JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD: 'You Can Feel The Lifting Power Of Life In All Of The Songs' On 'Invincible Shield'

March 4, 2024

In a new interview with Japanese music critic and radio personality Masa Ito of TVK's "Rock City", JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford spoke about the fact that he and his bandmates sound rejuvenated, full of energy and passion on their upcoming album, "Invincible Shield". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, metal keeps you young… I think it's true. I think the metal feelings have such great rewards for your body and for your mind and for your soul and for your spirit. And it keeps you full of energy, keeps you full of enthusiasm and keeps the fighting spirit alive and keeping the metal faith alive.

"I'm a lucky guy," he continued. "I've been singing metal for over 50 years and the voice still is able to do the job that I want to try and make it to do. And, yeah, I worked really hard on this album to give our fans the best. possible vocal performance I could make."

Regarding how the various health challenges which faced the members of PRIESTHalford with his prostate cancer battle and guitarist Richie Faulkner's acute cardiac aortic dissection which he suffered during the band's September 2021 performance at the Louder Than Life festival — affected the making of "Invincible Shield", Rob said: "When you have difficulties in your life, when you have challenges in your life and you're able to overcome them and you're able to come back stronger than before, something changes inside of you. I think this happened for a lot of people in the pandemic all over the world. We all were feeling the same kind of experiences. It was very difficult not to see friends, not to see family, not to be able to go to metal shows. Music kept us alive. We were all home listening to music, watching the TV and everything, watching the movies, everything. But I think that this was extraordinary for JUDAS PRIEST because this has never happened before for us. Richie's life-changing heart incident has been something that, I know, changed him as a person. And probably the same for me with my cancer. Because both of these things can take your life. Both of these things — cancer can take your life, heart conditions can take your life. But when you're able to still be here because of the great medical teams and incredible people working with you, it makes your perception change. So maybe that's part of the ingredients for this album that never happened before. It's just a lot of emotions and a lot of understanding life a little bit differently now. So, I'm sure that for JUDAS PRIEST as a band, with our metal, this is very special. You can feel the lifting power of life in all of the songs on 'Invincible Shield'."

"Invincible Shield" will arrive on March 8 via Sony Music.

As previously reported, there will be a global album listening party for "Invincible Shield" on Thursday, March 7 at various metal bars in 30 cities around the world.

If you live near Daytona Beach, you will be able to experience a special JUDAS PRIEST pop-up shop on Saturday, March 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Atlantic Sounds, which will be operating out of a custom JUDAS PRIEST military combat truck — "an invincible shield on wheels" — playing the album to the more than 500,000 attendees at Daytona Bike Week. Harley-Davidson will be leading a 100-biker brigade from Orlando to Daytona at 9 a.m. ET.

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer magazine, Rob stated about "Invincible Shield": "When [PRIEST guitarists] Glenn [Tipton] and RichiePRIEST have always done, as a three-piece — two guitar players and a singer — that's the metal magic. All of that energy, all of that youthful exuberance was still there in those initial writing sessions."

Regarding the PRIEST songwriting process, Halford told Kerrang! magazine: "It's not easy — it absolutely isn't easy. There's always been a load of ideas, and I'm always grabbing my recorder and catching something they’re noodling around with. But to actually grab on to something that's going to have value, and really going to do the business, it's like digging for gold."

He added: "You're testing yourself more than anything else. Can we still do it? You don't really know anything about that side of who you are until you get into writing mode. Sometimes you just know when you've got something really special and of substance, and that's when you go and record. We're not making records because the label are asking for one more album on the contract. Nothing to do with that — it's because of this real, genuine love and desire for making more metal.”

Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and 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 Faulkner.

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