JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke to Digital Journal about the impact of technology on the music business, especially with streaming services being so popular. He said: "You have to accept it since you can't turn back the tide. I've always had my fingers on the pulse of the music industry, in particular, in the metal world. CD and vinyl are still very important. Metalheads want to stream everything, so you have to cover all the bases and make sure everybody's needs are taken care of."
However, Halford expressed hope that artist payouts from on Spotify and Apple Music will get better in the future. "They need to make the payment system better for the artists since it's not fair right now," he said. "Eventually, that will be sorted, I believe. A band needs to have cash flow."
Halford went on to say that he is still partial to vinyl. "Vinyl is beautiful, isn't it?" he said. "It is a totally different feel. Incrementally, vinyl is like your favorite sports team's jersey. It's one thing to see the team but to have their jersey on is another feeling. You feel more connected to the band since vinyl is tangible."
Rob's latest comments echo those he made in a 2015 interview with New Zealand's 3News. He stated at the time: "If you look at the breakdown of streaming, if you take what the artist gets once the breakdown happens, it really is just pennies out of the pie. It's like a piece; you slice it up. The bands get the tiniest bit. And then we have to divvy that up between how many members there are in the band. So it's a bit of a battle that's going on. But I really hope that fairness will prevail."
Halford added: "The big [streaming services] like Spotify, they appreciate the position that they're in. They've got buckets of money, and they go, 'Well, we're still getting…' Well, come on, guys. I think, you just gotta be 'fair's fair' here. Without us, you don't have a streaming company. That's it, plain and simple.
"So it's a struggle, it's a battle, but I think the artists will prevail and I'm hoping that we'll see some common sense from Spotify and the others to make it all work for everybody."
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.