JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was interviewed for the November 12 episode of "The Animal House Radio Show". You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On planning JUDAS PRIEST's stage shows and setlists:
Rob: "I think you have to kind of make overall sense of the great honor and privilege it's been to have been a great metal band like JUDAS PRIEST for almost 50 years. We're always stepping up to the plate. We never take anything for granted. We're very grateful to all of our fans around the world that have given us this long life in metal. So that's always in our minds. Wherever we work, whatever stage we set foot on in the world, like we did here last night in Rio [De Janeiro, Brazil], [we] give a thousand percent. And to some extent, that's your responsibility — you don't wanna disappoint your fans; your fans have paid good money and they deserve to get the best that you can give. So that's all part of the philosophy of PRIEST. We love what we do, we have a lot of fun with what we do, but we take it deadly seriously. It's an important part of our being in JUDAS PRIEST. And because music is an emotionally based source of an exchange of power and energy, you have to be aware of how people are feeling. So that's just been the kind of mantra that PRIEST has always had from day one, which is to do our best and to give our best wherever we are in the world."
On JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton, who is no longer touring with the band after being diagnosed with the later stages of Parkinson's disease:
Rob: "Glenn's a hero. And with references to some of the brave men and women that are dealing with various issues — physical challenges, mental challenges — the world is a bit of a better place in terms of where you can go for help now, and in Glenn's case, with his Parkinson's, he wasn't even aware that he had the symptoms for a number of years until he was fully diagnosed. But like Glenn, and like all the heroes in service, active duty and vets, there's a great support system of people out there that love you and that are ready to provide the help and give you the care and attention that you need. And that's the same case with Glenn — he's got the best doctors in the world looking after him. And with Parkinson's, it's a day-to-day situation — some days are better than others. And Glenn will always step out, Glenn will always come out when he's feeling strong. I hear he's probably gonna come out to Japan, which will be great. It's a long flight from London to Tokyo, but he loves his fans so much that as and when he's feeling strong enough, he'll come out and play. So, yeah, Glenn's the heavy metal hero right now. We love him, and we thank you for thinking about him.
"Glenn will be the first to say that he stands there not just for himself but for everybody who's dealing with that particular challenge. And we have the Glenn Tipton Foundation that he's created, which you can buy a t-shirt or you can actually make a donation, if you wish, directly. You can find that information through the JUDAS PRIEST social networks that are there. And that's the big thing, isn't it, with these kinds of things — you need the funding, you need the resources. And I know the current administration is stepping up and trying to do as much as they can with funding the needs for individuals with PTSD and everything else that's related to these types of issues. So, yeah, we're all in it together in that respect, [when it comes to] reaching out and loving each other and helping each other as much as we can."
On his decision to leave JUDAS PRIEST in 1992 and pursue a solo career over the course of several albums, including the acclaimed 2000 effort "Resurrection" from his HALFORD band:
Rob: "I think I was on the same journey as a lot of my friends in music. It's a funny thing with lead singers — we have a tendency to go off on our own and do things and we end up coming back to the place where we were determined to be. Ironically enough, 'Resurrection' kind of was a bridge back to JUDAS PRIEST. I'd been away with the HALFORD band and the TWO project with John 5 and the FIGHT record, all of which I had a great time making. It's one of those things where, if you're a creative person, you're constantly searching for other opportunities. And I sought those out, and I still do now — I'm just very curious about what can be made with other musicians especially. But, yeah, thank you for referencing 'Resurrection'. I stand by that record; it was a great record. Everybody played their hearts out on it. Everybody did a great job."
PRIEST recently completed a U.S. co-headlining tour with fellow classic heavy rockers DEEP PURPLE.
The British heavy metal legends are continuing to tour in support of their latest album, "Firepower", which came out in March. The LP entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 5, making it PRIEST's highest-charting album ever.