JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD: 'When I Stand On Stage In Saint Petersburg, Russia, That's A Victory For Gay People'

August 24, 2018

In a brand new interview with the Rochester City Newspaper, JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford was asked if he would ever consider writing songs from a different lyrical perspective, like writing political songs or stepping out of his "metal comfort zone." He responded: "I could do that, and I never say never. I think if you're a musician, there's a great open field of opportunity. But when you walk into that world of politics, you really have to be sure and committed about making that kind of a move. I have some good friends that make those kinds of songs, and it takes a lot of strength to maintain your platform in some of those areas."

Halford, who revealed he was gay 20 years ago, continued: "If you listen to PRIEST songs and you look at PRIEST lyrics, there are references all over the place that could be a smoke screen, in a political sense. But I'm not really an activist. Some days I wake up and I think I should be, especially being a gay metalhead and knowing that there are still all of these injustices against people like me.

"But at the same time, when I stand on stage in Saint Petersburg in Russia, that's a victory for gay people. Sometimes you don't have to say anything. You just stand there and people go, 'I know exactly what you're thinking right now standing on that stage.'

"Some of the greatest leaders in that realm have been very quiet and low-key," he added. "The volume around a person isn't necessarily loud. It's just you have to look at an individual and know what they represent."

Halford recently lamented the discrimination that the LGBT community still faces despite the broad social acceptance of homosexuality and the legality of same-sex marriage in some parts of the world. "We've still got a long way to go," he told Kerrang! magazine. "I think the LGBTQ [community], as we call ourselves now, still have to figure a lot out in terms of equality. But much like metal was regarded as the black sheep of rock 'n' roll — with people being like, 'Oh, you don't like heavy metal, do you? That's not music. That's crap' — you can apply that same thing to the gay community. It's a similar experience in some of its elements. But then again, it's 2018 and we still talk about sexual orientation, skin color, or 'my religion's better than yours.' You'd think there would have been some kind of change and people would have moved on after such a long time."

During a 1998 interview with MTV, Halford addressed the subject of his sexuality publicly for the first time, telling the music channel: "I think that most people know that I've been a gay man all of my life, and that it's only been in recent times that it's an issue that I feel comfortable to address, and an issue that has been with me ever since recognizing my own sexuality."

JUDAS PRIEST's latest album, "Firepower", was released in March via Epic.

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