You may have heard -- especially if you're a hardcore Priestess fan -- that the Canadian metallers have a new album out in their native land called 'Prior to the Fire,' which, because of label complications, won't hit American record store shelves until Feb. 2. Frontman Mikey Heppner isn't happy about it. But he's dealing.

"What happened was, we got dropped from RCA," which released the band's first album 'Hello Master' in 2006, "so we had to start negotiating with new labels to put it out in the U.S.," Heppner tells Noisecreep. "We were still signed with our Canadian label, and by the time we secured a deal with [new American label home] Tee Pee, the earliest they could release it was Feb. 2, so we were like, 'OK, um ... that's a year after we had hoped,' because, had we not got dropped, it would have been out in March 2009. We told them, 'OK, but we have to put it out in Canada this fall,' so we could tour. We've been in limbo for a long time."

While he's relieved a release date has been set it stone, he's hoping American fans will wait for the disc to come out before trying to buy an import version of the disc. "Anyone who can desperately not wait will find a way to get it, but there will be special extras on the U.S. one to maybe encourage people to wait or buy it again."

There will be two deluxe editions: one that comes with an exclusive T-shirt and two bonus tracks, and another just with the two bonus tracks ... which won't be on the physical disc but will be downloadable. Heppner says the band has "stepped it up music-wise, and we really believe in the strength of the new material. We're confident about it, and we're proud of it."

'Prior to the Fire' is a loud record. When the band was making it, they nearly had the whole production shut down by the police. "We worked in the studio in Hollywood Hills in this residential area, and the studio owner told us not to worry about the noise, that they've never had a complaint," he says. "Luckily, we had gotten all of the drums done and a lot of the guitars. We were doing bass overdubs, and we had the bass amps cranked very, very loud. It was shaking the house and probably the neighbors' houses as well.

"The cops came and gave us a warning that if they came back, they'd have to give us a huge ticket and shut us down. We couldn't risk that happening again, so we had to jump into another studio at the last minute. We were laughing really hard about the fact that the cops shut us down for being too loud."