Don Airey Breaks Silence on Judas Priest ‘Painkiller’ Bass Parts
The veteran keyboardist, who's been in Deep Purple since 2002, admitted his role in an interview with Antihero. "[Judas Priest drummer] Scott Travis has spilled the beans about it that all the bass parts are me playing on the mini," he said. "It’s Moog bass on the whole album, that was Ian Hill’s bass mixed in as well on parts. But at the time Ian wasn’t very well. So, he wasn’t at the sessions. So, I got made to do all the bass and they kept it."
"I mean, it was a funny old job," Airey continued. "I only got to play proper keyboards on one track, I can’t remember what the track is. I just read about it yesterday that they’d actually said, I’ve never said a word about it before. I mean, it was an exciting album to do. They’re wonderful people to be around."
Painkiller followed a period where Judas Priest looked to modernize their sound with guitar synthesizers on Turbo and Ram It Down. Both records were polarizing, and the thrash-influenced Painkiller was welcomed as a return to form.
Airey was credited for playing keyboards on the song "A Touch of Evil," but not acknowledged in the liner notes for his bass contributions. "They were so worried about it, they didn’t even give me a credit I don’t think, on the album. They paid me, which is always the point. ... It’s a wonderful album, Painkiller."