Name: Tommi Puurunen
Please tell us something about your history as a Judas Priest fan? How did it start?
I guess it (at least unconsciously) started when I was around 11 and heard You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ a hundred times on a video game soundtrack. I remember then standing in a store with “The Essential Judas Priest” best of CD in my hands but my mother wouldn’t buy it for me, probably because of the cover! It took some years after that when I bought Turbo LP on a whim, quickly followed by Defenders of the Faith, Screaming for Vengeance and Painkiller. Eventually I ended up hearing Exciter from Stained Class and discovering the 70s’ albums, which brought Judas Priest to a whole new level for me.
Noticed that there’s a Priest fork on your ring finger. What’s the story behind this tattoo?
Once I came up with this over the top tattoo idea I couldn’t turn my back on it. For me it means being married to Heavy Metal (= Judas Priest) for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t think of a better and more trustable companion really.
You seem to have a nice Judas Priest collection. Obviously you’re collecting all Priest related memorabilia there is?
Yes, I gather all kinds of stuff from pins, patches and tour scarves to singles and posters, but try to do it calmly and not concentrate on what I’m missing. There’s an endless amount of Judas Priest stuff to buy so I focus on items I really want (as if that helps much haha!).
Are there any items on your wantlist you’re still hunting?
Naturally, for example the French pressing of Rocka Rolla 7″ with that weird cover and logo! I only have the first version without a picture sleeve. I also deeply regret not buying a Screaming For Vengeance tour jacket when I had the chance, now it’s constantly on my mind. And well, pretty much everything on the merchandise sheet of Unleashed in the East LP…
How many times have you seen Judas Priest live, and of those, what was the best experience?
So far 4 times, all in the last 5 years though, so unfortunately I never saw them with Downing. One highlight was the first time in 2011 Sauna Open Air when they played You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ and I got a sentimental rush of nostalgia out of it (not to forget hearing Never Satisfied, Starbreaker and other rare songs too!), but the greatest time I had in Tallinn last December. I had just been to Stockholm to see Priest and once I got back home I instantly bought the ferry trip and concert ticket to Tallinn two days forward because I had to see it all again as soon as possible! After that I checked for flight prices to Poland but had run out of money…
What does the music of Judas Priest mean to you?
FUEL FOR LIFE! It’s always there to make bad times better and good times even greater. Heavy metal is my life and the music of Judas Priest is the epitome of heavy metal.
What is your favourite album and song?
The greatest thing about Judas Priest is that they have an album for every mood and situation, sometimes it’s Rocka Rolla, sometimes Point of Entry is the best. But if I was forced to choose only one, it would probably be Sad Wings of Destiny. Naming a favourite song is even harder… I’ll go with Rock Forever now, could listen to Les Binks’ bass drums alone in that one but everything about the song is so uplifting and perfect, the double guitar lead is godly!
Your message to K.K. and Millworkers?
I salute both for doing all this, it has been an amazing site to follow! The video about Sad Wings of Destiny and the long article about Tyrant were the best!
And now it’s your chance to ask K.K. Downing a question…
This is the hardest question and I’m still not sure what to ask, but… Which are YOUR three favourite songs on Stained Class?
Exciter, Beyond The Realms Of Death and Saints In Hell!
All the best!