In a brand new interview with the Toronto Sun, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked if his recent back surgery has changed his perspective on touring and performing live. He said: "The determination kicks in even stronger when you're faced with those challenges. I've seen 'em face to face. But like any difficulty with anybody in any walk of life, you just deal with it, don't you? You just get on with it. And honestly, we only think about things like this when friends like you ask these questions; we never really go there with each other. We're just a bunch of guys getting in the van and going to the next gig and playing. And they'll have to drag me off that stage. Retirement isn't in my vocabulary."
In November 2014, Halford spoke about the physical ailments he faced in 2013 when he was seen hobbling around with the aid of a walking stick. The JUDAS PRIEST singer reportedly underwent hernia surgery in early 2014, less than a year after he had an operation on his back.
Halford said: "Life throws challenges at you, and I've always felt when that kind of thing happens, you grab hold of the metal as hard as you can and you start fighting back. And I had some incredible people helping me and supporting me through my recovery as well as the amazing neurosurgeon that worked on me in the UK. And I'm back on my feet. But this is what we do. [Us] metalheads, when we hit a wall of any nature, we push back and there are some incredible things that can be done for people with this type of injury in today's world."
He continued: "I'm just very grateful for all of those fantastic people that have helped me, and again, [for] the love and support of the fans. It was really encouraging. But it was a difficult time — it was a very, very difficult time — but I pulled through it, thank the Lord, and I'm back on my feet."
Asked if he felt that his deteriorating physical condition had begun to negatively affect his live performance, Halford said: "Yeah, it was kind of creeping in. I didn't really say much about it. But it really, really became obvious that I needed to do something when I was at the [Revolver] Golden Gods [in 2013]. I went and did a song with the [FIVE FINGER] DEATH PUNCH guys. And then Lars [Ulrich] and James [Hetfield from METALLICA] heard that I was there, and [they said], 'Ah, we've gotta do 'Rapid Fire',' which I will always do, 'cause I'm a huge METALLICA fan. And the, after that, I'm, like, 'Oh my God.' Then I think I came up to [New York] just a few days later, and then I went straight from New York on a plane to England [where] I went under the blade. But it was difficult, But, you know, there you go."
Halford in 2013 recalled a meeting with his longtime friends Lemmy and Rob Trujillo at the 2013 edition of the Revolver Golden Gods awards in Los Angeles. He told RollingStone.com: "I'm in the dressing room... and Lemmy's sitting across from me. Lemmy, God bless him, is going through heart difficulties. I'm comparing my ailments with Lemmy, and Rob, the bass player from METALLICA, is doing these stretches... I don't know, these guys, a guitar is 15 pounds, and when you've got that slung around your neck for two and a half hours a day — I think it's just degenerative. It's accumulative injuries."
He added: "There's no difference from some aspects of sports. You think of a golf player just hitting a ball — 'Well, that can't be too strenuous.' But it is. It's incredibly strenuous when you do that for 40 years. You're going to have a few nicks and bruises."
JUDAS PRIEST's new album, "Redeemer Of Souls", was released in July 2014 via Epic Records.