Rob Halford says that his debut blues solo album "will be ready when it's ready." The JUDAS PRIEST singer is collaborating with the same team that assisted him during the making of his 2019 Christmas LP "Celestial", including his brother Nigel and his nephew Alex (son of PRIEST bassist Ian Hill).
Speaking to "The Cassius Morris Show", Halford said (see video below): "We've started to kick the tires on this blues record. In fact, before we started talking today, I had some texts from my brother Nigel, who's a drummer. He worked with us all on the 'Celestial' Christmas album last year. And my nephew Alex, who's the son of Ian Hill, bass player from PRIEST, he was also on the Christmas album. And their good friend Jon Blakely on guitar. So the three of them are at my house, and they're just jamming away, putting together these ideas.
"Much like the Christmas album, I said, 'Guys, you love the blues as much as I do. You just go ahead and formally put all the pieces together, and then we'll make a record,'" he continued. "So it has started. And it'll be ready when it's ready."
A few years ago, Rob stated about his interest in making a blues record: "When I first became a musician in my late teens, I started to hear the extraordinary roots of the blues — Bessie Smith, Little Walter, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters. They gave me the buzz… It's something I want to do because I want to explore what my voice can do in that wonderful world. That's how I learned to do a lot of that soaring, sweeping, and screeching. And also I discovered that I've got a voice that can go in different octaves, directions, and different kinds of projections. It's a combination of a sense of adventure and just being inspired by those guys, those wonderful singers. It's a mixture of everything but mainly a discovery of what the voice can do."
Back in 2015, Halford told Newsday.com that he was interested in recording a blues album and pursuing other non-heavy metal projects because he wanted to find out what his voice can do. He said: "I've always felt that [the blues is] very much a part of my background and musical roots. I don't know what kind of blues album I could do because there are so many different facets [to explore]. Maybe I'll just mix it up. As far as stuff out of the metal world, I'm a fan of people like Michael Bublé and Michael Feinstein. I've always been a fan of [Frank] Sinatra and Tony Bennett and Elvis [Presley]. I'd love to hear what my voice would sound like in that kind of musical mix, with wind instruments, trumpets and sax, piano, just that big-band sound."
Halford credited his vocal versatility and ability to take his voice in "different directions" as the main reason he was "so interested in trying these other opportunities." He said: I think if I had a voice that was different to what it is and was a little more in one focus, maybe I wouldn't be as adventurous about my ideas. But because my voice is able to do those different things, it's instinctive and natural to see what else I can do."
Halford released his autobiography, "Confess", on September 29 via Hachette Books.