JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD: 'The Metal Community Is So Accepting And Inclusive'

October 25, 2020

JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke to Jonathan Clarke of New York's Q104.3 radio station about his recently released autobiography, "Confess". In the book, 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.

"When I read the audio for 'Confess', that's when it really started to hit me emotionally," Halford said (see video below). "'Cause it's one thing to read the words, but when you speak 'em out… Man, I've been on some of the most incredible journeys and experiences.

"I'm not unique in the issue of finding your own sexual identity, but certainly the way I've tried to balance that in my professional working life as a musician was tough; it was difficult," he continued. "And we go into detail how I couldn't go to clubs or bars for fear of recognition and that hitting the press, and blah blah blah, just because the world was a different place then. Of course, the long-term discovery, when I did come out, famously on MTV in the [late] '90s, when I was in the 2WO band with John 5, was that it was the most perfect example of the way the metal community is so accepting and inclusive and welcoming people from all over.

"There are no labels on us in the metal community; we're just all together," Rob added. "I think that's kind of attached to the fact that metal, for the longest time, was, like… In rock and roll, everybody was kicking heavy metal music: 'Oh, man, what is that stuff? It's nothing. It's got no value.' But we knew, as metal maniacs, this was our music; this is how we expressed ourselves. We love to listen to this music, be with each other at home listening to it. Most importantly, going to shows together. Man, please bring back those days as quick as possible. So, all of that is discussed in detail in 'Confess'."

"Confess" arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books. It was written with Ian Gittins, co-writer of "The Heroin Diaries" by Nikki Sixx.

Halford is not the first member of PRIEST's classic lineup to release a book. Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing released his autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", in September 2018 via Da Capo Press.

In 2009, original JUDAS PRIEST singer Al Atkins released his autobiography, titled "Dawn Of The Metal Gods: My Life In Judas Priest And Heavy Metal". JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill penned the foreword to the book, which was written with Neil Daniels — a freelance rock writer and heavy metal fan who befriended Atkins during the writing of Neil's book "The Story Of Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith" (Omnibus Press).

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