Emperor Vocalist / Guitarist Ihsahn talks with Brave Words about a possible project with Rob Halford from Judas Priest and Nergal from Behemoth.
BraveWords had the honour of sitting down with legendary Emperor frontman Ihsahn recently to talk about about a number of topics including the band’s Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk anniversary celebrations and his latest solo album, Àmr. We also chatted about the ongoing rumours that there are ongoing behind-the-scenes discussions about a project involving Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and Behemoth leader Adam Nergal Darski.
“It just recently came up again,” Ihsahn reveals. “The first time I met Rob I think it was back in 2001, something like that. I guess someone gave him my number and he reached out and we were in touch for a while. He was not in Priest at the time, and I guess he had more time on his hands. After he re-joined Priest that been all-consuming for him. But I remember I sent him the first record, I sent him the rough mixes for the second solo record. This is kind of inside gossip but it was a very proud moment for me when he wrote back and said ‘Yeah, I’ll listen to Angl (my second record) on my way to KK’s place to write some new Priest stuff.’ That’s pretty awesome, right? And I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times and – well you know – he’s such a humble and down to earth, pleasant, very gentle guy. Such a great person. And you know, you never get over the fact that’s he’s the god of metal. He’s such an iconic figurehead of everything that you and me associate with all this music.”
Ihsahn is not shy to admit that such a project is on his bucket list. And as an inspiration, he agrees that the Judas Priest catalog is second to none in heavy metal circles.
“If you think about that, there’s AC/DC and there’s Judas Priest – and I love Sadness of Destiny as much as I love Painkiller – and I was so happy to hear on the new record, Firepower, you have elements of both those records in there. It’s just amazing that after all these years they can make a record like that. You don’t have any defined expectations of a band like that at that point in their career, but to be so positively surprised, like fuck me, this is insanely good. You hardly believe it, that’s how good that record is. Back to what you were asking about, I think he met Nergal from Behemoth – I think he’s been a huge fan of black metal for such a long time – and Anthems from Emperor is one of his top ten albums – it’s kind of a proud thing you know? He said he would like to have a go at that expression, and also involving Nergal in that as well. I can honestly say that if the three of us ever got together to do something like that, that would be something that I’d love to do. Absolutely. And not just us as me hooking up with two other very successful, famous guys who I admire beyond the names, but in my head I can hear those three expressions and those voices and the energy of what all of us have been doing. It could be something great. But at the same time I think none of us would have liked to enter a venture like that in a hurry. If that ever happened it would have to be done right, and real proper. But I’d love to. Absolutely. That would be amazing.”
Stay tuned for our major Ihsahn feature in the coming days.