JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD Praises SLEEP TOKEN: 'They're A Really Curious Band'

February 21, 2024

In a new interview with Pablo of the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked if there is any up-and-coming band that has "got [his] ear" at the moment. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, there's a lot of importance being put in the direction of this band called SLEEP TOKEN. And they're a really curious band in what they're putting out in terms of all of these different textures. They're very difficult to pin down. That's what I find intriguing as a musician listening to their music. It's going to a lot of different places, and I think that there isn't any other band out there right now that's able to do that. Because most bands have a specific sound and direction and idea that they project. And then you kind of fine-tune into that. But you can't really nail them down, if that's the expression. And, of course, the guys have been around for a few years; they're not, like, suddenly here they are. They've worked hard to get to this place of recognition. But I really like all the extra textures of the way that they look and the way that they're talking."

Rob added: "They have a [singer] called Vessel. One day The Metal God and Vessel will take a selfie together; I predict that. So, there's something cool."

Back in 2014, Halford dismissed Gene Simmons's claim that "rock is dead", telling Canadian journalist Mitch Lafon in an interview: "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."

SLEEP TOKEN released its third studio album, "Take Me Back To Eden", last May via Spinefarm. The band also enjoyed a completely sold-out North American tour this past fall.

"Take Me Back To Eden" has generated 400 million streams, while standout single "The Summoning" has generated 150 million streams alone, causing the track to trend on Twitter and take the No. 1 song spot on a host of international Spotify viral charts, as well as being selected as a "YouTube Trending Artist On The Rise," featuring on YouTube's homepage, viewed by millions of people every day.

JUDAS PRIEST's new album, "Invincible Shield", will arrive on March 8 via Sony Music.

Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003. Original guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner.

SLEEP TOKEN photo credit: Andy Ford

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