During a recent interview with Albany, New York's Q103 radio station, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about how his band has broken so many barriers, be it with its music or its leather-and-studs image.
"It's a wonderful subject, this whole business of breaking barriers and tearing down walls," Rob said. "There is a lot of wall language going on in America. You know what walls do? Walls divide people. Walls create a barrier of silence. And the great thing that music has always been able to do is to break through walls. Music is about communication. Music is about talking with each other through the songs that we love, through the shows that we go to.'
He continued: "When our metal maniacs come together, have a few drinks or hang out in the parking lot before they see PRIEST, I know they're talking about stuff other than music — that's just a natural human thing. So this is the great thing about the power of heavy metal as a music source — to break through any kind of issues, [whether] it's hate or intolerance or prejudice on any level. Our metal maniacs have this great capacity to love each other and to help each other and to get through difficult times together. So, this is the glorious thing about the life of being a metal maniac, not only in PRIEST, but the fact that there are millions of us around the world doing great things with the music that we love."
A year ago, Halford told Newsweek that he is "not a Donald Trump supporter," explaining that the U.S. president's policies have turned political divides into chasms and alienated minority groups like the LGBTQ community.
"It's a very shaky time right now," Rob said. "I have so much faith in this country. But it does seem as though the brakes have been slapped on. It's indeed disturbing, and it's such a shame, because throughout the Obama administration, tremendous things were achieved on the basis of human equality. That's the issue here. Treating one bunch of people this way, and treating this bunch that way. You can't do that. You have to give everybody the same rights."
Halford acknowledged that many PRIEST fans won't agree with those views, saying that "there's a ton of metalheads that are supportive of [the Trump] administration." But, he added, "That's great. That's okay. You're not bringing that to the show. We're there to all join together, and that is the beautiful thing about a free, transparent society — which we don't appear to have right now. Some fans are completely opposite to me politically. But we can still be in the same room and have a good time and hopefully have a good discussion while respecting each other's opinions."
JUDAS PRIEST will return to the United States this spring for a run with fellow classic heavy rockers URIAH HEEP. The 32-date trek will kick off on May 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and wrap on June 29 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo credit: Mark Weiss