We're five days into the new year and it already rules thanks to Judas Priest. They just dropped a video for "Lightning Strike," the first single off their forthcoming 18th studio album, Firepower and it's a scorcher capable of hanging with some of the most iconic tracks in the band's vaunted history. We caught up with the Metal God himself, Rob Halford, and drummer Scott Travis to dive a bit deeper into the song and more.

Amidst the forceful riffage found on "Lightning Strike" are nuances that really propel the song to make it such an instant standout. Travis dug deep and came away with what Halford called a "spectacular" performance, which the drummer attributed to a "refreshing" studio environment. "The thing about drummers is that not only [are they] there to keep the beat, it's the way that Scott is able to embellish the phrasing of the songs," commented Halford.

One highlight is when Travis hits the China cymbal four times in the song's chorus, to which Halford noted, "If that wasn't in that song, the song would suffer terribly." Filled with praise for his drummer who joined the group back in '89, the singer went on, "This is just the expertise of a great drummer like Scott... He knows where to project and sometimes pull back and to give a flourish to the drum piece within a song."

For Firepower, Priest re-enlisted their classic producer, Tom Allom, who was behind some of the group's most esteemed records spanning from Unleashed in the East through Ram it Down. On the album's title track, he convinced Halford to roll his R's, a fun touch that adds a surprising amount to the song. "Tom is the master for picking out when and when not to do [something like that]," added the singer.

Watch our interview with Rob Halford and Scott Travis above and pre-order your copy of Firepower, out March 9, and to see if Judas Priest are stopping near you on their North American tour, head here.

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