Glenn Tipton: 20 years of British Steel


link to podcast interview with glenn tipton of judas priestLegendary guitarist GLENN TIPTON of the Metal Gods JUDAS PRIEST phones in to promote their forthcoming tour re-visiting the bands landmark album BRITISH STEEL.

Matt: Metal Hails everyone, this is your host Mattdaddy from FLmetal.com. On the phone with us today is none other than Glenn Tipton guitarist for the Metal Gods themselves Judas Priest.
Glenn: Thanks a lot Matt!
MW: What made you guys decide to tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of "British Steel" as opposed to say continuing to support the latest album "Nostradamus"
image of glenn tipton guitarist for judas priestGlenn: Well… we just felt it was the appropriate point in time to commemorate "British Steel", it was a landmark album, a very strong album, and we’ve always wanted to play it in it’s entirety to give us a chance to play tracks like "The Rage" and "Rapid Fire", "You Don’t Have to be Old to be Wise". It was just a really good combination of songs, and we just thought it would be nice to play it from start to finish, and then supplement it with some retro songs from around that era. It would just make for a really nostalgic show really.
MW: What can your fans expect from your upcoming live appearances here in Florida?
Glenn: Again, we are performing the album from start to finish and we shall supplement it with songs from that era, it’s just a classic Heavy Metal show from Priest commemorating "British Steel" which is a landmark album.
MW: It’s been since the "Painkiller" tour since I’ve seen Judas Priest live. The last time I was supposed to see Judas Priest was at Ozzfest, however I believe it was Hurricane Francis put a damper on that show.
Glenn: Thats right! I remember we had to cancel that show, it was bad news.
MW: So there are a lot of people like myself who are very anxious to come out to this show. Have you ever been to St. Augustine before?
Glenn: I don’t think we have, no.
MW: So it’s been a few years since you guys reunited, and have two full length albums. Are there any plans to keep on continuing, pumping out albums or are you guys going to take a break after this?
Glenn: We should take a break after this, but we never really know what we are going to do next until we actually do it. You know it’s pretty much the same after we do this. We do the American dates and then we have a little break before doing some Japanese dates, and then we will probably take a break until Christmas. Then after the New Year we will consider what our next move is.
MW: How about any plans for another solo album?
Glenn: Yeah, you know it’d be great to do that but when I did the last solo album there really was no Judas Priest, as such, no "active" Judas Priest which is the reason why I did them, because I no longer wanted to sit around doing nothing. So I start to write, and then started to work with such greats as John Entwistle (The Who) and Cozy Powell (Black Sabbath), as well as some "young-guns" from the States. That’s where "Baptism of Fire" came from, and then followed by "Edge of the World" which were actually albums recorded around the same time, but one was released far later than the other. I think it’s great to work with other musicians, and it was great to work with some of the "young guns" from the States as well. I never would have done that if Priest hadn’t split for a while. It was all interesting stuff. Solo albums are the things you do for yourself really, and you do for yourself so you get to work with other musicians and you get "musical things" off of your chest which in my case has always been Judas Priest. In the future, who knows? There probably more solo stuff in there, but my main passion and most important thing will always be Judas Priest.
MW: Speaking of "passions", do you have any other creative outlets that you are really "passionate" about?
Glenn: ou know, I have lots of interests. I’m very interested in Sports, I like to fish and write, and I like to dabble painting a bit some times. I love the outdoors, I love animals and I love to travel. I have a lot of interests outside of music really.
MW: Who is your Football team?
Glenn: Well the team I support is West Bromwich Albion, but I don’t really support them anymore, because I don’t really go to Football matches. I really love Soccer because I love sport. I played Football for a long time throughout my life, but then I damaged some knee ligaments, so I never got to play for England.
MW: Let me ask you about your guitar setup. I know you have the Hamer guitars, and you have one favorite guitar that you play a lot. Are there any other "toys" that you have discovered lately that other guitarists should know about?
Glenn: It’s funny because I’m just updating my web page and there is quite a bit of information really on all the guitars that I have of interest and how I use them. So you will be able to go on there in the next few weeks to answer a lot of questions. Guitars are a tool for me both on and off stage and in the studio, you know whatever it takes to achieve the right sound. I’ve got some favorite guitars, I’ve got an old ’61 Strat an ivory colored 335, all of which I have actually used on albums. I’ve designed a guitar myself which is a John Dickens guitar which is called "X-guitar" and were going to perhaps do some commemorative models and signature models to get out there. That will be next year, but that’s really interesting you know, I’m looking forward to that. Other than that I have a series of guitars I use at home and in the studio, telecasters, strats, some old 12 strings guitars as well that sort of write the songs for you. I’ve got all sorts of guitars around, but they are all there for one reason, to achieve different songs in and out of the studio.
MW: When you are in the studio, how much emphasis do you put on your guitar sound, I imagine quite a bit. Usually how long does it take, and how many configurations do you use before you actually find the sound that you are looking for?
Glenn: Well, you can’t say how long it takes, that would be an impossible question to answer because sometimes you get the guitar sound and it just works, or you go into the studio and it just works, and other times it just doesn’t work. There’s times where it sounds great in the studio and total crap in the control room. Other times it sound crap in the studio and great in the control room. Sometimes we spend days trying to achieve guitar sounds. I’m like a mad professor with them in the studio with clusters of mics around the cab, ambient mics, taking the backs of of cabs. I still experiment and try all different ways to try and get the guitar sound from the studio into the control room to sound right. So I’ll try anything, but time-wise it can be an immediately successful sound to a couple of days of horrific experimentation before you get close to the sound you want.
MW: After a nearly 40 year career, you’ve accomplished quite a bit. Is there anything left that you are still looking to achieve? For instance you guys should be in the "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" cummon!
Glenn: That’s up to the guys to vote us in, I’m never quite sure who that is. I think Priest deserve a place in there, so there you go. It either will be or it won’t be, it’s not the end of the world. There’s always something to achieve. Our next album will be just as important as our first album, we base a lot of importance on our albums and compositions. You always look to the future, and there’s always things to achieve. We’re not quite there yet, there’s always things to achievement wise, there’s always something else to tuck under the belt.
MW: Anything you’d like to say to the fans before we go?
Glenn: As always, a great thank you to all of our fans! We have the most loyal, faithful fans throughout the world, particularly in the States. We’re very much looking forward to coming out this summer and rockin’ it with everybody. We love audiences, and we are one with the audience when we get up on stage and we will all have a great time when we get out there!
MW: I’ll be seeing Judas Priest guys August 15th at the new St. Augustine Amphitheater!
  • August 15th — St. Augustine Amphitheatre — St. Augustine, FL
  • August 16th — St. Pete Times Forum — Tampa, FL
  • August 17th — Seminole Hard Rock Arena — Hollywood, FL
  • August 19th — Germain Arena — Estero, FL

Many thanks and metal hails to Glenn Tipton, Dave Himes of Connections Magazine, and Chip Ruggieri of Chipster PR for the amazing interview!

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