The 2010 dates for Priest’s album Epitaph were announced as farewell shows, and yet here you are with a new studio album and about to hit the road again.
Thanks to the extraordinary success of Redeemer Of Souls [released in 2014] this band is in a very different place. I’m so glad we didn’t make that horrible mistake of calling it a day. Now we’re looking to the future more than ever before.
Earlier this year you said: “I hope that we’ll be around for another five or ten years, maybe more. I’d love to be singing Painkiller when I’m seventy.” And you might well be.
Yeah, that’s still on the bucket list. We’re determined to keep this incredible animal going. We’re roaring along now.
What can you tell us about the set-list for the upcoming tour?
Here’s an exclusive for you: we’re going to change things around. Not letting the cat out of the bag completely, but the fans will hear some songs we’ve not performed for a very long time indeed.
Michael Schenker’s band Temple Of Rock are the special guests on the tour.
Schenker is a legendary guitar player, and with Herman Ze German [Herman Rarebell] and Francis Buchholz [both formerly of the Scorpions] in his band… Oh my god, it’s going to be great.
As a fan of metal, what’s on your iPod at the moment?
Two horns up for Maiden and the amazing, brilliant Book Of Souls. In the last year or two we’ve had great records from Black Sabbath, Priest, Maiden and the new Motörhead one, so British metal is as strong and influential as it ever was.
What do you think of Metal For Men, the new fragrance from former Priest guitarist KK Downing?
[Laughing] Please don’t write: “At this point Rob Halford starts laughing.” No, I’m a Bvlgari man myself.
Priest’s tour begins in Bradford on November 23.