Norway's Imhotep recently conducted an interview JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On when he felt it was the right time to come back to his roots:
"I think it was after we released the TWO record. We went on tour, and everything that I get involved with I give it a 1000%. You know, I stand by everything that I do, and to me it's not about commercial success or failure, it's just going through the whole process. And after I'd done the TWO release and the shows that we did in different places, I think that's when I fully understood that I just needed to get back to where I just got the most out of the music, and that's what I did after we did the final TWO shows — I just thought about what else was available. And there were other things that one could potentially get involved with. I still want to do some extreme forms of metal, like black/ death metal at some point in my career, since I'm a huge fan of that kind of music. But by then I'd already made my mind up to look for players that would help me put this 'Resurrection' release together."
On what Rob Halford would sound like singing extreme metal:
"I know that what I do as a metal singer, it's very strong for me to do this style of singing, firstly that I do with PRIEST, then what I do with HALFORD. But when think of death metal, I don't want to sing like most death metal singers. I don't know, it would be different."
On his duet with Bruce Dickinson on "Resurrection" on the track "The One You Love To Hate":
"Yeah! That was great. I was up in L.A. working with Roy Z on the 'Resurrection' album, and Bruce was in town. He stopped by the studio and we had some drinks and food together. We've known each other since MAIDEN and PRIEST began, and we're good mates. We just said, 'We've never really had the chance to do a song together!' Then Roy Z came in, and he said, 'What're you guys talking about?' We told him, and he said, 'Fuck, let's just do it, let's just put a song together!' So that's just basically how it happened — within a day we'd got 'The One You Love To Hate' written and the bulk of it came from Bruce, and then we kind of put the words and the melodies together. Then we went to the studio and made it all down. It only took about a day or two to complete. But it was a real bit of metal magic, that was! It's a really good song. I listened to it again last night for the first time in years. Really cool track!"
On the rumored project involving Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate, and Rob Halford:
"That never really got off the ground. That me and Bruce and Geoff from QUEENSRŸCHE were gonna put this band, this trio of singers together and go out and have one backing band, and then we would all do each other's songs, do our own songs, cover songs and just mix it all up. One of us would go out and sing a song, somebody else would come out and sing a song, and then we'd do duets or trios together, whatever. But we never left the launch pad, unfortunately, because we were all so busy and immersed in our separate worlds it just never became a reality! But I've never forgotten that and I still think that if there's an opportunity to do it. We should do it, you know, because it'll be really special and different."
On what he thought of Tim "Ripper" Owens singing with JUDAS PRIEST:
"It was a combination of two things — like, fuck I wish I was doing that. And at the second time, I felt like, all this is brilliant, another JUDAS PRIEST record with a great singer. It was just two sets of feelings for me really. I like Tim's vocals very much. I think he's a great singer! . . . We've met twice or maybe more and he was a very nice guy. I don't understand this whole thing of current and past members of a band bashing each other. I believe respect is something very important and if you have problems with someone, keep them to yourself, you know? You don't need to spread it, to go on public. I've always respected every musician, and I think we, as human beings, should try to respect each other a bit more."
On the reaction from PRIEST fans to his announcement that he was gay:
"It was fantastic. Nobody really cared. I think in today's world, it's a lot easier to be accepted, although there is still a lot of bigotry and a lot of hate. You know, [directed] towards gay people, to different people of different colors, to different people of different religions; and I can't understand that there is still so much hate and resentment in the world. So when I made that statement about my homosexuality, I just think it was important as much as it was for me as a gay metal singer, but also to try and break down some more intolerance and prejudice against gay people. And of course, all my straight metalhead fans, like I said, they were just really supportive. They said, 'Rob we don't care what you are. To us you're the Metal God, you're a great metal singer, and that's all that matters' I was really happy for the reaction because it sent a strong message that the metal community is very accepting. That metalheads can come together at a concert from all different age groups, all different colours, all different religions, all different jobs, all different kinds of sexuality, and they can just come and have a great metal together! So I think I kind of exploded the myth about the metalheads not accepting like myself because that's not true. That was a great thing to do! I'm not an activist, or someone that holds the flag of the gay community, but I'm who I'm, and I think it's important to be open and to be honest, to not hide anymore, just to respect each other, really!"
Read the entire interview at Imhotep.