JUDAS PRIEST Singer On 'Nostradamus': 'I Would Love To See This Done In Classical Opera Format'

Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford this past Tuesday, May 6. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.

Classic Rock Revisited: Vocally you are all over the place. When you think of Halford, you think of "Judas Rising" or the song "Resurrection" and that Halford boom. I noticed you sing in many different styles. "Lost Love" is a different type of song for you. You were really challenged on this album.

Rob: I love going into character. I love to become these painkillers and sentinels. I like to go into that world and it is a great opportunity for any singer to embrace that. Glenn [Tipton] and KK [Downing] would also change their guitar tones to fit a certain sound or feel. Ian [Hill] and Scott [Travis] would play the bass and drums differently to convey what needed. This was a terrific experience for me because I could show off everything I have learned over the last thirty odd years. I sing in every range and I sing in Italian and I sing in French; I do a lot of crazy stuff. To keep your attention for an hour and forty minutes we hope that is how people will listen to this. We want people to listen to this the same way people listen to "Tommy", "Operation: Mindcrime" or "Tubular Bells". We don't want it to be tedious. We want people to be excited about what is going to happen next. If you have a favorite movie then you look forward to seeing certain parts over and over again. It is all a big picture experience you try to get across. I had a blast using all of the vocal things that I do.

Classic Rock Revisited: Detractors of metal and of PRIEST would have loved for this to come out one-dimensional and make "Spinal Tap" references. Is there some satisfaction to make such a valid piece of music that goes beyond metal?

Rob: I would agree. We are anticipating the crossover moment. This can reach people who may have never thought of listening to PRIEST. This can go anywhere. We have already talked with management about when this goes through its release cycle that we can pass this over to special events. We can have other interpretations. I would personally love to see this done in a classical opera format or instrumentally by a symphonic orchestra. You can only do that when you have a conceptualized musical event. I know what you are saying. We have never really been directed by stepping outside of ourselves or worrying about what people might think of our music or what their reaction might be. We are JUDAS PRIEST and we make JUDAS PRIEST music. All of our fans are rabid and passionate. It is natural to get some push back. Some people think that "Turbo" sucks and some think it is amazing. Some people think "Painkiller" was the best thing that this band has ever done. It is like being a sports fan. You have your favorite team and all the players and sometimes they play great and sometimes they don't play as well. But they are still the same team and they are still aiming towards the same destination. It is natural to get opinions, attitudes and speculations. You have to let that go or you won't have any inspirations. You have to do it for yourself. It is not really a selfish endeavor but you are looking after your own needs and wants as a band. We are lucky enough to have millions of fans that generally agree with what we do and they love the metal that we make for them.

Classic Rock Revisited: Do you feel his life has parallels to metal music?

Rob: That was the joy, wasn't it? We have this man who was an alchemist and who lived in a magical time with all the swords and the shields. Depending on where your heart is at you can say it is clich but it is just perception. We feel metal fans embrace this time period of five hundred years ago, medieval Europe. There were a lot of magical things that were happening at that time. It was a very metal time and he is a metal man. You couldn't really do that with many people who have lived through history. There is a very small amount of individuals who have maintained that kind of connection to the modern world. It is a brilliant opportunity to cover his life.

Read the entire interview at Classic Rock Revisited.

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