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JUDAS PRIEST's Next Album Will Have Glenn Tipton Writing; Andy Sneap To Continue Playing Guitar on Tour

With the sad news in 2018 that legendary Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton was suffering from Parkinson's Disease, the band's producer Andy Sneap was recruited to hit the road with the band and tour. Tipton was healthy enough to come up on stage for a few songs, and the good news is that he will be contributing to the band's next album as well.

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Frontman Rob Halford offered an update on album and touring plans to Metal Pilgrim, noting that Tipton will be writing and that Sneap is on standby to hit the road again.

“I remember that month [of writing sessions] that we had [in February 2020] at Glenn’s studio. It was incredible. I love the start of any process of making a record, because anything can happen. We’ve always said, with Priest, is that we never really have an agenda or have an idea. The closest we got to that philosophy was the ‘Firepower’ album. We really wanted to focus on the classic elements of Priest, and I think we got the job done. So this next one will have its own legs, like they all do, its own character. Yeah, just talking now, I can hear the songs in my head, and they’re great. You think you can only go so far, but this proves that that’s a disputed idea. You can go as far as you wanna go, as long as you’re channeling all the proper ingredients, and the proper ingredients of Priest have always been the energy of metal, the power of metal, the endless opportunities. And all of that is embedded in the fact that myself and Richie and Glenn are still as hungry for writing new Priest material as we ever were. Particularly Glenn and myself have been doing it forever, but since Richie’s been with us, even more so. Richie’s like this endless well of riffs and ideas. It’s just, like, ‘Oh my God. We need to stop now. We need to digest everything that you’ve just played us.”

“So, we’re gonna be having probably two or three more writing sessions. We feel we’ve got an album [written], pretty much, but we’re very self-critical and self-analytical of the work that we do, because we know we have a treasure trove of metal behind us, and we don’t want to drop the heavy metal world; we want to make sure that this has the same essence, the same characteristics, the same class and quality that all of the Priest albums have had. And so it’ll be ready when it’s ready — I say that all the time. But I think we’re close. It’s gonna be sooner rather than later — that’s the best thing to say.”

When asked specifically if Tipton would be involved in writing, Halford says “Oh, yeah. He’s still a guitar player. Obviously, he plays guitar differently now because he’s got this thing in his life — Parkinson’s — that he battles daily. But he’s never let that diminish him. He’s able to construct songs in a way that makes his input as valuable as it ever was. And so I know for a fact, because we stay in touch, he’s been building his own bunches of ideas, and Richie’s up in Nashville doing the same thing. So we’re gonna be getting together soon — obviously because we’ve got Bloodstock [Open Air festival in the U.K.] coming up [in August]. But before Bloodstock, we’ll be seeing each other in the studio, and we’re gonna listen to all of the new stuff that we’ve all been compiling, as well as what we already have. And it’s gonna be a great day, man. It’s gonna take a couple of days to go through everything.

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“So, again, Glenn is still actively involved with Judas Priest, a hundred percent. Andy [Sneap] is still standing in that spot for Glenn with Glenn’s blessing… It’s pretty much a given [that Andy will be going out on tour with us again]. And my gratitude to Andy. It couldn’t have happened in a better way, if you wanna try and make something good out of it. It was a really important day when Glenn said, ‘I think it’s probably best if I step to the side and maybe we should let Andy come in.’ That was just a really beautiful act of selflessness. That’s Glenn treasuring Priest and Priest’s reputation, particularly in live concert more than anything else. So bless Glenn for that. And as a result, Andy stepped in and did amazing work on the ‘Firepower’ tour, and we’re looking forward to doing the same thing with him on this 50th-anniversary [tour]. And don’t discount the fact that Glenn can show up. He plays the guitar differently, but there’s no reason why Glenn can’t show up and do some work. I mean, I’ve said to Glenn, ‘Just walk out on stage and do that to everybody [flashes devil horns], and the people will just go fucking crazy, ’cause you are loved so much.’ But I’ve got a feeling that Glenn’s gonna be making the occasional appearance on this 50th-anniversary [tour].”

Judas Priest will finally hit the road this September for their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour for North America with Sabaton. The below dates also include all the band's festival appearances. 

Sep. 08 – Reading PA – Santander Arena [Tickets]
Sep. 09 – Virginia Beach VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater (no Sabaton) [Tickets]
Sep. 11 – Orlando FL – Central Florida Fairgrounds [Tickets]
Sep. 13 – Charlotte NC – PNC Music Pavilion [Tickets]
Sep. 14 – Raleigh NC – Red Hat Amphitheater [Tickets]
Sep. 16 – Grand Rapids MI – Van Andel Arena [Tickets]
Sep. 17 – Youngstown OH – Covelli Centre [Tickets]
Sep. 19 – Detroit MI – Fox Theatre [Tickets]
Sep. 20 – Rosemont IL – Rosemont Theatre [Tickets]
Sep. 22 – Milwaukee WI – Miller High Life Theatre [Tickets]
Sep. 23 – Minneapolis Mn – The Armory [Tickets]
Sep. 25 – Maryland Heights MO – Saint Louis Music Park [Tickets]
Sep. 26 – Louisville KY – Louder Than Life Festival [Tickets]
Sep. 29 – Denver CO – The Mission Ballroom [Tickets]
Sep. 30 – West Valley City UT – Maverik Center [Tickets]
Oct. 02 – Everett WA – Angel Of The Winds Arena [Tickets]
Oct. 03 – Portland OR – Moda Center [Tickets]
Oct. 05 – Oakland CA – Fox Theater [Tickets]
Oct. 06 – Los Angeles CA – Microsoft Theater [Tickets]
Oct. 08 – Las Vegas NV – Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood [Tickets]
Oct. 09 – Phoenix AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre [Tickets]
Oct. 12 – San Antonio TX – Freeman Coliseum [Tickets]
Oct. 13 – Cedar Park TX – HEB Center Cedar Park [Tickets]
Oct. 15 – Irving TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory [Tickets]
Oct. 16 – Oklahoma City OK – The Zoo Amphitheatre [Tickets]
Oct. 19 – Independence MO – Cable Dahmer Arena [Tickets]
Oct. 21 – Nashville TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium [Tickets]
Oct. 22 – Alpharetta GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre [Tickets]
Oct. 24 – Charleston WV – Charleston Civic Center Coliseum [Tickets]
Oct. 25 – Philadelphia PA – The Met [Tickets]
Oct. 27 – Newark NJ – Prudential Center [Tickets]
Oct. 28 – Oxon Hill MD – The Theater at MGM National Harbor [Tickets]
Oct. 30 – Mashantucket CT – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand Theater [Tickets]
Oct. 31 – Lowell MA – Tsongas Center At UMass Lowell [Tickets]
Nov. 02 – Halifax NS – Scotiabank Centre [Tickets]
Nov. 04 – Laval , QC – Place Bell [Tickets]
Nov. 05 – Hamilton ONT – First Ontario Centre [Tickets]

[via Blabbermouth]

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