Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford onstage with Black Sabbath (guitarist Tony Iommi is pictured to the left), November 15th, Per Ozzy’s special request, the opening band would be none other than Black fucking Sabbath led at the time by Ronnie James Dio. And with that, Dio. The most striking thing about meeting Rob Halford is the sheer disparity between the The man whose fans call him the Metal God – a title he has . support for independent journalism with a year-end gift to The Guardian. ROB HALFORD JUDAS PRIEST. ROB HALFORD THE METAL GOD'S REMARKABLE CAREER UNDER . You've gotta make ends meet.
One of the greatest fucking records we've ever made. It's going to be What are we gonna do with that one? They really embody everything that we were expecting of ourselves for Firepower.
And we go through lyrics together and if one of us isn't happy, we'll make an adjustment. You've got to be able to compromise in a band, otherwise somebody's more important than the next guy and that's never been the case in Priest. There's an area called Flanders and after World War I, there was still a lot of destruction and the landscape was torn apart, but then these flowers would grow So "Sea of Red" was about the poppies in the wind and creating this kind of sea of red, referencing the blood of people that fell.
And how do you get a message like that across that's elevating you and not depressing you, that's engaging you to think good about horrible events? It's a personal thing, so it has an element of spirituality in it and this belief that I've got about afterlife.
I like to put my mind into different things like physics and quantum physics and science and all this stuff — Einstein believing in God and believing in an afterlife, all these incredibly genius minds all reference that they think there's something more than what we have in the physical world.
Rob Halford on Judas Priest's New Album, Legacy of Metal, Leather, Pushing Boundaries
How do you put that in a song? It's just a metaphor really, but it's telling the story that there is something more than what we have at this place. And how do you make that convincing and heavy fucking metal? You're really rolling the dice there, aren't you, because there's always a threat of rejection if you become too personal, if you're in a heavy-metal band.
There's this big alpha male tough macho thing.
How do you make such a sensitive piece of music connect? And I'll be very interested to look and hear what our fans say about that track. They're put into a situation that's really out of their control and not being accepted and respected because they're not going with the general flow of whatever is in society. It's like what's going off in Iran at the moment — to watch the protesters, they're all heroes. Anywhere where you're pushing back against a rigid dictatorship that encroaches on your human rights of freedom and liberty, it's all important.
Who knew there's all these statements on this record? When you're in the zone, you're not really thinking about it beyond that moment of putting the words together, making the sound right and getting the melody right and the phrasing. But now when I listen to these songs like "Evil Never Dies" and "Lightning Strike," it just felt that those are the right words at the right time when we were making the music. And then people go, "You know, 'Lightning Strike' is very in the groove of what's happening here in America right now, the political thing.
I think that's all of us in Priest. We all take a great deal of care. I get more of a kick out of hearing the bassline that Ian's putting down than anything else. I do think about a lot of stuff. That's just the way I am. I never was a tits and ass guy.
Judas Priest's Rob Halford: I've become the stately homo of heavy metal' | Music | The Guardian
Show me your tits and wag that ass," you know. There's nothing wrong with that, but that's not Rob. That's not the Metal God. I may be more curious now as an older guy than I was when I was a younger guy just because you change, don't you? I wasn't as interested as I am now about politics and the world economy and climate change and everything else.
In my role as an openly gay metalhead, we've still got a long way to go. From my perspective there's still not equality. I hate this thing of boxes and labels. You go somewhere like the Netherlands, I've had a flat over there forever. They don't even talk about that.
It's a non-existent discussion in terms of everybody and who they are and why are we even talking about that's a gay guy and that's a lesbian, that's a black guy and that's a Muslim? It's peculiar with all this new territory we haven't really advanced that much. We have such a great time being together as a band still and the writing process. It's important to say that Richie's input has been vital to take us to some different places.
We just love playing, we just love writing metal and we're like a bunch of kids. We're in the studio and the riffs are going and we're headbanging. It feels absolutely fantastic. And this thing about feeling a bit jaded and cynical? That's never really entered into our mindset. All of us feel the same way. We don't have to say to one of us, "Make a bit more of an effort," because it's always there.
It's always this genuine love of putting out this new metal that we could make. It's important that metal really send out a strong message and I really hope that's what Priest is able to do for metal innot just for us. It rises everything up. Everybody gets buzzed about the metal scene, the metal community.
When he came in like he did, it was like stepping into some big boots and he will always acknowledge his respect and admiration for what K. He came in on the Epitaph tour. He was just flung into the thick of it, went out there night after night and people are going, "Who's this new guy? He's in Judas Priest.
We're in each other's company, 20 hours a day in the bus, on the stage, backstage, so all of that is important. And Richie's really shone through on this album and his writing contributions. He said in the Redeemer of Souls writing sessions, "I don't want to do too much. I've got all these ideas. You're in this band. He loves that side of it. All of us do to some extent. That's just part of the Priest puzzle: It's like being a kid. And from the perspective of the fans, just give me something to see and talk about and remember.
I mean, there was some kickback, naturally. There was kickback when I was away and [Tim] Ripper [Owens] was holding the mic, you know. It's just there in front of your face if you want to turn the computer on and see what people are saying, thinking or feeling, can't you? But I will say, on that side of this social platform music scene, we are treated really nice. I have friends in bands that recently are doing really, really well.
And they just get tore apart on Blabbermouth or this site or that site. It's very sad, but Priest has been really well looked after. We've never gone for controversy. We've never done a stunt. It's always just been the music. The music's there first, so whenever those changes came around, they were for a specific important reason. Our fans understood and so it has been with the way Richie's been embraced, as he should have been. Yeah, I think so.
I vaguely remember the guy who came to see us play the Greyhound pub to get us our first deal in London and how excited we were and thinking, "Oh this is gonna be great. We're gonna be top of the charts next week! And then by the end of that second album, you have to leave the label because they won't give you five pounds a week to live on. So it's that slow and steady thing. I don't know if it's a British thing or what, but for the most part, when people do start to get some recognition and success, a lot of the bands have gone through a year existence [playing] the clubs and every dive bar in the States.
Without Tom and without Andy this record wouldn't have turned out anywhere near as good. Leaving the music in their hands with the confidence and trust that we have in these guys was really important because individually each of us go off into a room and really focus on whatever it is we have to put down that day or the next day, getting it right, getting it as great as it should be. Glenn for the most part has always been in the room when I do my vocals. The technologies used by Google may collect information such as your IP address, time of visit, whether you are a return visitor, and any referring website.
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Judas Priest's Rob Halford: I've become the stately homo of heavy metal'
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Rob Halford on Judas Priest's New Album, Legacy of Metal, Leather, Pushing Boundaries | Revolver
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