Metal Injection recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST members Rob Halford (vocals), Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Richie Faulkner (guitar). You can now watch the chat below.
Halford, who revealed he was homosexual during a 1998 appearance on MTV, commended former DEATH and current CYNIC members Paul Masvidal (guitar, vocals) and Sean Reinert (drums), who are both gay, for speaking out for the first time about their sexuality in the context of their music.
Asked if he ever gets approached by any gay metal fans, Halford told Metal Injection: "They never do. And I know there were gay metalheads at the Times Square signing [for the new JUDAS PRIEST album, 'Redeemer Of Souls']. I know it. I know it. And it's a real shame, but…"
He continued: "We could talk forever about this, we could have our own show on this, because it's something very meaningful, I would like to feel. But [it's an issue] that still exists in our world. I don't think it'll ever go away. We've come through it in however we choose to display ourselves. [We have to] respect each other if we wanna stay in the background on that issue. At the heart of it all, it don't really fucking matter, because metal is all that matters.
"But I really applaud the guys from CYNIC for standing forward and just telling… They didn't need to do that. I didn't need to do that. They did it for themselves, like I did for myself. It might appear to be a bit selfish, but it's not.
"I always quickly say: you set yourself free, you stop all the lying, you stop all the innuendo, you stop all the damaging, attacking comments, because they bounce off you. Because [you go], 'That's who I am. That's what I am. What are you trying to say? You can't attack me anymore, because I'm now bulletproof because of this honesty.'
"So I applaud them. I think it's really, really cool. And I can't wait to see them."
Halford stated in 1998 about his decision to publicly discuss his sexuality: "I think that most people know that I've been a gay man all of my life, and that it's only been in recent times that it's an issue that I feel comfortable to address, and an issue that has been with me ever since recognizing my own sexuality. It's something that I've been comfortable with forever, something that I feel has a moment, and this is the moment to discuss it and to go into the reasons, and the whys and the wherefores as to the statement, the so-called coming out phase."
He continued: "A lot of homophobia still exists in the music world, in all kinds of music. I wouldn't say it's any more phobic in metal or rap or whatever this music is that I'm doing now, but that's just something that I think we all have to address in our own lives. If we have a problem with it, I think we should seek help and find out why we do have a problem with it."
In openly discussing his sexuality, Halford said that he hoped he would be helping others to do the same.
"I think it's difficult for everybody, you know, in making the decision to come forward and be who you are, based on peer pressure, especially if you're a teenager," Halford said. "That's where a lot of the anxiety begins, and so maybe people like myself and others that do step in front of a camera and let the world know, maybe it's of some help, where there's an individual that's been successful, that's been able to achieve dreams and visions and goals in life and not let the issue of sexuality be something to hold them back, so I think it's an important thing."