Metal Evolution (2011) s01e03 Episode Script

Early Metal UK

Sam Dunn: In the previous
episode I explored the
emergence of heavy music in
America and what I learned
is that the American bands
have a much bigger part
in the story of metal than
I initially realized.
But when I think of the great
bands that truly gave birth to
heavy metal I think of British
bands like Black Sabbath and
Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and
so I've come to England because
I want to find out why did this
music come out of England and
what was its impact back
in the 1960's and 70's?
During the 60's
England gave rise to a number
of bands that were heavier
than anything that had come
before but before the emergence
of heavy metal this country
was the home for another
musical style that
transformed rock music,
the British Blues boom,
so I'm meeting with blues
legend John Mayall to
find out how this movement
paved the way for heavy metal.
Sam Dunn: I want to spend
some time talking with you about
what's famously known as
the British Blues boom.
John Mayall: Well fondly enough
it wasn't known as that when it
happened for the first few
years, it was just called R&B
which in America is
totally different kind of music.
There were just these venues
that supported the music and
it was just an opportunity for
us to get out there and play
what we wanted to play and
we're kind of surprised
and delighted that there
was an audience for it.
Sam Dunn: Why do you think
young musicians in England
at that time were
attracted to this music?
John Mayall: Well I think
generation to generation you get
something that connects with
an audience, prior to the blues
boom was ten years of jazz bands
so people flopped to those and I
think the blues is something
that addresses itself to
situations in people's lives
that they can identify with.
Dave Lewis: Lots of these guys
were listening to records that
were coming over from the
States, John Lee Hooker, Muddy
Waters, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck,
Eric Clapton, they were picked
up on so they're massive
influences you know and I think
that's where they began to
wanna play like those guys.
Chris Welch: When the British
R&B bands first appeared
like the Yardbirds for example,
really they were all playing on
a kinda really nervy sort of
form of playing, R&B in a way,
it was really fast almost
hysterical, it was very
excitable and kind of lacked
power and depth, so gradually
it's when bands learned to slow
down a bit and to use more bass.
All these little ways of playing
the music changed the whole
sound of it, so it's when they
learned to relax really, I think
that's when bands
began to become heavier.
Sam Dunn: If we think of
guitarists like Clapton
and Page and a guy like
Jeff Beck, what was
unifying do you think,
all of these players?
John Mayall: It was all based
on blues initially and
then it kinda got individualized
by different people,
Eric was always into the
blues whereas Beck and Page
although they started off with
the blues and then it very
quickly mushroomed into there
on, all individual styles.
Besides Cream, the Jeff Beck
Group, and The Yardbirds,
the one band that unquestionably
transformed the blues into
something much
heavier was Led Zeppelin.
They're one of the most
celebrated bands in the
history of rock and Rolling
Stone magazine even
described them as the
heaviest band of all time.
But what exactly was Led
Zeppelin's connection to the
British Blues boom and what
was unique about their sound?
Dave Lewis: Well Led Zeppelin
occurred at the time of the
British Blues boom and they came
right smack in middle of it, you
only got to look at the first
album "I Can't Quit You Babe" ,
"You Shook Me", Within two or
three years they were taking the
influences of Willie Dixon
and taking it much further.
Billy Gibbons: Led Zeppelin
I think it's fair to say
that people would like
to place them as
probably the launch pad
of what exemplifies
the early days of
heavy, and it is.
Sam: How did Zeppelin
achieve their heaviness?
What did Jimmy's
guitar tone contribute?
Eddie Kramer: He was the guy you
would call if you wanted that
really gritty distorted guitar
tone and he was master of that,
I mean when you hear the
tone of his solo coming in,
it's instantaneously
Sam Dunn: Talk about Robert
Plant as a front man.
Why do you think he was
important in terms of his
presentation that was
doing something new?
Frankie Banali: Robert Plant was
that golden god lead singer,
he had the attitude, he had the
look, he had the mannerisms.
Robert Plant was probably
more than any other
singer that iconic role
model for singers.
Sam Dunn: We're in Trinifold
Management, who manages
Judas Priest, let us use this
room which is the office of
Bill Curbishley who manages
Robert Plant, to be so
close but so far because
we've been really trying
to get Robert Plant
and Jimmy Page to be
part of the series but
they've declined.
The problem I guess for
Plant and Page is they
don't like to be associated
with the term "Heavy Metal"
even though they were
hugely influential.
Eddie Kramer: I never really
thought of them as a heavy quote
"metal band" basically because
of the complete diversity of
material heavily acoustically
orientated with a strong beat.
I guess you could say without
Zeppelin there wouldn't
be quote unquote "heavy metal"
but I don't think that
I would ever consider
them a heavy metal band.
I think Sabbath probably
more than any band would be the
definition of a heavy metal band
you know, the essence of one.
Although Led Zeppelin didn't
self identify as a heavy metal
band, Black Sabbath is the one
band that many argue marked
the beginning of the heavy
metal sound, so I need to find
out why Sabbath is considered
the pioneer of the genre.
(Crowd Cheering)
In the early 70"s
Black Sabbath created a
sound that was darker and more
sinister than ever before
so I've come to Birmingham,
Sabbath's home town
in England's industrial heart
land to find out where
they got the inspiration
to create this sound.
Sam Dunn: When you started
out with Sabbath,
describe for me what
Birmingham was like?
Bill Ward: Birmingham's
profile is dismal,
you know, rain swept and
factories and belching smoke,
it's a very industrial place.
You could go into the factories,
you could go to prison or
you could be a gangster.
Geezer Butler: Birmingham
had a massive hammering
during World War 2, there's
still a lot of bombed out
buildings around, the place on
the corner where I grew up
is completely demolished
by bombs in the war.
Where we lived was very
very working class,
there's a lot of immigration
there, very mixed racially
and culturally and a lot
of street fighting.
Sam Dunn: So how did this
sort of horrible reality
influence what Black
Sabbath sounded like?
Bill Ward: We all let some
feelings about the counter
culture or a lot of the peace
movements but I think all of
us had an attitude to well,
that's all well and good,
but that's not what's going on
right now, I'm sitting here
looking at a guy getting his
guts beaten up and music
began to take a really good
look at what was really on
the ground or really
what we were seeing.
I think it had a
huge impact on Sabbath.
Sam Dunn: Describe for me the
sound of Black Sabbath's music.
How was it different than
what else was going on?
Jim Simpson: The country was
inundated with blues bands and
they all sounded the same or
looked the same or smelt the
same and wore the same denim
jackets and all the guitar
players played sixty mile long
solos and we were all anxious to
get out of that because all
five of us believed the band was
going somewhere so we had
to do something different.
Geezer Butler: We'd jam around
and see what we came out
with and we came out with
the song "Wicked World".
That put us on you know, thought
this is good, we can do it,
we'll have a go at another
one and the second song was
"Black Sabbath" and then we
just thought, god this is
really weird, different, let's
just give it a try on the next
gig and we did the gig, we
played it right at the end
"Black Sabbath" and the crowd
just went absolutely mental.
They were saying play that
again, play that again, so we
played it again, played it three
times (laughs), and we just
realized you know that we had
something that nobody else had.
Bill Ward: When we would sit
down and make a piece of
music together one of the things
that I would try to create with
drums, a lot of atmosphere I
definitely used a lot of toms to
bring about certain words, Ozzy
sang "what is this that stands
before me" I knew where I had
to go with the toms. I could
have gone (imitates drums) it
would never have worked.
Thomas Allom: In some ways
they were almost a jazz band,
if you listened to what Bill
and Geezer are playing,
Geezer's not playing rock
really, he's playing like sort
of almost modern jazz, very
intricate stuff, but with it
were these absolutely
staggering heavy lyrics and
heavy vocal melodies and Tony's
fantastic guitar riffs.
By combining the
heaviness of Tony Iommi's
guitar with the eerie sounds
of Ozzy's vocals and Bill and
Geezer's jazz influenced rhythms
Black Sabbath was creating
a sound that have never
been heard before so given
that this sound was so unusual
for it's time, how is the
record industry reacting
to Black Sabbath's music?
Jim Simpson: We did a demo
in Birmingham which is
not very different
to the first album.
I took this recording to
fourteen straight record
companies and they
all turned me down.
Sam: Why didn't they
want to take this record on?
Jim: Because there wasn't a
current hit on the charts that
sounded like that. If
you sit there in your
posh purple office with
your white suit on,
you want to hear something safe,
you want to go to the boss
and say listen I've got a single
that sounds just like Rolling
what are they called, Stones
was it, yes something like
that but something new
they were scared of it.
Geezer: I'll always remember
this one record company,
we were in the northern most
part of England and we had
to do a gig and then drive all
through the night to play
this audition at this pub for
eleven o'clock in the morning
in London so none of us
had slept we were all
absolutely exhausted, the guy
came from the record company,
we started playing and he just
literally walked out (laughs),
after about halfway through the
second song, he just went,
what's this crap and just walked
out, that's the way they
treated us you know, they
just really didn't get it.
And then we got this A&R
guy and he really liked
us and he finally got
Vertigo to sign us.
Sam: When you first saw
Black Sabbath play
what were your impressions
of their music?
Olav Wyper: My first thoughts
were it's a heavy metal band, as
they went on I realized they
were much more than that because
a lot of the lyrics were not
only intelligent but they dealt
with some difficult subjects and
musically they were terrific, so
after the gig I talked them in
to coming with us on Vertigo.
Geezer: It happened so
incredibly fast, the first album
charted and I think it came in
number thirteen, we didn't know
anything about it we were in a
car going to a gig and we were
listening to the album
charts and a bloke said
new at thirteen this week
Black Sabbath, we went, what?
Is there another band
called Black Sabbath?
And then he played the
track off it and it was us.
Jim: The week it went on the
charts it sold with 5200 records
the first week, from that moment
on we were on a crusade,
we knew that we got
something very very special
and from that moment on it
became really serious.
Sam: For you are they that
band that sets in motion
this music that came to
be called heavy Metal?
Bruce Dickinson: If there's
one band that did it
and if there's one
album that did it,
it is the first
Black Sabbath album
because that influenced a
whole generation of kids that
five years, six years later
appeared as heavy metal bands.
Slash: Black Sabbath was the
band that first defined
heavy metal for me
and seriously had
that sort of heavy approach
that really seemed
like these guys are for real.
Sam: To what extent did
you consider yourselves
a heavy metal band?
Geezer: We just thought we were
a hard rock band at the time,
that's what we liked and the
first I'd heard being called
heavy metal was somebody
being derogatory about us,
I read this review when we were
on tour and criticizing us
as usual and it says it
sounded like a lot of
heavy metal being dropped,
not musically whatsoever.
Jim Simpson: The words
heavy metal were never banging
around in those days,
we're just a heavy rock band.
That's how Sabbath saw
themselves and not realizing
they invented a whole
genre under their name.
Black Sabbath clearly
didn't self identify as a
heavy metal band, but future
generations of musicians and
fans would credit Sabbath
for creating a distinctly
darker sound and esthetic.
So now that Birmingham's
Black Sabbath had laid this
foundation, how would this
genre evolve as the focus
shifted to London, the capital
of the seventies English
hard rock scene.
weren't the only English bands
carving new directions
in heavy music in the 70's, the
one band that pushed the sound
of hard rock into something
much more complex and
sophisticated was
London's Deep Purple.
However the bands original
line-up nicknamed Mark 1 was a
far cry from the heavy sound
that Purple is known for today.
So I've traveled to the country
home of drummer Ian Paice to ask
him about the bands Mark 1
origins and how they became the
Deep Purple that has influenced
legions of heavy metal bands.
Sam Dunn: How was Mark 2
different than Mark 1?
Ian Paice: In Mark 1 we tried
to be like somebody else,
we actually tried to be
like a British version of
Vanilla Fudge by taking
other peoples songs
and putting big
arrangements around them.
Ian: What Mark 2 progressed
to was realizing
there was no point being
number two Vanilla Fudge,
very important to actually
become number one yourselves.
Jon Lord: We had something
really rather good and
quite interesting but it
wasn't gelling quite right,
it wasn't making the
right noise somehow and
unfortunately for Nick Simper
and Rod Evans we came
to the conclusion that
it was their fault.
Jon: They were not the two right
guys to help Paice, Blackmore
and myself, quite realized
where we wanted to go.
Sam: When you and Ian came
into the band what do you
think changed in terms of
the sound of the band?
Roger Glover: Ian and I were,
well we were songwriters, we
were a partnership and I think
the musicianship of Paice and
Ritchie and Jon was just
unbelievable, I don't I had ever
played with people that good
before and there was a kind of
marriage between the
sophistication of the other
three and the naive simplistic
songwriting of us two,
and I think that was the key.
Roger: I wrote quite a few
of the riffs in the early
days but Ritchie was really
the riff master, he's a complex
player who really learned how to
be simple, but writing something
simple that is unlike anything
else, that's really difficult.
Sam: You grew up as a
big fan of Purple,
why were they so important?
Phil Collen: Ritchie Blackmore
was the reason I played guitar,
my cousin took me to see
Deep Purple, I was
front row in front of
Ritchie Blackmore, I'm like
oh my god he's like smashing
his guitar up and playing,
again he's playing was
just off the chart.
Bruce Dickinson: I never heard
anyone play you know make
sounds like that on guitar,
it was just so cool
because up to then it was all
just you know Clapton is God
and all that kind of stuff,
you know Clapton was tame
compared to what Ritchie was
doing, it was the sound of Pan,
like prancing all
over your brain.
Sam Dunn: With the Mark 2
line-up of Gillan, Glover,
Paice, Blackmore and Lord firmly
in place in 1970 Deep Purple
released one of heavy metal's
all time classic records
"In Rock" and one of the
elements that made "In Rock"
unique was the thunderous sound
of Jon Lord's Hammond organ.
Jon: The first time I really
became aware of what I could do
with the Hammond on record was
on the organ seller in "Hard
Lovin' Man" which is the first
time I just let myself loose in
the studio to see exactly what
I can make that beast do.
I think one of the things I
really like about the Hammond
organ is adaptability, I mean
I managed to adapt what was
initially a church instrument
and then adapted by
jazz musicians and blues
musicians and I managed to kind
of shoe horn it into
a hard rock band.
I wanted to emancipate the organ
from being something that just
sat in the background and
colored the sound, I wanted it
to create that hard sound and
here now finally I had something
that could compete
with Ritchie you see.
Sam: You had some pretty
heavy peers at that time
speaking of Sabbath and
Zeppelin but I think one thing
that set you guys apart
was that real complexity
and that expansiveness
of the music.
Jon: We had the genuine belief
that improvisation was
part of the music and
indeed it was very often
was how we came up
with the music.
Dave Lewis: When you went
to a Purple show you were
getting something very special
because it was never gonna
sound the same, I think the
improvisation was definitely
a key thing to putting them
apart from other bands,
I don't think Sabbath had
that and there wasn't many
bands that carried that
and Purple certainly did.
Jon: We had that wonderful
freedom which is to go out on
stage in front of paying
customers and saying hang onto
your hats you're gonna like what
we're gonna do here, we don't
know what we're gonna do, but
we know you're gonna like it.
Deep Purple weren't
just great improvisers,
their song "Smoke On The Water"
contains heavy metals most
So what's the story behind the
riff and how do the band members
feel about being considered a
leader of heavy metal music?
Roger: Ritchie started playing
a riff, I don't know if he
had it beforehand or whether it
just came to him instantly,
we all just sort of joined
in and threw together an
arrangement, it took all of
about maybe four minutes.
Ian: You had this amazingly
simple catchy riff, you had
quite a clever little chord
sequence and you had a story,
most great songs are stories and
it really was the genius of Ian
and Roger, they said look, we've
had a major occurrence here,
we came to record, the place we
were gonna record, a beautiful
big place has just burned down,
we've got all this story,
let's tell the story
of the whole thing.
Sam: It had a bit of a crossover
appeal, kind of moves
you guys up the ladder in terms
of exposure and popularity.
Roger: It amazes me to this
day that a song about such a
specific incident has
such a general appeal.
Most people come up
to me and say hey
it's the first thing I
played on the guitar.
I hear that everywhere we go
and you go in music stores
and stuff like that you know
no "Smoke On The Water" or
"Stairway To Heaven",
they're the two you get and
that's a back handed
compliment but a great one.
Sam: At the time in that
early seventies period did
you see yourselves as
a heavy metal band?
Ian: We just called ourselves
a hard rock band, metal is one
facet of what us and a
couple other bands created,
it's the nastier side of what we
do but there's also other stuff
we do which is not any
way connected to that.
Jon: I always felt that Purple
despite all the bomb blasts
and the loudness on stage I
always felt it had one foot
just dragging back into the
blues somehow and you know
some people say that Purple
had a hand in heavy metal
and I would accept that we
could be one of the godfathers
but I defy the parenthood,
I thought that wasn't us,
we weren't the parents.
Despite Deep Purple's
pivotal role in expanding
thesound of heavy musicmuch
but now that these bands had
undeniably forged a new
direction in heavy music, what
would happen next in the
evolution of seventies
hard rock in England?
After the ground breaking
records of Black Sabbath,
Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple
in the early seventies
the sound of British hard
rock started to shift and
so I've always wanted to know
why these bands drifted away
from their iconic
aggressive sound.
Geezer Butler: After "Master of
Reality" we wanted to branch out
and get a bit of a different
sound and we were buying
keyboards and stuff like that,
Tony was getting good at playing
piano and we just wanted
to experiment a bit more.
By the time 'Vol.4' and 'Sabbath
Bloody Sabbath' we thought let's
spend a bit more time in
the studio and we had
enough money by then to be
able to not be on the road,
to be able to go into the
studio and spend more time.
Bill Ward: All of us were
growing, all of us were
still being influenced so I
think there was a departure
from those first three records,
everything was always about
the song so if we needed a
choir we'd add in a choir,
if I needed to play tubular
bells, which I did,
I would play tubular bells, so
we had very little resistance
to going to other instruments
and to new ideas.
Sam Dunn: Why do you think
these bands start to
explore new sounds and
take new directions?
John Ingham: There comes a point
of course when it probably
gets very tiring to play
the same kind of riff
and the same feeling,
you want to start
exploring and widening
the palette out.
Sabbath putting keyboards on an
album, you know that's a level
that we should just, you just
don't really care what anybody
says you know because
you know you can do it.
Sam Dunn: Here's a now
legendary prog rock producer
Rick Wakeman working
with Black Sabbath.
What was it like having
him work with you guys?
Geezer Butler: The way it came
about is we were trying to work
a keyboard part out for ages,
we just couldn't get it right,
I was trying to play it,
Tony was trying to play it
and it just didn't sound
right. We were in the bar and
Rick Wakeman came in and we
got talking to Rick and we're
asking him his advice and he
went, what you trying to do?
and he came into the studio,
you mean like this
and we went, yes!
And that was it,
you know we got him in and
did the keyboard parts.
Bill Ward: So Rick definitely
enhanced the music and
I'm glad that we went through
it, I'm glad that we played
with other artists on our
records instead of being inside
some very scared place about,
we're changing it too
much you know, I think we
had to smash through a
lot of what we might
have originally been.
Sam: Taking risks.
Bill: Very
much taking risks.
Besides Black Sabbath, the
other British hard rock band
that changed their sound
in the early seventies
was Deep Purple. Tensions
within the band had led to
a brand new Mark 3 line-up
featuring the R&B inspired
duo of Glenn Hughes
and David Coverdale.
Sam Dunn: How was what you
were doing in Deep Purple
do you think different
than what the sound
of the band before that?
David Coverdale: I think I
brought a soul element, my three
most played albums when I joined
Deep Purple was "There's a Riot
Goin' On" - Sly And The Family
Stone, Donny Hathaway - "Live"
and "Music Of My
Mind" - Stevie Wonder.
I was a huge hard rock fan but
I try to bring that the songs I
mistreated you know that
kind of blues element.
Glenn Hughes: I had seen them
at the peak of "Machine Head",
I thought they were interesting
and I thought they were
unique and I thought they
were a one off band.
So when the call came in
for me to join them, I wasn't
completely sold on the music
that I was about to play.
But knowing that with
David coming in with me
there would be a whole,
possibly a new structure
in the form of
writing and singing.
I wasn't trying to derail the
angst or metal vibe that was
Purple but Purple
were changing radically.
John Ingham: Bands like Purple,
Zeppelin and Sabbath and
Spooky Truth, I mean all these
kind of bands had been around
since say '68, '69, by 72', '73
that's almost a generation in
rock and roll, it felt like
they were getting very removed.
Everyone is very famous, very
rich, they live in limousines,
they live in penthouses, rock
was started to be treated like
some kind of, you know
like classical music.
By the mid seventies
bands like Deep Purple
and Black Sabbath were no
longer on the vanguard of
heavy music in England, creating
a void for something new
and then a whole new sound
emerged for the next generation
of rock fans, that
sound was glam rock.
Andy Scott: The music that
was coming out of the late
sixties which we were all very
into had no identifiable look
because when you think back
not many of these bands
had big visual image,
there was a lot of bands,
haircuts, curtains, nose,
that's all you saw.
So I think kind of dressing
up the late sixties
commercial rock was where
bands like Sweet came in.
Chris Welch: Glam rock was
very big in Britain at that
time so you would find
bands like The Sweet,
they had a quite a heavy
rock style you know,
it was all revolving around
guitars, bass and drums
but at the same time they
were adopting a kind
of a gay camp rock appearance
of Marc Bolan and
David Bowie, they were
getting hit records much to the
annoyance of Led
Zeppelin and Deep Purple.
Sam: Why do you think fans
were moving away from that
serious, 'We're gonna change the
world' mentality towards more
just, we just want to go to a
show and have a good time.
Andy Scott: England was having
harder times during the
glam rock period, protest
marches, people were striking
a lot but usually when all that
kind of stuff starts happening,
the pubs fill up and people
generally want to have a
good time that gets you away
from all the things that are
going on in your life, you
know we were probably lucky
to be the outlet for
their frustration.
Chris Welch: The glam rock thing
was a big fashion thing and
the younger generation of kids
who weren't so concerned
about Vietnam war or death
doom and destruction,
you know what they were really
concerned about was buying
the next great hit record
by David Bowie or T. Rex,
it's a party time really,
it's party music.
Even though glam rock
was exploding in England
and heavy metal appeared
to be on the ropes
there was one British
hard rocker who helped
reignite heavy music
in the mid seventies,
Ritchie Blackmore.
Ritchie's new band Rainbow
was a far cry from the
funk inspired
sounds of Deep Purple.
So why did he form Rainbow and
return to this heavier sound?
Sam Dunn: Why do you think
Ritchie left Purple and
wanted to do something
heavier with Rainbow?
Glenn Hughes: I believe that
Ritchie didn't like the super
groove thing that Dave
and myself and Ian Paice
was doing and Jon Lord
is now playing a
Fender Rhodes keyboard, so
by the time we were making
"Stormbringer" Ritchie had
already got in his head that he
was gonna start making the bark
influence medieval music.
Jimmy Bain: I made the
bad move of putting on a
"Stormbringer" CD in
the limo one time and
he took it out and chucked
it out the window.
He didn't care for that
period of Purple at all,
he didn't like it.
From the first rehearsals we
had, he was definitely into
getting a more raw
sound than he had before.
Sam Dunn: Can you tell me
about the classical influence
that Ritchie brought in?
Tony Carey: He was born like 500
years too late and his passion
was always this 16th century
thing but at 130 decibels.
He did a solo on "Stargazer"
and live sometimes,
absolutely amazing, this Arabic
scale with slide guitar
on a Stratocaster, I never
heard anything like it.
Besides Ritchie Blackmore's
midevil inspired guitar sound,
Rainbow also featured one of
the most powerful vocalists
in the history of heavy
metal, Ronnie James Dio.
And luckily I was ableto
meet RonnieathisL.A.home
a few years before his death in
and ask him about his
approach to metal vocals.
Ronnie James Dio: I view the
music that I've made as being
so much about the little man
because metal music has
always been looked down upon
than obviously it's going to be
something that affects people
who have been looked down upon.
That's always been the thing
that I have written about,
more than anything.
Tony Carey: He had his own
voice, let me put it that way,
he was really the first to
combine this tarot card,
sorcery, Lord of the Rings type
thing, wizard flying over you
know and a fist coming out of
the ocean grabbing a rainbow,
this whole fantasy
thing with hard rock.
Ronnie: Dragons and Medieval
times and the things that you
see surrounding my home are
part and parcel of my life.
I read at such an early age
and read all about dragons and
knights and damsels in distress
and great science fiction works,
Edgar Rice Burroughs and I was
just, wow I better create what
these images are on myself,
that's so cool and so that's why
eventually, writing and writing
and writing, I decided to put
all the things that I wrote in
this kind of fantasy area which
made you have to think,
what is he talking about?
Oh he said that, I
wonder what that looks like?
I wanted people to have to use
their imagination the way I did
and create their own dragons.
Ronnie James Dio pioneered
the fantasy-based imagery
that's become part of
the fabric of many
contemporary metal bands but
the first band to create
the modern metal sound and
to actually identify as a
true heavy metal band
was Judas Priest.
Sam Dunn: Can we go back
to "Rocka Rolla" and
"Sad Wings Of Destiny".
How do you think
"Sad Wings" was a different
record than "Rocka Rolla"
Rob Halford: I think
the difference between
"Rocka Rolla" and "Sad Wings
Of Destiny", the band grew up
very very quickly. Some of
those "Rocka Rolla" songs
were already established
in the bands repertoire.
So by the time we got to "Sad
Wings" there was, there was a
growth, there was a
definite growth going on.
Sam Dunn: It has a very
metallic sound compared
to say the early
Sabbath records.
Chris Tsangarides: Yes.
Sam Dunn: How did you do it?
Chris Tsangarides: The first
Sabbath albums were done in
no time, basically they
set up live, recorded it,
maybe threw the vocal on
at the end, that was it.
"Sad Wings" took quite a few
months of intensive overdubs,
it's orchestrated except
we don't have violins and
you know orchestral instruments,
we've got drums, guitars,
and bass but if you arrange
them like you would a
classical piece of music,
that's heavy metal.
Christopher Knowles: Judas
Priest represent a distinct
shift away from the
blues roots of metal,
their chord changes and their
progressions are not based
on that old 145 blues
twelve bar kind of thing.
They become a distinct metal
that has no real prior
antecedence, it's now a style.
Sam Dunn: Where did you get the
inspiration to create what
is now hallmark of what you guys
do, the two-guitar approach?
K.K. Downing: One band
in particular is called
Wishbone Ash, they
had a couple of
guitar players
that are kind of not heavy in
any particular way but it just
seemed to be a really good idea
at the time because the sound
was just fuller, you know it was
almost like a stereo effect
on the stage, we were
very excited about it.
Martin Popoff: There were
bands before Judas Priest
that had two guitars
in them but
they almost seemed like
disassociated with each other
it was just two
guitarists in the band,
you know Brad Whitford and
Joe Perry or Keith Richards
and whoever was the guitarist
at the time, the twin
guitarists chugging away on a
really good solid meat and
potatoes riff is something
that comes from Judas Priest.
Scott Ian: You know this is
(beep) as a kid that I had never
heard before, Tipton would
just tear your head off,
his leads, they were
blistering and then
K.K. on the other
hand was the madman,
you know the guy
holding the Flying-V
and you know playing the
whammy bar like this.
Judas Priest's influence
on modern metal went beyond
their dual guitar approach;
they also established a look
that would become the uniform
of the heavy metal culture.
Rob Halford: It's one thing to
have the music but it's another
thing to have the visual so that
everyone around the planet can
connect and go, yah that's it,
the way that looks is totally
representative of the sound of
the music, all I wear is black,
I just don't feel, you'll never
find never wearing black.
K.K. Downing: So many of the
other bands they were still
kind of wearing obviously
leather, denims and
different things but you did
have a sense of excitement that
it was kind of fresh you know
and you had a sense that the
audience recognized the
fact that well this is
new, this is metal.
Sam Dunn: The big three never
really self identified
or adopted the concept
of heavy metal,
with you guys, you claimed it.
K.K.: There was a period, wasn't
that really people were really
sort of not admitting they were
metal but I think Priest, we
always maintained that we were
proud to fly the flag of metal.
Rob Halford: We are who we
are, we believe in ourselves,
we're strong about what we feel
we want to do so yah right
from the very beginning that's
all we ever wanted to be
known as in Judas Priest
was we're heavy metal.
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