ROB HALFORD On Possible PRIEST Reunion: Friendship Before Music

Ex-JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford has denied reports of an imminent reunion with his former bandmates, stating that his friendship with the rest of the group is "a little bit strained" and "nowhere near as close" as it needs to be in order for the band to be able to perform together again. When asked by San Francisco Bay Area's KTVU.com under what circumstances he could see recording and touring with PRIEST again, Halford replied, "There's three answers to that question. As I've said for quite a few years now, if ever there was an opportunity that we all agreed was worth pursuing, then we would look at it. That's one way of looking at it. Secondly, they have a lead singer, Tim ['Ripper' Owens], who's a friend of mine. He's doing a great job being the singer for PRIEST, so that's what's happening right now. Tim is the singer for JUDAS PRIEST.

"And on the level of building friendships and speaking to one another, that's good, but it's nowhere near as close as it used to be. We see each other about once or twice a year, and it feels good, but it's a little bit strained. And I think even before any music is talked about, you have to make sure you can just be friends, you know? I mean, just get back on the track of being able to hang out without any questions that need to be answered and asked of each other. Because I know that's inevitable: 'Why did you do this? Why didn't this happen? Why didn't that happen?' It's a healing process and you have to go through all that psychology. So, that has to be dealt with. And how long would that take? Is it going to be over in a conversation? A week? A month? A year? Who knows?

"The most important thing out of this is the love and the passion that still out there for PRIEST, you know, the original PRIEST. And it's the same thing goes to early VAN HALEN or MÖTLEY CRÜE or SABBATH or IRON MAIDEN. It's about that original experience that people want to see again and again and again. And it's also a great testament to the music, the power and the strength of this great music that lives on and will not go away."

In the same interview Halford spoke about his vocal technique and expressed amazement over the fact that he is still able to sing with the kind of power and conviction that far surpasses that of most of his much younger counterparts. Asked how he has managed to preserve his trademark scream and operatic range and what he does to keep his voice in shape to withstand the rigors of the road, Rob said, "It is remarkable. As I've said in recent interviews when I try and look over the fact that I've been a metal singer for 32 years and I've been doing all these amazing vocal gymnastics over that time — it is remarkable that it's still able to do what it does. I don't know what the answer is! (laughs) I try not to question too much about it. I'm just grateful that it's still got the strength and power after all of these years of singing.

"The fact is, because singing is an internal thing — it's not like if you bust a guitar string you can change it — it's very much a physical part of your abilities, you're really looking after it in the best way possible. And that means, especially when you're touring, you just try and get as much rest as you possibly can between shows keep the use of the voice down to a minimum, because it is a muscle and muscles get worn out.

"But there is no real system of looking after it apart from, like I said, getting as much rest as possible when you're working. There's no lotions or potions or satanic incantations (laughs). Maybe it's something in the water from Birmingham, from the Midlands, where I'm from. There's another great singer from the Midlands, Robert Plant, and he can still belt it out.

"I think it might also be due to the fact that, using me and Robert as examples, we started off as singers that kind of developed a particular style, so I suppose the virtuosity of what we do with our vocal chords is quite unique in the places that we take it to. Whereas a lot of singers today do tend to stay in one particular area, we're always trying to knock one out of the ballpark. Maybe that's given us something of an edge.

"It's certainly nothing that you can put in a book I've been asked about vocal coach things in books or cassettes and stuff and I wouldn't know where to start. I'm mean, it's something you just do by instinct as much as anything else."

Check out Rob Halford's entire interview with KTVU.com at this location.

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