British metal outfit Judas Priest truly intended its 2010-11 Epitaph World Tour to be a farewell event. Continuing seemed difficult without founding guitarist K. K. Downing, who was retiring. But – thanks in part to the adrenalized powerchords of Richie Faulkner – the group has returned to the road, backing its “British Steel”-reminiscent CD “Redeemer of Souls.” Earlier this year, writers of “The Simpsons” apologized to the band by having Bart write “Judas Priest is not ‘death metal’” on a chalkboard after a gaffe on an episode in which Rob Halford and crew appeared. Halford adds, “So now we’re forging ahead and the future for Priest is looking solid.”
Where do you stand, spiritually?
Well, I was baptized in the Church of England, and that’s never really left me. Especially since I became clean and sober on the first of January 1986. For those of us in recovery, the first thing you have to get a grip on is being subject to a higher power. So a spiritual foundation is important. The outcome of where you go and what you do in life – particularly on a creative level – has got to come from a deep well inside of you.
You don’t attend church. How do you worship daily, then?
I start each day with prayer. I’m a prayer freak. I start before I even get out of bed – it’s just part of my Sheldon ritual, like on “The Big Bang Theory.” And during the day, it kicks in when you reflect on things. If you see something bad on TV or in the news, you’re always thinking about humanity , hoping those people will get some kind of help. And then I always end the day with prayer, too.
The souls for your “Redeemer” could be consumers, mindlessly jabbering or texting on their cellphones.
Yeah. But the longer you live, the more you understand that you come into the world, and you go out of the world – it’s what you do in between that really matters. I mean, I look at some folks in the entertainment world who have a vast collection of Ferraris, or bling, jewelry or money in the bank. But those material aspects are not for me. I’d much rather go into Wal-Mart and stock up on T-shirts than go to Gucci.
You could share your philosophy on Twitter.
I’m like a heavy-metal Oprah on any given day. And what spouts out of my mouth is generally an unconscious stream of thought – that’s how I’ve always been. So I can’t tweet, because I shoot from the hip, and I have the potential of saying some really stupid things. So I don’t want to come across as the angry old white guy!
IF YOU GO
Where: City National Civic, 135 San Carlos St., San Jose
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 16
Tickets: $55 to $70
Contact: (408) 792-4111, www.ticketmaster.com