or anything like that.
     "You know with everything that was happening, we didn't have a whole lot of time to work with after Rob got back in the band. It's been a bit of a whirlwind really. We've covered an awful lot of ground with what we've been doing. So the new album is ready to go; we've just got to put the last lick of paint on it and give it to the record company as soon as we get back.
     "That's going to be delivered to them probably the first or second week in November at the latest for them to turn it 'round. Because we want it out actually before the New Year. The 28th of December is the release date we're going to go for which is quite a unique release date, since no one usually releases anything then. It's usually before Christmas or after New Year.
- K.K. Downing, BayInsider, July 2004

     "The new album is almost completed; after Ozzfest, we are going back in and doing a little overdubbing and all of the mixing has to be done.
     "The direction is difficult to put into words, but the people that are eagerly awaiting it will not be disappointed. It has the speed and ferocity of songs like 'Painkiller' and 'Freewheel Burning', the passion and the drama of songs like 'The Sentinel' and
'Sinner', and nice slow ballad pieces plus a few new twists, because the band always has its ear to the ground of the current scene."
- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004

     "Everything has been written and recorded for the new album. We have some overdubs and some other mixing to do but other than that it’s all done. We started writing it last September after we got back together and now everything’s almost finished."
 - Glenn Tipton, 411 Mania, August 9, 2004

     "Well, the recording process in 2004 has changed in that you don't have to sit around in a Star Trek-type studio anymore. Everybody has their home setups now, so we can get a lot done that way. But on the other hand, I do like the idea of going to the studio, 'cause to me that spells 'work'. We've tried it all different ways, and it always comes down to one thing: emotion. What are you trying to express? Are you feeling something and can you make others feel it, too?"
- Rob Halford, Guitar World, September 2004

     "I am a great believer in timing. Sometimes you can make a record that may be a year or two too soon or too late or whatever. I think people will be in the right mood for a new Priest album because it has been a lot of years since Rob has been in the band. I think people are very much pumped up for a classic metal album."
- K.K. Downing, Classic Rock Revisited, August 13, 2004

     "We are looking at doing a world tour with the release of the album. The songs are all recorded and they all have vocals and guitar on them. Some lead work has been done; there are still some embellishes and overdubs to be done. As long as we are
happy with it when we get back, then we will be ready. The plot is all there and the songs have all been recorded.
     "People can expect too much and, even though it is very good, they can get themselves disappointed. This is another beginning; it is another album in the Priest book. It is going to be a really valid album. Maybe it will not be our best work, but then again maybe it will be. I am just saying there is a danger of expecting too much. It is like a film. Sometimes people build a film up too much and people are disappointed. But then you go back and listen again and again, or watch the film again, and suddenly it becomes your favorite movie. In our case, a lot of people’s favorite Judas Priest songs are not on their favorite album. We can’t really build it
up too much because then we would be our own worst enemy. It is another Judas Priest album that is very much classic Priest. It is not too modern and it is not too dated. I think people will really like it.
     "I think it is just classic Priest. We didn’t think that it was going to be 2004. We were not trying to think of it as a progression of DEMOLITION, JUGULATOR or PAINKILLER; we really just let the juices flow. We had not been together with Rob for some time. The formula with Rob was a writing formula that really worked. It was very prolific and it was easy. We have a strange way of working; Ken does his own thing and I do mine. We are fortunate that it works - Point of re-entry? Yeah!"
- Glenn Tipton, Classic Rock Revisited, August 13, 2004

     "Yeah, Roy Z's still working with us. We're back in England in October to finish the overdubbing and the mixing, so it will almost be a year to the day, or the week, that we actually started this creative process, because as you know, me and Ken and Glenn started writing in England last October and I think we're trying to get it all wrapped up by the end of this coming October to deliver in time for the drop date. Roy is doing an incredible job. It was a first time experience for him with the band and I think we've all agreed that he's brought all the right production elements and ideas and everything to the table. He's had a wonderful time with the band. For him it was a kick 'cause he's a massive Priest fan. It was kind of cool to see him working with Ken and Glenn for the first time. But there's a tremendous amount of friendship and respect for each other and he's working hard to make a great record with the band.
     "Every Priest record is a co-production anyway because there's always three really strong character elements in Priest, you know, with Ken and Glenn and myself. It's a tough role for a producer to work with this trio because we are so tenacious and we know what we want and we work very hard to get the best things to happen. Sometimes there's some creative friction, as
there should be, but at the end of the day we've nailed down all of these songs and they sound absolutely sensational."
- Rob Halford, BW&BK, September 28, 2004

     "Roy knows exactly what he’s doing and obviously uses the right microphones and the right technology to get a good sound. The whole album was recorded with ProTools - which means it is fully digital. I remember the times when we had a
really fat sound with our Marshalls in the recording room. But when we walked into the controlling room, everything sounded thin. The sound didn’t get to the producer. It was different this time. We even did it without recording the rhythm guitars twice. You won’t find more than four rhythm tracks per song on the album. Most of the songs are recorded in standard tuning - and only in exceptional cases we tuned the guitars a half or a whole step down."
- K.K. Downing, Guitar magazine, 2005


     "Our producer, Roy Z, got arrested in England. He was driving drunk and refused to take a breath test. They threw him in jail for a night, and we lost him for a day and had to bail him out, but that's rock and roll, man."
- Glenn Tipton, Revolver, April 2005

     "We set out to record a classic Priest album. We wanted it to be a cross between PAINKILLER and SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE. It's going to be varied. We never followed trends, and we've always done whatever we thought was right for the band to do. Of course, with every album we've also tried to take a step forward. We've never been afraid to embrace technology. If something sounds good, we'll use it."
- Ian Hill, Bass Guitar, October/November 2004

     "Perhaps the most important thing that makes this a special album for me is that it upholds the traditions and heritage that is so important to Judas Priest. This wasn't an album where we felt the need to experiment a great deal. As soon as Glenn, Ken and I started writing, our natural instincts took over. And what emerged from that were the incredible riffs and strong vocals that
have always distinguished Priest at its best. This album represents Priest in its purest form, and that's something that excites us, and I'm sure will excite the fans as well."
- Rob Halford, Hit Parader, November, 2004

APRIL 2004: A new major label, the first reunion photos and the release date
 

     "We naturally can't give out any information yet about the labels we are talking to about the new deal - once we have everything in place we will announce it to everyone - in the meantime rest assured that we plan to make the right choice this time!!  In some of our past deals we were promised the earth but then they just didn't deliver when it came down to it!  For us the most important thing is to have the product promoted properly and to have it in the stores throughout the world!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator, Judas Priest Noticeboard, August 12, 2003

     "If you’re putting so much energy and money into two album productions, like we did with Tim - and if you don’t see a development in the right direction, in the commercial sense - then you have to think about some other options. I would be lying, if I said anything different... I don’t want to beat around the bush. We’re not in the '80s anymore. The '90s were damn hard for the whole metal scene and we felt the consequences. We weren’t happy with the sales, of course. Nowadays, the kids spend their money on computer games and clothes - in the past, most of it was spent for the music. If you want to have a chance, then you have to make the right decisions - even if they’re hard to make, sometimes... All of us already got a few ideas for the next album and already recorded them, and they’ll be played at the next band meeting. I’m really looking forward to it... We talked about playing some warm-up shows, but we have to seal a record deal first. After that, we’ll talk about our live activities. If you ask me, I’d go on tour immediately. It would be perfect to start the album production in Autumn and play some shows before Christmas. Time will tell... I’m very excited about going on stage with Rob after such a long time. I’m really looking forward to the first show... SPV treated us very fair. If we had recorded another album with Tim, it would have been distributed through SPV as well. On the other hand, I know that an album with Rob has got a different commercial power. I won't deny it..."
- K.K. Downing, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "The chance of signing a new deal with Sony Music depends on how they rate the commercial potential of Judas Priest nowadays. Talks will be held soon; let’s see what will happen..."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "Priest is kinda, sorta signed back up with Columbia... There's going to be this official press release, vibe thing, but I think we're going to end up back with the family we started out with and that's a good thing... That'd be a great way to kind of put the movie together - you know, the final scene is we're back with the label again. So yeah, it's a good feeling to be in that place."
- Rob Halford, KDKB, March 30, 2004
 

We are pleased to announce that Sony Music U.K. has re-signed the giants of Heavy Metal, Judas Priest, to a worldwide deal.

Returning to the home of their classic albums, the definitive Judas Priest line-up of vocalist Rob Halford, lead guitarist Glenn Tipton, lead guitarist K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis are back.

The long-awaited reunion of Judas Priest will thrill fans around the globe, and once again provide them with the opportunity to see and hear the band that defined Heavy Metal as we know it today.

The band will be embarking on a World tour in June 2004 starting in Europe then on to the Ozzfest in the USA with further shows planned in South America, Japan, UK and all corners of the planet!

This years reunion tour and album will also celebrate the bands 30th anniversary.
- Press release,
April 22, 2004

     "We have a good, solid thing going with Sony. Now that we are back with them the family is almost complete, and it made a lot of sense as well when we were looking for a label. We had good opportunities from many labels in the States and around the world and when Sony came forward we knew where we needed to be. The back catalogue is there, the people that we know from years ago in N.Y. City, L.A. are still working there. It is a good feeling all around to work with the people that have always been dedicated to the band. This is something that we normally do not talk about in the press because we just like to let our fans be
associated mainly on our musical merits and live performances but it is an important part of the machine that keeps Priest operating and rolling around the world.
    "Yes, I do feel that the new release and Sony/Epic will be able to keep the momentum going - with the reunification, the band is as strong as it ever was. There is a newfound passion and intensity, everybody is excited about the future and we have a lot of great plans and ideas. We just want to enjoy these great times with our fans around the world and our label."

- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004

In April, the first long-awaited and anticipated photos of the reunited band are displayed, taken by long-time Priest photographer Ross Halfin for an upcoming GUITAR WORLD article...

     "Wake up to beautiful English summer's day. You could wear shorts and a t-shirt, it's so warm. Have to drive to The North of England to shoot Judas Priest. Half way there, it starts to cloud over and rain... It's grim up north, that's a fact. Shoot the MIGHTY Judas Priest at the state-of-the-art Old Smithey Studios (well, state-of-the-art, circa 1962). Have to say I really enjoy seeing Glenn, Kenneth and the Painkiller himself, Herr Halford (he hates being called this). Despite the gloom, an enjoyable shoot. DON'T FORGET... THE PRIEST ARE BACK!!!!!!"
- Ross Halfin, Diary, April 16, 2004

     "Drive back to the Sunny South of England.
     "Can't seem to get the Priest out of my system. Just played 'Heavy Duty'/'Defenders Of The Faith'... A bit more planet rock..."
- Ross Halfin, Diary, April 19, 2004

And in June, Rob told writer Gerry Sharpe-Young that the hope was for a November 9 release date, though by July, it had been pushed back. It was also revealed that a DVD would accompany the CD, featuring highlights from the European festivals:

     "We're aiming for a 9th November release. That might change, but it's the plan."
- Rob Halford, Rock Detector, June 23, 2004

     "The material on the new album will qualify the importance of the band."
- Rob Halford, The Hartford Courant, July 8, 2004

     "The band and I had meetings with our new label Epic (Sony) when we were in New York. Their support and enthusiasm was great; we really look forward to working with them all. We have now confirmed a release date for the new album - it will be released on 28th December, 2004! A World Tour will be following, starting early in 2005. More news as we finalise it!!"
- Jayne Andrews, July 21, 2004

     "When we were in Europe we had a film crew in Barcelona and Valencia, so we will take the highlights from that and put it with the recording that comes out at Christmas time and after that, we will put the full reunion DVD release out."
- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004

     "The album comes out in December and a smaller version of the live DVD from Barcelona will be released in conjunction. We’re still putting together plans for the full DVD release. We haven’t really decided on everything with that yet but we’ll have it done in due time and probably have it out early next year."
- Glenn Tipton, 411 Mania, August 9, 2004

     "We're not thinking of any of that [having one of the few releases scheduled for December 28, which should enable the album to debut high in the charts]. We're considering it more like a holiday metal gift to all of our fans. We wanted to have a record out this year, and with the touring that we had scheduled, this is the only time we could get it out."
- Rob Halford, MTV, September 2, 2004

     "The release date of the new Judas Priest album has been moved to 4th January, 2005 at the request of Sony/Epic Records."
- Judas Priest.com, September 22, 2004

     "To make sure that we can get everything in place for the release of the new record i.e. marketing plans, interviews, video etc., etc., we have agreed with the record label to release the new Judas Priest record on 31st January 2005 (for UK & Europe) and 1st February 2005 (for the USA) - we are working on the world tour now and will announce the dates as soon as we finalise them!!"
- Judas Priest.com, October 19, 2004

     "The new album, Angel Of Retribution, will be released: 28th February, 2005 - UK and Europe; 1st March, 2005 - USA"
- Judas Priest.com, December 14, 2004



More Ross Halfin press photos...

     "Finally, the purpose of the reunion is that Priest means a lot to us all and that there’s a special chemistry between the members. That’s the attraction of the whole thing - to revive the old magic, to sit together, to write songs and to feel the unruly power...
     "The reunion is not a one-off; we don’t plan to record an album, go on tour and then disappear. That’s not fair to the fans. We have big plans and are already talking about 2006. If we have our way, Priest will still be existing for many more years and there will be some more albums to follow..."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "We have something very important to celebrate."
- K.K. Downing, Hit Parader, February/March 2004

     "We have so much to celebrate. 30 years of Priest music is enough to get us all quite motivated - as is making a new album with Rob. It's all quite exciting for us."
- Glenn Tipton, Hit Parader, July/August 2004

     "It is a very exciting time for us. There is definitely something special going on."
- K.K. Downing, Hit Parader, July/August 2004

     "I think that there’s something else that's come along here on the release of the box set. I think that there is a certain element of the rock and roll industry, whatever you want to call it, that is perceiving this band again in a way that they haven’t before. I think that people are realizing the importance of Judas Priest and the value of the band and the input and the creativity that’s been worked for the last 30 years around the stages of the world and in the recording studios of the world.
     "People are suddenly giving this band the respect that it deserves. Hence all the peripheral stuff, like the Entertainment Tonight and CNN Headline News, whatever it might be, these kinds of focuses only come for important moments. I think that that’s just basically a new reflection that is going onto the band, of course. We’ve always had this wonderful support from the fans and from people in the media around the world, in our metal community as we call it. But the broader based elements of rock and roll, be it Rolling Stone magazine or whoever, who ordinarily would just pass over Judas Priest and kind of sniff at us, are now realizing, ‘Hang on a minute, just look at what this band is out doing at this moment, look at the reaction they’re creating, look at this magnificent box set that celebrates 30 years of metal.’
     "People are just nodding and smiling and saying, ‘What did we miss.’ It’s something that we’re warm to and we welcome. Of course in our world it’s not that vitally important because the most important people in our world are the fans that support us. But it is great, it’s like we’re packing a one, two, three punch and everybody is sitting up and taking notice."
- Rob Halford, BW&BK, October 5, 2004

LYRICS AND LEAD BREAKS:

Judas RisingDeal With The DevilRevolutionWorth Fighting ForDemonizer
Wheels Of Fire
Angel Hellrider EulogyLochness

     "With this one, we just had so much material stockpiled. I entered into lyric world as soon as we had set the reunion rolling and Glenn and K.K. have come up with some amazing, amazing riffs. I think we cover all the areas; there are fast tracks, there's some acoustic, ballad stuff, some really heavy, mid-tempo songs and also a great big, cinerama, LORD OF THE RINGS-type epic too. On top of that, we have one or two songs that really make you blink and think. It was nice to roll the dice like that and get a bit adventurous."
- Rob Halford, Blabbermouth, June 23, 2004

     "I try and remove the he/she gender moniker so it could be for anybody. That's pretty much how we've written all of our lyrics. The new songs that we've just written, I was talking to Ken and Glenn about should we say he or she? And they go, 'No, we've always been very ambiguous about suggesting who this or that song might be directed towards'. But I don't really think about it. I don't really put much of my own kind of needs in a sexual way into the lyrics. I've always tried to be a bit more interesting than that. Priest was never a tits-and-ass band."
 - Rob Halford, Hartford Advocate, July 8, 2004

     "You either understand the langue of heavy metal, or you don't. Every song is, in it's own way, an abstraction. As a lyricist, I aim to find interesting points of view, and combine parts of real life with the stories of the songs. Under every song, there flows a thought of positive attitude. In them you'll triumph over every setback!"
- Rob Halford, Ilta-Sanomat (Finland's largest newspaper), February 26, 2005

     "Regarding references to past album titles in some of the new lyrics, there's a lot of re-visitation because we feel this is a reunion album, and it's supposed to epitomize everything that's gone on in our career."
- Glenn Tipton, Revolver, April 2005

This being their reunion album, Priest explored elements of their past and even referenced song and album titles from their catalog within these new lyrics. You will see these references highlighted in yellow.

1. Judas Rising
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: intro: Glenn; main: KK
Performed live in: 2005
Available live versions:

     " 'Judas Rising' is not really a statement of intent, no. I just like that expression. But it could be taken in both contexts. To me it's about the angel coming out of that SAD WINGS OF DESTINY artwork environment, where it was a very despondent, very doomy type of oppressive world, and now suddenly it's back in its full majesty and glory and it's overcome the odds and it's full of optimism and energy."
- Rob Halford, Kerrang!, February 19, 2005

White bolt of lightning
Came out of nowhere
Blinded the darkness
Creating the storm
War in the heavens
Vengeance ignited
Torment and tempest
Attacks like a swarm

Forged out of Flame
From chaos to destiny
Bringer of pain
Forever undying

Judas is Rising

Eternal betrayer
Ice cold and evil
Taking no prisoners
Dark prince of the world
Humanity trembles
Enslaving you sinners
You can't beg for mercy
For none will be saved

The burden of sin
Echoes the prophecy
Ascending from hell
Forever despising

Their faith is revealed
Deceivers are crying
By crucified steel
Evangelising

2. Deal With The Devil
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing/R. Ramirez
Lead: licks intro: KK; licks 1st verse: Glenn; licks 2nd verse: KK; 2nd chorus licks: Glenn; bridge: KK; main solo: KK/Glenn/KK; both harmonizing; outro: KK
Performed live in: 2005
Available live versions:

     " 'Deal With The Devil' we wrote with producer Roy Z (Roy RamireZ); it was initially his idea."
Glenn Tipton, Metal Maniacs, May 2005

     "We wanted to look back at where we've come from. 'Deal With The Devil' talks about rehearsing in Holy Joe's, which was a tiny rehearsal room attached to a primary school across the street from a church, and the local reverend was called Joe. He was nicknamed Holy Joe, and he was always drunk on the consecrational wine. Those were the days."
- Rob Halford, Revolver, April 2005

     "So, how did we do it? We say we made a deal with the devil. See, I love that, and I think it's hilarious. We're serious musicians, but we can still be Spinal Tap. You have to be, otherwise you lose your mind like other people have in rock and roll, whether it's Kurt Cobain or whoever."
- Rob Halford, VH1, February 18, 2005

Forged in the Black Country
Under
blood red skies
We all had our dream to realise
Driving in that transit
Down to Holy Joe's
Used to lose our head while metal flowed
Nothing held us back or dared to try
Something in our blood won't let us die
We built our world of metal watched it grow
Fuelled the fury solid to the bone

Gotta deal with the devil
'Cause you know that's it's real
Done a deal with the devil
From a heart made of steel

Rollin' down the M-Way
Took it to the smoke
Banging heads there 'til we all went broke
When we don the leather
And the whips and chains
Nothing matters more, we can't be tamed
Fighting through the din and accolades
Turn the phase around with razor blades
Watched the movement grow into one voice
Took on the whole world it had no choice

Late at night
You're in our sight
Where we can feel what we've been waiting for
Let me hear you roar
On this stage, let it rage
For a time we leave the world behind
To be with our own kind

3. Revolution
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: riff: Glenn/licks and FX: KK; solo: Glenn/KK tag
Performed live in: 2005
Available live versions:

     "I'm proud of the fact that we really worked hard. The album cover, the message about peoples' perceptions of rock and metal - 'Revolution' with Rob singing, 'Time to change' on the outro - youngsters with aspirations to pick up a guitar, they're listening to the radio thinking, 'Well, that is what I need to be doing..."
- K.K. Downing, Metal Edge, May 2005

     "The bass intro to 'Revolution' is actually from a cassette tape the band recorded back in the 1970s. We loaded the riff into ProTools and built the rest of the song around it. We went for a raw, modern '70s vibe. It is a wide-open rock and roll song."
- Roy Z.,
Ferrante's Power Equipment, May 12, 2005

If you think it's over, better think again
There'll be no compromise
Turning up the power, feel adrenaline
Move into overdrive

Here comes the revolution
Time for retribution

If you think I'd back down or accept defeat
Brace for the aftershock
Driven to the limit, take it to the streets
Give it everything you've got

Time to come together
Revolution
Living on forever
Revolution

Get ready for the revolution

It's a revolution
It's a retribution

Something's in the air
Time to change, it's time to change

You better watch out tonight
You better watch out for the revolution

Bring it down, bring it down

4. Worth Fighting For
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: Both; KK/Glenn - slide
Performed live in:
Available live versions:

     "We were just sitting there, and Glenn started playing this rolling riff, kind of like [Derek and the Dominos'] 'Layla.' So, I came up with this title 'Worth Fighting For,' and I thought, 'Well, what's worth fighting for?' And then I thought, 'Well, let me talk about relationships again.' And one thing led to another. That's pretty much how everything comes together for us."
- Rob Halford, VH1, February 18, 2005

You said I could never find
A way to ease your mind
That where I'd go you'd wind up in the dust

I tried so hard to have you reach
Another side of me
Instead you went to nowhere and forgot

So I wander on
Asking where you might have gone
From what I knew before
Some things are worth fighting for

Desert heat can wear you down
But still I'm rollin' through
Did I see your figure in the haze

I am driven by a thirst
To quench myself of love
The sun beats on me for the price I've paid

Night road leads me to a town of ghosts
Beckoned by the glow of kerosene and tumbleweed
They're calling out (They're calling out)
Forevermore (Forevermore)
Worth fighting for

I'm leaning in the wind
Head bowed down from what I saw
My shadow for a friend
Still some things are worth fighting for

So I'm moving on
Asking where you might have gone
From what I knew before
Some things are worth fighting for
Yeah !

Worth Fighting For!

5. Demonizer
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: main: Glenn; KK
Performed live in:
Available live versions:

     "Does the album have at least one song ending in 'er', like 'Painkiller'? 'Sinner'? Or 'Ripper'? Hang on, I have to think… Yes it does! That's funny, because our producer Roy Z. pointed that out to us too. All our classic albums have an 'er' song. We never realized."
- Rob Halford, Blabbermouth, June 23, 2004

     "Demonizer is a like a heavy-metal vampire/demon fantasy movie. That is some good shit there!"
- Roy Z.,
Ferrante's Power Equipment, May 12, 2005

Born of the sun
Crashed to the earth
Tormented reviled
Engorged hate from birth
Hellion's the steed
Blood's on the wing
Claws set to slice
Vengeance he'll bring

Cremating the land
In seek and destroy
Apocalypse slays
Napalm he'll deploy
The beast of a god
Regaled of his race
Prepare to onslaught
And bare face to face
Across the divide
The thresholds in flames
The
Painkiller rises again

The scream of the demon
There's evil about
They've come to posses us
Out, demons out

Blade of the wheel
Cuts deep in the bone
It's Gideon's quest
To take Satan's throne

The critical mass
And power that they wield
Exterminates all
When vermin rebel
A maelstrom begins to disintegrate
And pulverize all in it's wake

Demonizer
Out, out, out, demons out

6. Wheels Of Fire
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: KK/Glenn; outro: KK
Performed live in:
Available live versions:

     "When we were recording Wheels of Fire, I pictured myself on a desert highway, riding a mean hog, with a beautiful redhead sitting on the seat behind me. It is a song about freedom."
- Roy Z.,
Ferrante's Power Equipment, May 12, 2005

Born on the other side
Of the track
Gotta get outta here
I won't look back

Born on the other side
Wild as a hurricane
Living in overdrive

Wheels of fire
In my soul
Wheels of fire
Wheels of fire
Let 'em roll

Too fast to give a damn
Stand my ground
No one or anything
To tie me down

Ride to live
Live to ride
Wheels of fire
Forever

7. Angel
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: Glenn
Performed live in:
Available live versions:

Angel, put sad wings around me now
Protect me from this world of sin so that we can rise again
Oh Angel, we can find our way somehow
Escaping from the world we're in to a place where we began

And I know we'll find a better place and peace of mind
Just tell me that it's all you want for you and me
Angel won't you set me free?

Angel, remember how we chased the sun?
Then reaching for the stars at night as our lives had just begun

When I close my eyes I hear your velvet wings and cry
I'm waiting here with open arms, oh can't you see
Angel shine your light on me

Angel we'll meet once more, I'll pray
When all my sins are washed away
Hold me inside your wings and stay
Angel take me far away

8. Hellrider
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: Glenn/KK/Glenn/KK/Glenn/KK; Both
Performed live in: 2005
Available live versions:

Here they come
These gods of steel
Megatron
Devouring what's concealed
Speed of Death
Crossfired they stare
Final breath
From vapourizing glares

Raised to man oppressed
Sign of persecution

Hellrider
Roars through the night
Hellrider
Raised for the fight

All incensed
To overthrow
Strong defense
With armaments they grow
By this quest
Their fate's renowned
Put to rest
Abominations crown

Time to
ram it down
Judgment for the
tyrant

Fight undying and eternal
Wheels bring death and pain infernal
Honour bound your strength repleted
To no end they're undefeated

Hellrider, Hellrider
You fought their battle for them
Hellrider, Hellrider
You brought them through their despair
Hellrider, Hellrider
Your tempered steel relinquished
Hellrider, Hellrider
You slaught them all extinguished

Wrath of doom
In killing fields
They consume
Their valiants never yield

Triumph to the gods
Vanquished of enslavers

Hellrider
Breaking their will
Hellrider
In for the kill

Hellrider, Hellrider
You fought their battle for them
Hellrider, Hellrider
You brought them through it all
Hellrider

9. Eulogy
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: piano: Glenn
Performed live in:
Available live versions:

     "A lot of the great piano work on the CD is actually played by Glenn Tipton. Eulogy is a good example. Whether on guitar or piano, Glenn has vibe and he plays straight from the heart."
- Roy Z.,
Ferrante's Power Equipment, May 12, 2005

And so now it comes to pass
By the even tide on mass
See them gather yet alas
They remain still as
stained class

For they know only too well
That the story they will tell
Conjures up an ageless spell
Guarded by the
Sentinel

So it goes forever more
Ever steady to the core
That the sign that they came for
Waves majestic from the floor

10. Lochness
G.Tipton/R.Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: intro: Glenn, both harmonizing into opening riff; main solo: Glenn/both harmonizing; outro: KK
Performed live in:
Available live versions:

     "It's a bizarre idea - who else but Judas Priest could tell the story of the Loch Ness monster? But I'd always had that idea for many, many years when we were up in Inverness, which is where Loch Ness is located... I'm going way back now in the early '70s when we'd pile in the van with all the gear and we'd go from club to pub to bar and we'd work our way up the country and come back down. And then one summer we had a show up there and afterwards we all slept in the van by the side of the Loch Ness and I always felt that there was a way to kinda convey that feeling of that night. So it took about 20-odd years for it to kinda come to fruition, but this 'Lochness' track is a masterpiece that we're absolutely thrilled about..."
- Rob Halford, KISW Seattle, January 25, 2005

     "...Ian Hill's gonna wander around the back of the drum kit and just have a Loch Ness rubber head on his neck! Either that or a hand puppet!"
- Rob Halford, Kerrang!, February 19, 2005

     "No large inflatable Nessie will be in evidence, mate. We'll leave that one to Cirque du Soleil."
- Glenn Tipton, Telegraph, March 19, 2005

     "I heard Loch Ness as a complete demo before we entered the studio. We added a few things and tweaked the arrangement but stayed very close to the demo. To me, that song’s chorus is like a heavy-metal 'We Are the Champions' (Queen). It is full of triumphant and glorious melodies."
- Roy Z.,
Ferrante's Power Equipment, May 12, 2005

Grey mist drifts upon the water
The mirrored surface moves
Awakened of this presence
Dispelling legends proof

A beastly head of onyx
With eyes set coals of fire
It's leathered hide glides glistening
Ascends the heathered briar

This legend lives through centuries
Evoking history's memories
Prevailing in eternities
On and on and on

Lochness confess
Your terror of the deep
Lochness distress
Malingers what you keep
Lochness protects monstrosity
Lochness confess to me

Somehow it heeds the piper
From battlements that call
From side to side it ponders
In passion in the skirl

This highland lair of mystery
Retains a lost world empathy
Resilient to discovery
On and on and on

This legend lives through centuries
Evoking history's memories
Prevailing in eternity
Your secret lies safe with me

This creature's peril from decease
Implores to mankind for release
A legacy to rest in peace
on and on and on

All songs © 2005 Copyright Control/EMI Songs Ltd.

TOUR DATES 2004: UNITED TOUR

Rob Halford - v, Glenn Tipton - g, K.K. Downing - g, Ian Hill - b, Scott Travis - d)

SETLIST (Aqua titles are from the current album)

From the European summer festivals:
Hellion / Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Heading Out To The Highway
The Ripper
A Touch Of Evil
The Sentinel
Turbo Lover
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds And Rust
Breaking The Law
Beyond The Realms Of Death
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Painkiller
Hell Bent For Leather
Living After Midnight
United
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

From the Ozzfest shows:
Hellion/Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Heading Out To The Highway
A Touch Of Evil
The Sentinel
Victim Of Changes
Breaking The Law
Beyond The Realms Of Death
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Painkiller
Hell Bent For Leather
Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

From the Off-fest Wisconsin show:
Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Heading Out To The Highway
The Ripper
A Touch Of Evil
The Sentinel
Turbo Lover
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds And Rust
Breaking The Law
Beyond The Realms Of Death
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Prong Crown)
Painkiller
Hell Bent For Leather
Living After Midnight
United
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
 

     "All the grace, majesty, and power you experienced with Judas Priest is about to happen again. We want to go out there and slay people, and have them walking out of the building going, 'Oh my God!' "...
- Rob Halford, Associated Press, July 12, 2003

     "Before I left Priest, we did a humongous show, and we don't want to dissolve that down. We want to let people blink a couple of times, fast-forward to 2004 and go, 'God, look. There it is again. There's the spectacle. There's the power and the passion. There's the bike.' All these great things that you know and love and cherish about Priest are going to be back in front of your life in real time in 2004."
- Rob Halford, MTV July 15, 2003

     "I would think that with a new album that we intend to write, plus all the old albums, it wouldn't be necessary or perhaps even appropriate to do the DEMOLITION or JUGULATOR songs. Those are the Ripper years and as such, I would think we won't play those. But it's totally up to Rob really. You know, there's some great songs we've been doing over the last few years like "Burn In Hell", etcetera, and if Rob fancies tackling them, then we'll certainly play them.
     "People ask us if this is our final tour and the answer is no. We look at this as a new beginning. Exactly how many tours or albums we've got in us remains to be seen, but we're certainly not looking at it as a farewell tour in any way, shape or form. I've never really wanted to retire and whether somebody misconstrued what I said in an earlier interview or maybe I've had too many beers!
     "It might be a little bit of an anti-climax for a while there because after the announcement, of course we gotta sort of lay low and get this material together, but I think it'll be worth the wait next year when we finally step foot on the stage. I'm sure we'll have quite a big production stage-wise because we've always been a band that's larger-than-life on stage and I think that the fans expect that. They like to see that little bit of extra, and just to drive the point home with certain songs, so we shall be looking at that and I'm sure there'll be something quite special there."
- Glenn Tipton, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), August 8, 2003
 

     "We talked about playing some warm-up shows, but we have to seal a record deal first. After that, we’ll talk about our live activities. If you ask me, I’d go on tour immediately. It would be perfect to start the album production in autumn and play some shows before Christmas. Time will tell...
     "I’m very excited about going on stage with Rob after such a long time. I’m really looking forward to the first show... Playing songs from JUGULATOR and DEMOLITION is not a good idea. Same for the Halford songs. Otherwise we won’t have enough space for the old classics and the new songs. But I can imagine that Tim will join us on stage to sing a duet with Rob. Tim and Rob wouldn’t mind it at all...
     "
Our management company, Trinifold, was bought by Sanctuary, but is still responsible for Priest...A tour with Iron Maiden might be possible, but I think that Rod Smallwood wouldn’t be very happy..."
- K.K. Downing, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "We'd love for a co-headlining tour with Judas Priest next year to happen."
- Steve Harris, Iron Maiden bassist, Cleveland Scene, July 30, 2003

 

     "It is not really a greatest hits tour, but it is total classic Priest. We felt that after 14 years, that is what people not only want, but deserve. So, instead of trying to be clever, or playing long-lost numbers or things that really people didn't expect, we felt that for these summer dates, the set list should just include classic Priest. So, that is what we are giving them...
- Glenn Tipton, Billboard.com, June 28, 2004

     "Time is an important factor. You don’t know if you’re still able physically to perform in three or five years time after reaching a certain age. Especially if you’re playing extreme music, like what Priest do."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine, October 2003

     "When I walk on stage in front of 20,000 people, it's a victory for the minority that I'm a part of. And that's a tremendous feeling."
- Rob Halford, New York Daily News, July 13, 2004

     "Well it has finally happened! The band had their first rehearsal yesterday with the reunited line-up and it was fantastic! I was with the guys, so was very proud to be a part of it. We are manically getting everything ready for the tour - working on the new album and millions of other things! Needless to say the time is just flying by - it won't be long before Judas Priest step back out on those stages and blow everyone away! The Priest will be well and truly back!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, May 25, 2004

     "We booked all these rehearsals, thinking it would take some time to get things together. All we needed was a couple days. It's like riding a bike - you never forget."
- Ian Hill, Bass Guitar, October/November 2004

European Summer Festival warm-up tour with Support from Annihilator


Jeff Waters of Annihilator
in ELECTRIC EYE T-shirt
 

     "Rob's preparation varies. I know it's very cold where they are working, and the schedule is overwhelming. Sleep and solid diet are probably most important. The days are filled with studio work, rehearsals, and business, but the band do look very good.
     "Rob is not smoking. He's had several new outfits made over the past couple weeks, and he is enjoying his relations with all of the band members. They are strongly united and focused."
- John Baxter, May 25, 2004

     "Bands are always checking out what each other are doing, so there's a kind of competitive element at the summer festivals - getting inspired and fired up by who preceded you... I mean, we're going on after Slayer. If anyone can fire you up, it's Slayer - the most brutal band on the planet!"
     "I have to dress head-to-toe in the black leather, even if it's 95 degrees out - I'm the Metal God. I put my stuff on like Gene Simmons puts his face paint on, and I become the other character, which is not to say I'm playing games. It's just when I put on the leather, the studs, the belts and the whips, that's ME."
- Rob Halford, Spin, June 2004

     "Part of the tradition that came out of Judas Priest, is that we in fact created the imagery of heavy metal music. Before that, it was all satin and silk. But we changed it to leather and studs. Now of course, it's going to the extreme - the outfits that I'm wearing these days. I put myself through so much trouble, wearing 30 pounds of leather and studs on my back, and it's a real challenge, but you do it because it's a uniform. It's like anybody that puts on a T-shirt with their favorite band on it to go to a concert. You do that because you dress for the occasion, and that's what Judas Priest does. We dress for the occasion."
- Rob Halford, Hartford Advocate, July 8, 2004

     "Drive to Bray Studios, home of Hammer Horror. Spend the day shooting Judas Priest. Must admit I really enjoyed myself. Rob had a new floor length leather coat completely covered in metal studs. God knows how he wore it as it was sunny and about 100 degrees. They were rehearsing for their European Tour and the Ozzfest."
- Ross Halfin, Diary, May 27, 2004



Ross Halfin Polaroids from the rehearsal site

Speaking of jackets, many have noticed that Rob is also wearing a familiar-looking mirrored jacket, but a closer look reveals it is not the same one Ripper wore on the DEMOLITION tour:

DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
June 2 Stadiumsporthalle Hannover Germany First show with Rob Halford in over 14 years


Pictures © Thorsten Drude

Pictures ©
Notthorn
     "We really didn’t allow ourselves any time to get emotional about it or think too much because of the really tight schedule we set for ourselves. From the day we decided we were going to do this, the pace has been just frightening. We were rehearsing right up to half-an-hour before our good friends in Annihilator hit the stage in Hanover. That's how tight it was!
     "The show went like a dream. I looked to my right and there's K.K.; look to my left, there's Glenn; glance back and see Ian and Scott, and it was such a rush. It just felt like coming home. It was truthfully just a great, great show. Nobody dropped any major bollocks - we just sailed right through it. In true British fashion, we got off, grabbed a beer and said, 'That was alright, wasn’t it?' "

- Rob Halford, Blabbermouth, June 23, 2004
June 4 Rock Im Park Festival Nuremberg Germany  
June 5 Gods Of Metal Festival
Arena Parco Nord
Bologna Italy With UFO, Alice Cooper, Testament, Twisted Sister Motörhead, W.A.S.P. and others

     "Hi everyone - I've just got back from spending the first few days on the road with the Band in Europe! The shows have been phenomenal!! The Priest are well and truly back!!
     "The GODS OF METAL festival in Italy caused some chaos!! After a day of brilliant sunshine there was suddenly the most horrendous storm - the sky turned black and the heavens opened - the roof was ripped off the outdoor stage - absolutely soaking through all of the band's equipment - we thought we were going to have to cancel but when the rain finally stopped the Band asked their crew to do everything they could so they could go on stage that night and not disappoint all of the fans!! The crew worked a small miracle and the band went onstage - that show was one of the best so far. The audience went wild ! They were more than rewarded for waiting so long in the pouring rain!! I'll be showing you all some photos very soon!
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, June 8, 2004

June 6 Festhalle Rüegerholz Frauenfeld Switzerland  
June 8 Arena Treptow Berlin Germany  
June 10 Sweden Rock Festival
Norje
Sölvesborg Sweden With Helloween, TNT, Montrose and others;
Broadcast audio exists

     "Rob was 'attacked' during one of the last songs... I think it was during 'United'. Some guy appeared on stage, ran towards Rob and got a hold of his neck! It took four security guards to get the guy off the stage! Rob was cool and didn't care; there were no angry feelings... It was like, 'You're the man Rob'.

- Eyewitness, June 13, 2004


A fan attacks Rob.
Picture © Kermit

Pictures ©
Kermit
June 12 Arrow Rock Festival Lichtenvoorde Holland With Scorpions, Alice Cooper, UFO, Blue Oyster Cult and others


    
"When Judas Priest were on stage, Alice Cooper's very own bassist, Chuck Garric, was watching the show from the monitor board when a sudden urge to grab just one more Budweiser from catering overtook him. In his haste, he tripped over a power cord and unplugged Rob Halford's Teleprompter! Luckily, Rob knew the words to 'Breaking The Law', so certain tragedy was averted for the time being... But watch out Priest, 'trippy-feet' Garric is out there, and he'll be looking for you next rock festival!"
- Eyewitness, June 16, 2004

June 13 König-Pilsener Arena Oberhausen Germany Bootleg audio exists
June 14 T-Mobil Arena Prague Czech Republic With Annihilator and Soulfly

Picture © Judas Priest
     "Rob was certain last evening's show in Prague was the band's best since they started up. So expect him to get everyone caught up on his thoughts once they start heading west - towards the U.S., etc. Thanks."
- John Baxter, Business manager for Rob Halford, June 16, 2004
June 16 Pecsa Budapest Hungary With Queensr’che, Black-Out and Nemesis; Bootleg audio exists
June 18 Arena Muzika Festival
Academik Stadium
Sofia Bulgaria With Queensr’che
June 20 Rockwave Festival Athens Greece With Queensr’che,  Gamma Ray, W.A.S.P. and Soulfly
June 23 Le Summum Grenoble France Cancelled due to technical difficulties with the venue
     "Unfortunately due to circumstances totally beyond Judas Priest's control (technical problems with the venue), the show on Wednesday 23rd June, 2004 in Grenoble has had to be cancelled - sorry to everyone who had bought tickets - hopefully we'll be able to reschedule this show at some time in the future."
- Jayne Andrews, June 18, 2004
June 24 Pavello Olympic de Badalona Barcelona Spain Bootleg audio exists; Pro video filmed at this show for upcoming DVD

     "I let off a firework last night and it went into this homeless person's sleeping bag! There's this big festival going on here in Spain, you see, so we bought some fireworks ourselves and we found a little park outside our hotel where we could let them off.
     "So me and Ian sat this big rocket down on the grass and lit the blue touchpaper. But unfortunately the rocket fell over and started shooting off all these fucking sparks and explosions... And then we heard this scream. The firework had gone sideways, and it hit this homeless person who was trying to have a kip on a bench - there were flames all over the place, and his sleeping bag was reduced to ashes. Typical rock and roll. We went back to the hotel thinking the police would arrive."
- Rob Halford, Classic Rock, June 25, 2004

     "The band has locked in so quickly that it's just fierce. We just feel so strong, so unstoppable and the energy levels are just so high. All five of us are just buzzing so we're going to record the Barcelona show for a DVD. That might sound ambitious, because we are quite early on in the world tour, but we simply have to capture this energy that we have right now."
- Rob Halford, Blabbermouth, June 23, 2004

June 25 Metal Mania Festival
Auditorio Municipal
Bullring Of Valencia
Villarrobledo, Albacete
Valencia
Spain Pro video filmed at this show for upcoming DVD
June 27 Graspop Festival
De Boeretang Festival Park
Dessel Belgium With Life Of Agony, Dimmu Borgir, Saxon, Fear Factor, Children Of Bodom, Hatebreed, Testament, Chimaira and others

      "I've just got back from being out with the band for a few shows. We did two fantastic shows in Spain - those Spanish fans certainly know how to show how much they love Judas Priest!! They were really great!! The band did the last show of this European leg at the Graspop festival in Belgium and now they are all taking a short break before they start back out in the US. A big thank you to all of Judas Priest's European fans for welcoming them back so warmly and ecstatically!!"
- Jayne Andrews, June 28, 2004

Co-headliners with Black Sabbath; support from Slayer, Hatebreed, Black Label Society, Slipknot and others

     "Priest and Ozzy co-headlining OZZfest. It's great. I mean, you know, we're from the same town, from Birmingham in the Midlands. You know, the whole metal thing started with Black Sabbath and then Judas Priest; we grew up in the same neighborhood, and so, this is just a wonderful moment for us on a personal level to be sharing a stage together.
     "I don't think in our hearts we ever left each other - we might have left each other on a band basis for a bit, but I mean, we're like brothers - it's the same as Ozzy with Sabbath, you know - you never lose that contact.
     "The lineup is created to be special and unique, and this one for us to be a part of, is just probably the most intense pure metal Ozzfest that's ever been before."
- Rob Halford, OZZfest press conference, February 20, 2004

     "It will be just classic Priest, you know? We just can't wait to get out there, that's what everybody wants; we've been away for 14 years, so they want to hear all their old favorites, all the singles, all the classic Priest, and we can't wait to play.

     "Ozzy's great, you know? You gotta love Ozzy; he just epitomizes what metal's all about."

- Glenn Tipton
, OZZfest press conference, February 20, 2004

      "The band chose to do the OZZfest during the summer - nobody pushed us into it. We looked into everything and decided this was the way to go! Judas Priest are not 'opening' for Ozzy; other than Ozzy (who is of course the headline act), they are the main act. We have many reasons why we chose to do this tour throughout the summer in the US and we will be playing at great venues to a lot of people."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for JUDAS PRIEST, March 24, 2004

     "I was miffed. I was pissed when I saw the OZZfest's not coming to the Valley (Phoenix, Arizona), because the Valley's got a heritage, a great legacy for rock 'n' roll, so, I don't know what's up with that. All I can say is that Priest will be back in the Valley for sure. When Priest headlines, we'll be back in the Valley."
- Rob Halford, KDKB, March 30, 2004

     “To me it’s going to be very interesting to see how today’s 15 - 16 year olds react to Judas Priest at OZZfest. Hopefully its awesome.
     "For me - I’m gonna be watchin’ every night. When I was in high school I used to come home and practice to Unleashed In The East like every day. So, Judas Priest were a big part of my growing up.”
- Phil Anselmo (Superjoint Ritual lead vocalist), BW&BK, March 17, 2004

     "A reunited Black Sabbath at OZZfest 2004 - it's brand new news to me, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it happened. It just seems like, why wouldn't, why shouldn't it happen? But then, my God, can you imagine Judas Priest and Black Sabbath? It's just too mad to think about."
- Rob Halford, Launch Radio Networks, March 30, 2004

     "We were getting very good offers from promoters around the world, including offers for the OZZfest. People were saying, if the band got back together, we'd like to offer this and offer that and do some pretty cool things. So we were kind of aware of the fact that there was a demand there throughout the industry. Up until then, we were just aware that there was demand from the media and the fans, basically. So they were probably thinking, good ol' Priest, get Priest back together, we can do some good business together again."
- K.K. Downing, Chart Attack, July 2, 2004

     "For a metalhead, OZZfest is probably the best display of all different styles and genres of metal. In one night it's going to be incredible, all the bands connecting under the banner of heavy metal. And of course, a lot of us are friends with one another. We've known each other for years. The guys out of Slayer and Phil from Superjoint, the guys from Dimmu Borgir, and Sabbath of course. It's going to be one big family."
 - Rob Halford, Hartford Advocate, July 8, 2004

 "It really is fantastic to be on the OZZfest because it's a guaranteed success if you know what I mean. The crowds have been massive to say the least, and I think I'm right in saying that the shows are all pretty much sold out. And it's really
efficiently run, the whole thing. It's quite amazing.
     "We just got off doing a lot of festivals all over Europe and that was great. It was anything from around 12,000 to around 45,000 in some places. But as consistent show and a great pedestal to reintroduce the band to America, OZZfest is the best thing we possibly could have done.
     "Though we were from the same city, we didn't set out to follow in the footsteps of Sabbath. I just think we were on different sides of the town really. Birmingham is a pretty big city; they were on the east side while we were on the west, so we just did our own thing. Obviously we were aware of Sabbath, we knew about the slowness and the tolling of the bells and all that. We didn't do too much of that. We just got on with our own thing really.
     "You have to be different and unique. You can be the same genre of music, but you have to have a completely different identity. And it's prevalent at the show, as you'll see for yourself. We're completely different, yet there's something that connects us and I guess there always has been. I just don't understand why we've never toured with those guys before."

- K.K. Downing, BayInsider, July 2004

     "Actually, we were pretty much contemporaries of Black Sabbath. We were around about the same time, although they may have had a year or 18 months head start on us. My main influence was Jack Bruce from Cream. Ken was a big Hendrix fan. Glenn was a Hendrix fan as well and a Clapton fan. I'm sorry to say Black Sabbath wasn't a big influence, although we listened to their albums and loved their music."
- Ian Hill, Bass Guitar, October/November 2004

     "It is a wonderful feeling out here on OZZfest doing all of these wonderful shows, the band is back together, and it is just incredible.
     "We chose Ozzfest instead of a headlining tour at this point because we did not want to miss this great opportunity. Firstly, you have Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, the inventors of heavy metal, and then there is a broad definition of metal bands that make up the family tree for the rest of the bill. It was good fortune that the calendar came up for OZZfest, and it meshed with our European tour, and when Sharon asked us to do it, we said, 'Hell yeah'! It is definitely the best OZZfest ever; it will be Rock 'N' Roll history."
- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004

     "We’ve had a chance to listen to all of the main bands but not the second stage yet. My son’s coming soon and we, along with the rest of the band, intend to check them all out. We’d already listened to Black Sabbath for a long time, as well as Zakk’s band and Superjoint Ritual and we’ve enjoyed them all. But there are several great new bands on the second stage as well and we intend to give them a listen and enjoy what they have to offer."
- Glenn Tipton, 411 Mania, August 9, 2004

     "If you ever said, 'Judas Priest is going on 30 years...' to me in the beginning, I would have said you're crazy. But it has become my life, and you accept it. You get used to it. You get immune to it. It just seems right. It still seems right that Priest is up there. Our energy and enthusiasm is better than ever. I think it's because we genuinely love what we do.
     "The tour has been phenomenal. It has been very emotional at times. The fans are glad to see the band back, and we are certainly glad to be back."
- Glenn Tipton, El Paso Entertainment, August 3, 2004

     "I think it is safe to say that we probably wouldn’t have co-headlined the OZZfest if it hadn’t been for Sabbath. Coming from the same town, we started more or less about the same time. We have a lot of respect for them and it is just a great heavy metal bill. We wanted to do it with Sabbath and I think that just makes the whole thing a great event."
- Glenn Tipton, Classic Rock Revisited, August 13, 2004

     "We’re proud that we were there at the beginning with Sabbath. OZZfest is a great opportunity. This is the first year it’s a 100% metal bill. It goes from classic metal, like Priest and Sabbath, to every form of metal. It is also a great way to re-introduce Rob to everybody again. We have a brand new record coming out too. We are putting the finishing touches on it and are mixing it. We have been busy quite a bit of time on that record, and now with this tour. It seemed a simplistic way to get our message out to a massive amount of people was to jump on the OZZfest tour and start rocking."
- K.K. Downing, Classic Rock Revisited, August 13, 2004

     "Between the two of us, we invented heavy metal music. So this is really rock 'n' roll history. OZZfest represents all the different denominations of metal and has been going for 8 years now, which kind of explodes the myth that metal has lost its edge or appeal or power. That's ridiculous. We always felt that there would always be an audience for this style of music anywhere in the world."
- Rob Halford, IndyStar, August 20, 2004

     "I'll tell you, talking about OZZfest, having Judas Priest last year was great! I remember when I did the reunion tour with Sabbath, and I hadn't played with them for twenty-odd years, it just hit me - I have played with various guitar players, drummers and keyboard people, but no one plays 'Iron Man' like the four originals! And it's like that with Rob Halford being back in Judas Priest- There's no one like them, they're the original. There's nothing wrong with having a cover singer in the band, but it's fucking weird! It's not just the voice, it's the whole vibe of what you're looking at."
- Ozzy Osbourne, Metal Edge, May 2005

LIFE ON THE TOUR BUS: GREEN TEA AND TEDDY BEARS...

Let's see. Judas Priest are touring America as a co-headliner at Ozzfest, and they do it in STYLE! They have a custom tour bus that is a luxery home on wheels for 5 metal roommates. Spacious bunks and a big screen TV come standard...

What? No beer??? That's right, it's green tea for the guys and some comfort from the teddy bears...

 

     "We drink de-caffeinated green tea."
- Glenn Tipton, Entertainment Tonight, July 14, 2004

     "When you're feeling needy, you just go lie in your bunk with your teddy bear and regress to when you were a kid..."
- Rob Halford, Entertainment Tonight, July 14, 2004

  
Band and crew about to depart on their private plane
Picture ©
Judas Priest


Pictures © Ken Hower



Pictures ©
Chad Lee


Picture © Rolling Stone


Picture © S. Hurta


Picture © Judas Priest

July 10 Meadows Music Theatre Hartford, CT USA Bootleg audio exists
July 12 Tweeter Center Boston, MA USA  
July 14 Tommy Hillfiger@Jones Beach Amphitheatre Wantagh, NY USA Bootleg Video exists

     "It was Surreal. Amazing. Wet. Mother nature gave us a beautiful day, until shortly before the Priest hit the stage. As we walked to our seats, 10th row orchestra, we were pelted by huge rain drops. It didn’t matter. The mighty, united, Judas Priest were about to hit the stage. The lights went out, 'The Hellion' began, and the crowd erupted. It was amazing seeing and hearing thousands of metal maniacs cheer and scream as they appeared on stage and ripped into 'Electric Eye'. There were many veterans like me in attendance, but it was great to see a lot of young people get into the mighty Priest, even with all the freaking rain! It was tremendous. 'I'm made of metal...'
     "Halford was very on and was having a great time. The entire band looked like they were having a ball as they could do no wrong. They were as tight as ever with complete command over their instruments. The brilliant metal performances by Judas Priest with Halford that I’ve seen in the '70s, '80s, and '90s continue in the now.
     "Halford belted out screams with conviction. He grooved, spun around, and just rocked out in his classic Judas Priest leadership fashion, becoming more animated with every song. He controlled the crowd and they recognized and bowed down to the Metal God.
     "Obviously no surprises for me in the set list, and I loved it. All those songs had to be played and I wanted to hear them. I sang my ass off. 'Metal Gods', 'Heading Out To The Highway', 'Breaking The Law'...
     " 'Victim of Changes' was my highlight. It’s a heavy metal masterpiece. Tipton and Downing shredded while Halford continued to devastate the crowd with his brilliant performance. 'The Sentinel' and 'Beyond The Realms Of Death' were epic.
     "Judas Priest showed Jones Beach what heavy metal is all about. Judas Priest 2004 is a MUST SEE!"
     "I would say Rob is singing equally as good as on LIVE INSURRECTION, but he's occasionally doing some very cool different things like singing some parts low and clear, reminiscent of SAD WINGS OF DESTINY. For example, during 'Victim Of Changes', he sang: Once she was beautiful/Once she was mine (she was mine); He sang that part as originally done on SAD WINGS and it was stellar! It's the little extra things that Halford is doing that is simply amazing. His screams are top notch and chilling!"
- Attila, Web God for robhalford.com, July 15, 2004

July 16 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ USA Bootleg audio exists
July 17 Rock Festival
Chippewa Valley Festival Grounds
Cadott, WI USA OffFest date with Twisted Sister, Y&T, Tesla and others; Bootleg audio exists
July 18 Nissan Pavilion Bristow, VA USA  
July 20 Germain Amphitheatre Columbus, OH USA  

     "The Ozzfest shows have been absolutely fantastic. The reaction to Judas Priest has blown us all away! I've just got back from a few days in the U.S. with the guys - we had a great time - very, very busy, what with specials on MTV, VH1, Eddie Trunk, etc. and lots of press and radio interviews, including the UK magazine Kerrang! Oh, of course - and some incredible shows!"
- Jayne Andrews, July 21, 2004

July 22 Starwood Amphitheatre Nashville, TN USA  
July 24 Fiddler's Green Denver, CO USA  
July 26 Idaho Center Amphitheatre Nampa, ID USA OffFest date
Support from Slayer and Hatebreed; Bootleg audio exists
July 27 White River Amphitheatre Seattle, WA USA  
July 29 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA USA  
July 30 Sleep Train Amphitheatre Marysville, CA USA OffFest date
Support from Slayer and Hatebreed
July 31 Hyundai Pavilion San Bernardino, CA USA  
August 3 Journal Pavilion Albuquerque, NM USA  
August 4 Don Haskins Center El Paso, TX USA OffFest date
August 5 Smirnoff Music Center Dallas, TX USA Bootleg audio exists
August 7 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre San Antonio, TX USA  
     "I've just got back from another few days out on the road with the band. Judas Priest took Texas by storm!! It was great to be back! The band's manager Bill Curbishley flew in to join us for the San Antonio show - we all had a great time! Afterwards, the band, Bill and myself went out for dinner. It was really good to have the management team and the band all together - we had a lot of fun!!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for Judas Priest, August 11, 2003
August 8 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
KLOL Rock 101 Annual Birthday Party
Woodlands, TX USA OffFest date
With Slayer and
Black Label Society
August 10 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Kansas City, MO USA  
August 12 UMB Pavilion St. Louis, MO USA  
August 14 Alpine Valley Music Center East Trou, WI USA  
August 17 DTE Energy Center Detroit, MI USA  
August 18 Molson Amphitheatre Toronto Canada OffFest date; Bootleg audio exists

      "Every show is important to us. But of course I think that there will be a little bit of an extra something because it's Toronto. After Toronto experienced the disintegration of Priest and now the re-assemblage of Priest in that same city that has been so good to us and looked after us so well. You know, I shouldn’t say disintegration because Priest didn't disintegrate, Priest carried on without me. That's not fair. The band carried on you know. But I think to actually come back there in these circumstances is going to be a very enjoyable and explosive moment. We're running close to a two hour set. We’re adding, obviously, extra songs that we ordinarily would not do on the Ozzfest. It's a very thorough set list. As we go along we kind of toss around ideas about the possible songs, it's just that we don't really have much time to rehearse any new material. And of course we've go a team of 20-30 people around us that coordinate with the shows performance. But I think that the fans up there will be firstly excited to see us together reunited and then enjoy the selection of songs that we're gonna display and just be ready for the new release really."
- Rob Halford, BW&BK, August 18, 2004

August 19 Blossom Music Center Cleveland, OH USA  
August 21 Tweeter Center Chicago, IL USA  
August 24 Verizon Wireless Music Center Indianapolis, IN USA  
August 26 Tweeter Waterfront Camden, NJ USA Bootleg audio and video exist of Rob Halford with Black Sabbath
Due to a bout with bronchitis, Ozzy Osbourne was unable to perform this night, but Rob Halford graciously filled in so that the show could go on. This marks the second time for "heavy metal history in the making" since Rob's appearances with Sabbath back in November of '92 to replace Ronnie James Dio!

Rob belting it out with the original Black Sabbath line-up

Setlist:

War Pigs
N.I.B.
Fairies Wear Boots
Into The Void
Black Sabbath
Iron Man
Children Of The Grave
Paranoid

     "That was a remarkable moment in itself. I mean, that just came out of the blue one day. It was the day after my birthday, actually. I was in Philadelphia and we had a show that evening in Jersey. And I got a call from Sharon Osbourne. And I thought she was calling me to say, 'Did you get the gift that Ozzy and myself sent you?' which was like this really beautiful hand-made luggage with, like, skulls and crossbones all over it - typical Osbourne material. But then she said Ozzy wasn't feeling too good and he got a really bad case of bronchitis and he couldn't sing, so, 'Can you help us out?' And I said, 'Sure, what do you want me to do?' 'Well, can you sing tonight?' 'You're kidding me!' I'm about two hours away from a Priest show. And she said, 'We really need your help, because if we can't have you kind of helping out, stepping in for Ozzy, then Sabbath will have to cancel', which would have been nothing short of a riot had that happened. So I said to Sharon, 'It's a bit short notice, but send me a tape of everything that they do'.  I'd seen most of the shows standing on the side of the stage, being the Black Sabbath fan that I am; but she sent me a video of the performance and I was singing along with Ozzy in the back of the tour bus going to the show. Got off the bus, did the Priest show, took a shower, and 10 minutes later I was back out fronting Sabbath. And it was such a whirlwind. I mean, I got back to the hotel room that night and my whole body was, like, humming. Like it was this [makes buzzing noise] going on for two days.
     "As I said, being a huge Black Sabbath fan, it was just an ultimate moment for me. But yeah, you do what you can. I mean, Ozzy and I, we're mates. We've known each other forever; we're from the same neighborhood in Birmingham. The originators of metal are Sabbath and Priest, so it was a spectacular evening."
- Rob Halford

     "
When Ozzy fell sick, we had a very difficult situation to deal with, and before going any further, I want to salute every single audience member at the now infamous Camden, NJ gig. I love playing Camden, and my heart went out to that audience. Rob Halford deserves a medal for coming in like he did. Rob was great. There is no doubt. I think that night, everybody - Tony, Geezer, Rob and myself - worked our nuts off. We were very sorry that the Camden audience was disappointed, and at such a late hour in that day. We poured it out, and now I think there's a live bootleg somewhere, of that show."
- Bill Ward

     "One thing that sticks in my mind about last year's Ozzfest was the day in New Jersey when Ozzy couldn't perform so we had Rob Halford sing, which was the second time he saved the day for us.
     "At first we were worried, because people expect Ozzy, but if Rob hadn't helped us out, there wouldn't have been a show at all. When our manager told me Ozzy had bronchitis and couldn't sing, he asked me what I thought about Rob doing it. I said, 'I think it's a good idea as long as you tell everybody beforehand so they know.' Of course, they told the audience right before we went onstage, so I thought, 'Oh, no.' But the crowd received him really well."
- Tony Iommi
August 28 Post Gazette Pavilion Pittsburg, PA USA  
August 29 Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT USA OffFest date with support from Shadows Fall
August 31 Alltel Pavilion Raleigh, NC USA  
September 2 Tampa Bay Amphitheatre Tampa, FL USA  
September 4 Sound Advice Amphitheatre West Palm, FL USA Cancelled due to threat of hurricane Frances

TOUR DATES 2005: RETRIBUTION TOUR

Rob Halford - v, Glenn Tipton - g, K.K. Downing - g, Ian Hill - b, Scott Travis - d)

SETLIST (Aqua titles are from the current album)

     "We hope to kick off a major world tour in January. This time around, the plan at the moment is to start in the U.K.; we've been looking at shows in Russia, then Mr. Udo has invited us to Japan, after which we hope to get down to Australia, New Zealand and those parts of the world, before getting back into the U.S. I'm hoping we’re going to be on the road for a very long time."
- Rob Halford, Blabbermouth, June 23, 2004

     "First of all, we’ll do what the fans expect from us - a large stage, lights, the motorcycle, leather, and, and, and... But if you take all this away - there’s the music. We’re putting the setlist together and are very excited about how it will look like. There will be a combination of classic Priest stuff and some new songs, of course. Perhaps we’ll play some songs we’ve never played in the past. We really like to vary a bit every night - just to make something different and special. Last year it was all about hits. But this time it’ll be a combination - with a lot of surprises. And with new stuff. Two hours with the metal monsters, better known as Judas Priest."
- Rob Halford, EMP magazine, February 2005

From the February 23 Copenhagen, Denmark show:

The Hellion
Electric Eye
Riding On The Wind
The Ripper
A Touch Of Evil
Judas Rising
Revolution
Hot Rockin“
Breaking The Law
I'm A Rocker
Diamonds And Rust
Deal With The Devil
Hellrider
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Exciter
Victim Of Changes

The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)

Painkiller
Hell Bent For Leather
Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin“

From the March 2 Tampere, Finland show:

Hellion - Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Riding On The Wind
The Ripper
A Touch Of Evil
Judas Rising
Revolution
Hot Rockin'
Breaking The Law
I'm A Rocker
Diamonds And Rust
Deal With The Devil
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Turbo Lover
Exciter
Victim Of Changes
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Painkiller
Hell Bent for Leather
Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

From the May 19 Tokyo, Japan show:

The Hellion
Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Riding On The Wind
The Ripper
A Touch Of Evil
Judas Rising
Revolution
Hot Rockin'
I'm A Rocker
Diamonds And Rust
Worth Fighting For
Deal With The Devil
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Turbo Lover
Hellrider
Victim Of Changes
Exciter
Painkiller
Hell Bent For Leather
Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

From the October 5 Bridgeport, CT show:

The Hellion
Electric Eye
Solar Angels
Riding On The Wind
A Touch Of Evil
Judas Rising
Revolution
I'm A Rocker
Breaking The Law
Diamonds And Rust
Worth Fighting For
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Turbo Lover
Hellrider
Victim Of Changes
Painkiller
Desert Plains
Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

STAGE COSTUMES

     "To be honest, on the last tour I had a couple of things that crossed over from the Ripper days. I liked them and I felt comfortable in them. I'm just having some new stuff made now, but sometimes I resort to the old stuff 'cuz it's all about being comfortable. I don't like going on stage feeling too conspicuous.
     "If you're going on stage and jumping around like we do, you need it to breathe a bit or stretch a bit, and it needs to be washable. Contrary to popular belief, Priest do shower occasionally. To be practical, you have to be able to clean stuff, otherwise by the end of the tour no one wants to come near you!
     "A guy called Ray Brown in the States makes a lot of our clothes. We've worked with Ray for years and years."
- Glenn Tipton, Terrorizer, February 2005

    
"Ray was in my apartment yesterday for the fitting of a new outfit!
     "Once we hit our stride with that look, which was around KILLING MACHINE, we just took it from there. The ideas tend to come from each of us individually. You can't get them in BHS. We know what we want, and I'm usually the one to go over the top, as I will be on this tour. It's part of the tradition of the band, it's expected of us and it's a lotta fun. I don't know how many costume changes I'm doing on the U.K. tour but probably a few more than Cher the last time she was here!"
- Rob Halford, Terrorizer, February 2005

     "You looked at yourself before you went on stage, to make all this noise and create all this energy. You'd be in the leather and studs and chains and whips and handcuffs and everything else - and that's metal! We definitely set the tone."
- Rob Halford, Telegraph, March 19, 2005



DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
European tour with support from In Flames
February 23 Valbyhallen Copenhagen Denmark  
February 25 Lofbergs Lila Arena Karstad Sweden  
February 26 The Globe Arena Stockholm Sweden  
February 28 Ice Hall Oulu Finland  
March 2 Ice Hall Tampere Finland Bootleg audio exists
March 3 Hartwell Arena Helsinki Finland Bootleg audio exists
March 5 Scandinavium Göteborg Sweden  
March 8 Spektrum Oslo Norway  
March 10 Grughalle Essen Germany  
March 11 Stadthalle Offenbach Germany  
March 13 Zenith Munich Germany Bootleg audio exists
March 14 Bob Lingen Sporthalle Stuttgart Germany  
UK tour with Scorpions
     "We're working with our friends the Scorpions on the UK tour, which should be exciting. That's just blowing the doors off, everything's selling out. That will be great to play with those guys. We've known each other forever."
- Rob Halford, Metal Edge, May 2005
March 16 Carling Apollo Hammersmith London England Bootleg audio exists
March 17
March 19 National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham England  
March 21 Carling Apollo Manchester England  
March 22
March 24 Belfast Odyssey Belfast Ireland  
March 26 SECC Glasgow Scotland  
March 27 Newcastle Metroradio Arena Newcastle England Scorpions
March 28 Hallam FM Arena Sheffield England Scorpions
March 30 Cardiff International Arena Cardiff England Scorpions
March 31 Plymouth Pavilions Plymouth England Scorpions
     "Things are going incredible well on the tour - the band have just finished two weeks of shows in the UK. It was great for them to play in their own country again! It's been many years since they've had the pleasure of doing that together!! I will be putting some photos from the tour up on the website very soon...
     "The band are back in Europe now for another two weeks of shows then it's a short break before they leave for Japan!
- Jayne Andrews, April 3, 2005
European tour continues
April 2 Arena Den Bocsh Holland Scorpions and Paradise Lost
April 4 Arena Leipzig Germany Paradise Lost
April 6 Spodek Katowice Poland Cancelled due to the passing of the Pope

     "Due to the very sad passing of the Pope, the Judas Priest show in Katowice on Wednesday, 6th April has had to be cancelled. This is totally beyond our control - the President of Poland has declared all entertainment venues must cancel their shows in respect of 5 days of mourning for the Pope..."
- Jayne Andrews, April 4, 2005

     "Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule our show (which was cancelled by the Polish government due to the death of the Pope) in Katowice at the end of this leg of the tour - due to prior commitments this really isn't possible."
- Jayne Andrews, April 7, 2005


April 7 Hala Rondo Sports Arena Brno Czech Republic Paradise Lost
April 8 Halle Vienna Bank Austria Paradise Lost
April 10 Mazda Palace Milan Italy Paradise Lost
April 12 Vistalegre Bullring Madrid Spain  
April 13 Atlantico Pavilion Lisbon Portugal  
April 14 Coliseo La Coruna Spain  
April 16 Bullring Zaragoza Spain  
April 17 St. Jordi Barcelona Spain  
Japan tour
May 8 Pacifico Yokohama Yokohama Japan  
May 10 Shimin Kaikan Nagoya Japan  
May 11 Koseinkin Kaikan Kanazawa Japan  
May 13 Yubin Chokin Hall Hiroshima Japan  
May 14 Zepp Fukuoka Japan  
May 16 Osaka Catsle Hall Osaka Japan  
May 18 Nippon Budoukan  Tokyo Japan  
May 19


RISING IN THE EAST
Released November 15, 2005 by Judas Priest Music Ltd under exclusive license to
Rhino Entertainment (US Cat. #RZ 970504)
December 21, 2005 by Judas Priest Music Ltd under exclusive license to (JPN Cat. #)
January 2006
by Judas Priest Music Ltd under exclusive license to ( Cat. #)

Creative Director: Aubrey Powell
Editors: Benny Trickett & Nick Morris
Audio Produced & Mixed by Tom Allom
Engineer: Richie Kayvan
Filmed by Hirino Visual Division, Tokyo, Japan
Audio Recorded Live at the Budokan/Tokyo, Japan by Martin Walker
Design & Illustration: Mark Wilkinson
Cover Photos: George Chin & Jo Lee

he Hellion
Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Riding On The Wind
The Ripper
A Touch Of Evil
Judas Rising
Revolution
Hot Rockin'
Breaking The Law
I'm A Rocker
Diamonds And Rust
Worth Fighting For
Deal With The Devil
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Turbo Lover
Hellrider
Victim Of Changes
Exciter
Painkiller
Hell Bent For Leather
Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

     "Well, the reaction to ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION was so strong. I think we were a bit taken aback by the worldwide way the fans grabbed it, immediately got into the record, and wanted to experience these tracks live. So we ended up doing, well, almost 50% of the record. We were playing five tracks, weren’t we? And when you put a set list together, you’re looking for the dynamics, and the journey through Priest’s history, but we knew the fans were wanting to hear as much of ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION as possible. I think, really, ‘Judas Rising’, which is kind of a spectacular part of the show, with special effects and the backdrop and everything, the essence of that song, the message it conveys, that really is something we felt needed to be included. And ‘Hellrider’… it’s full of character and personality in the same vein as ‘Sinner’ or ‘The Sentinel’. If you look back at the history of Priest, there are always one or two songs that are a new adventure for us musically. So I remember, when Glenn and Ken and myself sat down to put that together, I suggested the idea of taking that kind of late ‘50s, early ‘60s pulp fiction type emotion, and bringing that into the style of the song, which was something Priest had never done.

“ 'Revolution' - yeah, there’s just that thundering bass riff, you know? Another definitive, spectacular, riffy Priest moment. The message is about the attitude of Priest, never holding back, always being determined to give you a full-on full roar, a full experience; it’s got everything in it.”
 

'Deal With The Devil'  “That’s a bit of an autobiography, isn’t it?” queries Rob. “You’re talking about where Priest came from. It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. Lyrically, I was reflecting on that unfortunate moment in Reno, not trying to lighten the moment or make fun of it, but give an overview of people - in those days, not so much now - how they used to observe metal in a different way. And we were saying, ‘Yeah, we made a deal with the devil,’ tongue in cheek, of course.”

“When we first went out there to Japan, it was a really unusual experience for us and it was a totally new experience for the Japanese fans to see something like Priest showing up and playing live. We were one of the first metal bands to go over there, and we were kind of wondering what was going to happen when the lights went down and the drapes went up. And I think, really, you can sense that on UNLEASHED IN THE EAST. Because you hear that kind of ecstatic screaming reaction at the end of every song. But during the performance, I mean, the fans at that point would literally just stand there, or in some cases, just sit there, because they didn’t know how to react. They’d just really take every single nuance of the performance in, in a very Japanese way, and then go explosive at the end of every song for a short moment in time, then get ready for the next one. But now, of course, it’s just off the hook, you know? Just as mad as everybody else is.”

-Rob Halford, BW&BK, November 18, 2005

Drummer Scott Travis looks back on the tour that produced this DVD and muses on getting out there and playing live. “What gets me up for it? I don’t know. I mean, when you tour and when you travel, the two hours of the night when you play live is definitely the highlight of the day, so it doesn’t take a lot to inspire you. The other 22 hours in the day are pretty monotonous; they’re spent sleeping or traveling or eating or just doing the day-to-day things we all do as humans. But like I said, just knowing that you’re going to perform that night is definitely the highlight of the day.”



I asked Scott if he thinks he’s applied a personal stamp to the band during his long tenure, given his new school skills versus the straight lines played by his predecessor Dave Holland.



“Yeah, I think I’ve made an impression on people when I’ve been given the opportunity, and at the same time, when I play the older stuff, which is mostly the Dave Holland era material, I like to play like he plays it. I mean, I may throw in one or two flares of my own, but for the most part, if I were a fan, and I went to see this band or any other band, that had old material, I’d want to hear it the way it was recorded, or the way I remember hearing it on the record. So in that respect, I don’t change things very much from what Dave did or Les Binks, the prior drummer to Dave. And Les was a really great drummer, so some of the stuff that we do now from his era is fun to play. ‘Beyond The Realms Of Death’, plus we used to do ‘Exciter’ - that’s on the live DVD, so those are pretty cool songs.”

Rob also adds contour to the live situation, specifically answering to his surprisingly complicated wardrobe, and the sweltering heat he must get up to in all that gear.



“Oh yes (laughs). That comes with the gig. Again, it’s all about the fans for us. We know that the fans have a built-in expectation about Priest coming to town, and for them it’s a long wait. It could be a year, two years; in the reunion instance, over a decade. So we’re determined, night after night to do a show that people can never forget. And that means, putting in 1000% from the stage, and looking at all the possibilities to utilize to make it a memorable night. So me doing all those costume changes and performing much the same as Glenn and Ian and KK and Scott, it’s just something that needs to be done. You’re out there doing a summer shed, in different parts of North America and Canada, and onstage the temperature is 120° down in Texas, and you’ve got to put 20, 30 pounds of leather and studs on your back. But you just do it, you know? You forget about that when you’re working. It’s only when you get off stage and you’ve lost ten pounds of sweat and you’re exhausted, that you realize you put yourself through it.”



Do you work out at all?



“Yeah, it’s important. I think all of us are in that world now, probably more so than the early years. Because, it takes its physical toll on you. But we can’t afford to go out on stage and be sluggish and slow. We really have to go out there and do the gig and let people see that we’re still a very vital, physical band. I jog; it’s important to do that. It’s great just for the lungs, because you have to take in massive amounts of oxygen, if you’re doing my show. But all of us are making sure we’re in the best shape possible, to perform.”



Have you ever actually taken oxygen onstage?



“Yeah, I did. That was very, very, very long ago. Personally, I don’t think it really works. It’s a bit of a crock. I think it’s mental. I think the conditions and the surroundings play a part in that, as well. But I’ve had no real desperate moments. Yeah, it was just suggested that I keep an oxygen tank on the side of the stage. We’re talking about 20 odd years ago. I tried it for a bit.”



Moving forward, and politely declining to talk about Halford (“I never talk about Halford in a Priest interview – that would be unethical”), Rob maps out a bit of a Priest timeline. “We’re taking a couple days before we head off for Russia. That’s going to be exciting. We’ve never, ever been to Russia before, and the fans are going mental that we’re actually going to go over there and play. We’ll have the video cameras to record as much of that as possible. And then we’ll take a Christmas break, and we’re already looking ahead to what the summer metal festivals in Europe are shaping up for. Around that time, Glenn and KK and myself will be in England starting to write more metal. I don’t know when that’s actually going to commence, sometime in ‘06, and it will be around the summer festivals, before and after.”



In closing, Rob relates something inevitable that happens on a tour of this magnitude, yer so called Spinal Tap moment. “I come up through that trap door on the left side of the stage, looking toward the stage from the audience. And let me see, I did, hmm, ‘Judas Rising’, and came down on the lift at the back, you know, at the backdrop of the angel, so I came down, and came through the side of the stage, on KK’s side, halfway through the song, to finish the song. And then I introduced ‘Revolution’ and climbed to the top of the ramp, and then I go out on one of the front ramps, and as I got up to the top, to walk across, the trap door was still wide open. There was this huge, black, gaping cavern of dark, and I put one foot in, and just because… you’ve always got that running in the back of your mind, you know, I put my foot down and there was just nothing but open space and I quickly realized that if I had got any further, it could’ve been a real Spinal Tap moment, that’s for sure. But anyway, that was it so far – ask me that question next year (laughs).”

 

From BW&BK: Interview w/ Halford and Travis

JUDAS PRIEST – Raisins In The East!
2005-11-18 12:44:45


By Martin Popoff
 

 

 

North American tour with Queensr’che
May 30 Blossom Music Center Cleveland, OH USA
June 1 Xcel Energy Center Minneapolis, MN USA
June 3 Tweeter Center Chicago, IL USA
June 4 DTE Energy Music Theatre Detroit, MI USA
June 5 Molson Amphitheatre Toronto Canada
June 7 Darien Lake Performing Arts Center Buffalo, NY USA
June 8 Verizon Manchester, NY USA
June 10 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ USA
June 11 Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT USA
June 12 Tweeter Center Boston, MA USA
June 14 Montage Mountain Scranton, PA USA
June 15 Giant Center Hershey, PA USA
June 17 Tommy Hillfiger@Jones Beach Amphitheatre Wantagh, NY USA
June 18 Tweeter Waterfront Philadelphia, PA USA
June 19 Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge Bristow, VA USA
June 21 Hi Fi Buys Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA USA
June 22 Ford Amphitheatre Tampa, FL USA
June 23 Sound Advice Amphitheatre West Palm Beach, FL USA
June 25 Verizon Wireless San Antonio, TX USA
June 26 Smirnoff Amphitheatre Dallas, TX USA
June 28 Journal Pavilion Albuquerque, NM USA
June 29 Coors Amphitheatre Denver, CO USA
July 1 Reno Hilton Amphitheatre Reno, NV USA
July 2 Shoreline Amphitheatre San Francisco, CA USA
July 4 Clark County Amphitheatre Portland, OR USA
July 6 White River Amphitheatre Seattle, WA USA
July 8 Verizon Wireless Los Angeles, CA USA
July 9 Mandalay Bay Events Center Las Vegas, NV USA
July 10 Cricket Pavilion Phoenix, AZ USA

South American tour with Whitesnake

September 1 Auditorio Coca-Cola Monterrey Mexico
September 3 Sports Palace Mexico City Mexico
September 6 Gigontinho Porto Alegre Brazil
September 8 Clara Hall Rio De Janeiro Brazil

Picture © Fabian Martinelli
September 9 Arena Skol Sao Paulo Brazil
September 11 Ferrocarril Oeste Buenos Aires Argentina FM broadcast exists
September 13 Pista Atletica Santiago Chile
September 16

Robert Clemente Coliseum

Puerto Rico Puerto Rico

2nd leg North American tour with Anthrax

September 23 Soaring Eagle Casino Mt. Pleasant, MI USA
September 25 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH USA
September 27 Assembly Hall Champaign, IL USA
September 28 Rockford Metrocentre Rockford, IL USA
September 29 Wings Stgadium Kalamazoo, MI USA
October 1 US Cellular Arena Milwaukee, WI USA
October 2 The Mark Of The Quad Cities Moline, IL USA
October 4 State Theatre Portland ME USA
October 5 Arena At Harbor Yard Bridgeport, CT USA Support from Anthrax and  Hatebreed
October 7 Paul E Tsongas Arena Lowell, MA USA
October 8 Landmark Theatre Syracuse, NY USA
October 9 Borgata Casino & Spa Atlantic City, NJ USA
October 11 Mid Hudson Civic Center Poughkeepsie, NY USA
October 12 Bell Centre Montreal Canada
October 14 Corel Centre Ottawa Canada

Photo and pass
© Shawn Torrents

October 15 John Labatt Centre London, Ontario Canada
October 18 MTS Centre Winnipeg Canada
October 20 Rexall Place Edmonton Canada
October 21 Pengrowth Saddledome Calgary Canada
October 23 Pacific Coliseum Vancouver, BC Canada
October 24 Vernon Multiplex Vernon, BC Canada
October 26 The ‘E’ Center Of West Valley Salt Lake City, UT USA
October 28 Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa Kelseyville, CA USA
October 29 San Diego Sports Arena San Diego, CA USA
October 30 Long Beach Arena Long beach, CA USA

European tour

November 24 Palace Of Sport Kiev Ukraine
November 27 Luznhiki Arena Moscow Russia
November 29 New Ice Arena St Petersburg Russia
December  1 Saku Arena Tallinn Estonia
December  2 Kipsala Hall Riga Latvia
December  3 Ice Hall Vilnius Lithuania


© 2002-2003
Steel & Leather Productions, U.S.A.