JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD: 'I Still Go Through Moments Of Depression'
January 15, 2022
In a recent interview with Spain's Mariskal Rock, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about his struggles with depression and substance abuse, and how his own suicide attempt in 1986 led him to the rehab program that saved his life.
"You just feel… It's negative thinking," Rob said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "It's like a cycle of negativity. You don't feel or see a way out. It's just like this circle of — like a black hole; you cannot find a way to escape it. Even though you think about the place that you're at — you're in a successful band, you're financially stable, your friends and your family are good, everything is great, but you yourself are in this really dark place in your mind.
"For me, of course, I talk about my sexual identity," Halford continued, referencing the fact that he opened up about his struggles in his recently released autobiography, "Confess". "For the longest time, that played a role in my addictions, but I don't think that was the complete story.
"I just think I was just confused about a lot of things — about not exactly why are we here, what are we doing, what's the purpose, but all of these little incremental thoughts start to play in your mind and they amplify and they amplify and they amplify and you can't break through — you can't break through with rational, logical thinking.
"It's a very important topic in life to pursue and to try and find answers to," Halford added. "And you can never really one hundred percent shake it off. I still go through moments of depression — not as bad as it was, but I do. But I know… I go, 'Okay…' This, to me, to some extent, is a chemical imbalance. It just happens. And I know it's not gonna last. That's the good thing. I go, 'Okay, I'm feeling like shit. I don't know what's going on, but this is gonna pass.' And it passes. Again, it's part of understanding why you're feeling in that place. Some of it you bring into your body; some of it is just part of your brain chemical function. And again, there are outlets, there are wonderful people ready to be there with you and get you through those moments."
"Confess" arrived in September 2020 via Hachette Books. Co-written with Ian Gittins, the book offers readers a compelling, heartfelt and honest look at the struggles Rob has faced with addiction and his sexuality as well as exploring his music and his many brushes with controversy.
In "Confess", Halford discusses in detail what it was like becoming the first metal icon to announce he is gay in 1998 during an MTV interview, despite knowing about his sexuality since he was 10. Although his bandmates and their management knew he was gay and were accepting, he was advised to be discreet given the macho hetero nature of the metal world. He also opens up about surviving sexual abuse, as well as his struggles with the suicide of one of his former partners.
Halford recently publicly revealed that he battled prostate cancer during the pandemic. He previously mentioned his cancer battle in the new chapter added to the updated paperback edition of "Confess". In "Confess", Halford revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years.
In July 2020, Rob underwent prostatectomy, an operation where the entire prostate gland is removed plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles. After more cancer was found early last year, he went through radiation treatments in April and May and eventually got then all-clear in June. He also had an appendectomy after a tumor was discovered on his appendix.