Despite their effeminate name, Montreal, Canada heavy rockers Priestess are anything but polite. They hit hard with their 2005 debut, 'Hello Master,' and they hit even harder with their follow-up, 'Prior to the Fire,' which is out already in the band's native Canada via Indica and due out next month in the U.S. via Tee Pee Records.

'Prior to the Fire' has been a long time coming for the band, who started writing songs for the record in the summer of 2007 and finished the recording process in the fall of 2008. Why the delays? The band spent a the better part of 2005 through 2007 on the road supporting 'Hello Master' alongside bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Mastodon, so they didn't have a lot of time to write. Then, when they did finally begin work on a follow-up to 'Hello Master,' their efforts to move forward were continually hampered by their label, RCA, which was anticipating a radio-friendly single that was never to be.

Finally, when the band had 20 new songs written, RCA sent Priestess into the studio with producer Dave Schiffman (Nine Inch Nails, Mars Volta). Out of the studio Priestess came with a record they were more than proud of. "We did it 100 percent the way we felt was right at the time," explained vocalist/guitarist Mikey Heppner to Noisecreep.

But RCA still didn't hear the single they were looking for and so, to make a long story rather short, the band and the label amicably parted ways. Very amicably, in fact, as the band was allowed to take the record that RCA had paid for to another label. "I will forever hold RCA in the highest esteem [for letting] us keep the record that they paid for," said Heppner. "The shift in labels is still pretty fresh, but we already feel like we are at home with Tee Pee. We are no longer the dead-last priority on a roster list that includes all the American Idol contestants and s---."

In anticipation of the U.S. release of 'Prior to the Fire,' recently premiered the album's lead track, 'Ladykiller.' The song may not meet major label radio single standards, but it's certainly as infectious as it is raucous.

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