David Pehling of KTVU.com recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.
KTVU.com: Do you envision setting up somewhere for an extended run where people would come to a theater [to see a full theatrical production of "Nostradamus"], or do you see a tour? Would you expand the musical support of the band as far as recreating the symphonic aspects of the album?
Rob Halford: That's a good question, and I don't have a really solid answer. In my mind, I want to go completely over the f***ing top. I want to throw everything into it including the kitchen sink, personally. I think we've all got different feelings about it, but I just want to see a massive, full-scale theatrical production. Obviously it's all about the music, but I want to see a full chorus. I want to see everyone in costume, stage sets and lights and the whole shebang. I think it can take that. I've seen that type of thing done. I'm not an expert on how to put that together, but that's my dream, speaking as one person in PRIEST. We're all thinking very aggressively about where the final outcome will be. Before that we do want to take it on the road ourselves as a band, because we can play this music live. We're doing it now. That's important. But I see it having a multi-dimensional life.
And as far as the short-attention span, this is no different than going to see "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull" or "Spiderman 1", "2" or "3", "Superman Return", "The Dark Knight", whatever. You put your butt down and you just get lost in the experience for two hours or more. If you're a fan of music — and a lot of people are clueless about music. That might not be the right thing to say, but it's a fact. A lot of people have no idea about music, what music is about. They just hear the sounds and that's it. It either grabs you or it doesn't. This is as much an education about music as anything else as far as I'm concerned. I believe our fans are capable of that. We all in PRIEST want to see this leaning over and reaching out into other areas of an audience that wouldn't ordinarily think about JUDAS PRIEST or know of us. I think it's got that potential personally.
KTVU.com: Judging from fan discussions and some of what have been written about the album, "Nostradamus" might be the most polarizing JUDAS PRIEST effort since "Jugulator", when some fans insisted an album without Rob Halford simply wasn't PRIEST. There's a lot of defense and praise as a masterpiece; there are some who can't get past symphonic or keyboard elements and the sheer scope of it. Do you think the audience that has embraced it is big enough to support a large-scale tour focusing on the new material?
Rob Halford: I think that that's all relative to a lot of different things. I mean the album sales have been very strong, so that really supports the fact that when we do come to play it live there will be an audience for it. I think the acceptance and the rejection of what you do musically is great, because that's the passion and the power that music has over your emotions. I think what we're going through in terms of the two sides of the coin is no different than what any other career musician has gone through. That's it. It's in the lap of the gods once you've released it. You have no idea what the feedback or the push back is going to be about.
I think all of us in PRIEST are displaying that determined strength of character again. Regardless of what people think about us or say about us, we don't really care. We just do everything from the heart. We believe in what we do and that's it. Fortunately, we have a really fabulous fan base that knows what we're about and our chemistry. Some PRIEST fans want "British Steel", "British Steel", "British Steel". Some PRIEST fans want "Painkiller", "Painkiller", "Painkiller". And that's just the raw energy and support that you get. That some fans are just focused on one style on display and they couldn't care less about anything else. But they've got that music, so they should be happy and content with it. Having said that, we're always on the lookout and searching to do something different from record to record. As I've said before, it's all about each release having its own legs to stand on. JUDAS PRIEST has really never replicated itself, from "Rocka Rolla" to "Nostradamus".
Read the entire interview at KTVU.com.