Craig Hlavaty of HoustonPress.com's Rocks Off blog recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford. An excerpt from the chat follows below.Rocks Off: What was the social climate in England at the time of "British Steel"? We've heard many people calling it a punk record in spirit but firmly metal in sound... Rob Halford: Many people have different perceptions of what "British Steel" represents. The big thing for us of course is that it's been a very successful release. It pushed us ahead in terms of recognition amongst the rest of metal. To be honest, we didn't have much time to think about it. A good portion of "British Steel" was made on the fly, so to speak. We were literally making a record once a year for ten years. So, really we were just writing very spontaneously. Even though we have always been aware of what has gone on around us musically, I don't think we have really ever taken those things as direct inspiration. We have always been very much with our ears to the ground. It's valuable. I think maybe the two tracks that have an edgy, thrashy punk vibe are "Rapid Fire" and the closing track, "Steeler". Rocks Off: Out of all the singles pulled off "British Steel", we have always loved "United". Rob Halford: Oh yeah! Musically it's all over the place. The inspiration for "United" was the atmosphere of the U.K. at the time. There was a lot of unhappiness and friction going on between the government and the miners and the steelworkers. So, that's where I got this feeling. They kept saying "We're going to be united against [Prime Minister] Thatcher!" It's a great song and then and now, it's about being united in metal. It's just a rallying cry for all the metalheads around the world just to be who you are, and stick with what you believe and love your metal and live it together. Read more from Rocks Off.
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