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JUDAS PRIEST’s IAN HILL: Mentally, ‘I’m Still 12 Years Old’

In a recent discussion with Riff X’s “Metal XS”, Ian Hill, the bassist for JUDAS PRIEST, shared insights into the creative evolution evident on their new release, “Invincible Shield”, in comparison to the 2018 album “Firepower”. He noted, as captured by BLABBERMOUTH.NET: “This one is a lot busier. The songs are more complicated than they have been.

Hill further elaborated, “Your latest album is always your favorite because you’ve just spent months putting it together. From the very beginning, our aim has been to progress with each project, embracing new learning and staying abreast with the times. We’re open to experimenting with the latest in recording technologies, gadgets, or effects. If it enhances our sound, fantastic; if not, we simply move on. This approach ensures we’re always evolving. Hence, ‘Invincible Shield’ is a direct progression from ‘Firepower’. The additional time afforded by the COVID situation allowed us to advance even further than usual. It’s all about staying contemporary and maintaining relevance.”

During concerts, Hill observes a diverse audience that spans generations, stating, “We go to concerts and we see people in the audience, and there’s young people there as well as people our own age, and I think it’s the reason we wanna keep up with the times and, like I say, keep ourselves modern and relevant, and then you attract a new audience in.”

When asked about guidance for young musicians just embarking on their journey, Ian emphasized the importance of persistence, explaining: “You’ve gotta have patience. And [it doesn’t happen] overnight. Sometimes you’ll see a band that’ll just burst out of nowhere, but I guarantee that they’ve been there for a while working [on their craft]. So you need to have self-belief, of course, you have to have a bit of talent and you have to have patience and work whenever you can, wherever you can. And like I say, if you have talent and you’ve got something to offer, people start to notice and they’ll start to travel to you. But patience is a virtue, yeah, and it’s very important in showbiz, really. You’re not gonna get [noticed] overnight. Very rarely.”

Reflecting on connecting with younger fans and the experience of aging within the music industry, the 72-year-old Hill shared his personal outlook: “Personally, I just take things as they come. It’s great to see young faces there. But none of us are acting our age, really. I mean, up here [in my head], I’m still 12 years old. So is Rob [Halford, PRIEST singer]. You never get old. It is something that keeps you young, mentally young. So it is something that, personally, I don’t consider that much. If somebody points it out to you, [there’s] three generations [of fans out there]. I’m old enough to be that person’s grandfather.’ But no. We’re stuck in the age that’s necessary for us to continue, mentally. [Laughs] Physically is another question altogether.”

Ian Hill remains the only original member still with PRIEST since its inception in 1969. Halford joined the band in 1973, followed by Glenn Tipton in 1974. After a departure in the early ’90s to form his own band, Halford returned to PRIEST in 2003. K.K. Downing, an original guitarist, left the band in 2011, making way for Richie Faulkner to join.

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