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metal talk
10th May 2012

judas priest

Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill has considered following guitarist KK Downing into retirement and the band's last remaining founding member says he'd give them his blessing if they went on without him.

Downing's departure was announced last April, four months after he'd made his decision and Priest brought in Richie Faulkner as his replacement and announced their current world tour would be their last. But Hill confirms there's more to from from the Metal pioneers and admits he'll always miss Downing.

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He told Metal Rules: "He was a huge part of the band. He was a huge character. We're still friends so when we get time we'll bump into each other and see how things are going.

"But from a musical point of view Richie is handling everything he played, and he's adding his own flavours. The fans won't miss that much musically."

The bassist says his ex-bandmate's decision to retire caused him to think along similar lines.

"I thought of not doing it, not playing," he reports.

"It terrifies all of us, I think. Many bands are probably thinking, 'Well, this is it, this will be the last tour', and within a year or two they start missing it all. I'm sure we'd be the same. If we said, 'We are not going to play after this', within six months we'll already be on the phone."

Priest say their current world tour is the last one of its size for them but there's a new album in the pipeline followed by a certain amount of continued live action.

"There's less physical work in an album than there is on tour," Hill continued. "It takes you away from home for months, sometimes years on end when you tour and that's basically what's getting to us at the moment. We've been doing it now for forty years and it's time to spend a bit of time at home, and of course records you can do at home."

But if the time should come for him to retire, he'll have no problem if his bandmates want to continue: "We're doing fine without Ken. We did fine without Rob Halford, you know. I'm sure the band will do fine without me. If I don't continue and they want to carry on, of course, yeah.

"Kiss are talking about farming it out, franchising it – but I don't think the fans will put up with it, not for a second."



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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