It’s been roughly four years since the release of Judas Priest‘s Firepower and while that record still rips as much as it did in 2018, fans of the iconic British metal band are wondering when the next studio effort is coming. During a recent interview with Andrew Daly, of Vinyl Writer Music, bassist Ian Hill thinks we may still be a year or two away.

“There is an album in the pipeline, and it’s not far from being finished. Whether it’ll be out sometime next year or the year after, we don’t know yet. But there will probably be a little bit more touring next year in 2023, so we’ll wait for the dust to settle and let everybody catch their breath. And then we’ll probably start again in 2024; it might be sooner than that, but we’ll see what happens.”

Judas Priest has been on tour for what feels like a non-stop jaunt around the world. So much time on the road is nothing new for the band, even if one of their members nearly dies on stage.

And while no one can really deny that Firepower was a modern take on some classic Judas Priest badassery, Hill confirmed what guitarist Richie Faulkner said earlier this summer – that most of the record is done. According to Faulkner, all they’re waiting for is vocals.

Regarding the new Judas Priest record, Hill described it as another move forward in the band’s sonic evolution.

“As far as sound, we’ve taken it forward again; it’s gonna be a bit more intricate and maybe more complicated than Firepower. But that’s what we’ve always tried to do, and hopefully, it’s another step in the right direction.”

As the sole founding member of Judas Priest that still tours with the band, Hill attributed the band’s longevity to the fact that everyone tries to be friends from the get-go.

“Well, probably our sense of humor and the fact that we started as friends and we’re still all friends. And it’s also the culture of this band, how strong it is, how we get along, and how we operate, all of which have made an enormous difference. I mean, obviously, guitarists have changed, drummers have changed, and vocalists have changed, but we’ve always made sure that we could get along with whoever has come into this band. I think that’s very important too, because if you’ve got any animosity between any one of the members, it’ll come to a head sooner or later, and you won’t last long. So, we just befriend everyone and take them as they are, and I think that’s the secret to staying together. If you do that, you won’t rub each other the wrong way too much. [Laughs]. That’s how things last; it’s what’s worked for Priest, so we’ll keep doing it until it doesn’t.”

To read more about Hill’s thoughts on the idea that “rock is dead,” as well as what Priest’s first gig was like, head over to Vinyl Writer Music to read the full interview.