ROB HALFORD: 'Rock Isn't Dead. It's Alive, It's Thriving, And It's Exciting'

ROB HALFORD: 'Rock Isn't Dead. It's Alive, It's Thriving, And It's Exciting'

JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford has responded to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."

Simmons told Esquire magazine earlier in the month — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."

Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."

Asked to weigh in on Gene's comments, Halford told Canadian journalist Mitch Lafon: "No, I've heard that statement a number of times through the decades that I've been in metal. I don't think it is. I think it's absolutely in incredible shape right now. [It's] never been stronger."

He continued: "I think we're surrounded constantly by new talent and the enthusiasm that surges from new bands of all kinds keeps rock alive and strong, and I think it'll always be that way. So, for me, when I check out the metal sites that I do every day — I check out a dozen metal sites from different places around the world — I see the strength and the power there, and it's tremendously exciting. It's a different world now, for sure, in terms of the way the industry side of the business works. That is a whole new perspective compared to how it was even twenty years ago, with the advent of the Internet, which created an enormous amount of… a change of perspective. It affected everybody in a great way.

"So what I'm saying is rock isn't dead. It's alive, it's thriving, and it's exciting."

At the end of 1997, during a period when he was pursuing other projects after leaving PRIEST, Rob famously told then-Metal Edge magazine editor Gerri Miller that metal was "dead" and told others that he would never return to the band. "Metal is dead and I am done with it," he was quoted as saying.

Rob later recanted his quote about the state of heavy metal, telling Metal-Rules.com in a 2008 interview, "That was an absolutely fucking stupid thing for me to say. I was just so emotional that day. I can remember I was sitting on my tour bus outside of the Hollywood Palladium in L.A. and I think the TWO band was working with RAMMSTEIN that night and I was just in a bitch mood. [laughs] I said something which I…. you know, everybody has the freedom to be stupid and I was completely stupid that day. I've made amends in recent years about making that ridiculous comment. I think I was probably just reflecting on my own situation, frustrations that come with what you do and I think it was probably a Monday night; I don't particularly like Monday that much. [laughs] Had it been Friday or Saturday, I'd have been in a different frame of mind. But I was just being a bit of a petulant rock star bitch that afternoon, so there you go. It's all water under the bridge now."

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