JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford wishes he could hit the notes he was able to hit 40 years ago but says that the band's new material "sounds unbelievable" alongside some of the classic songs in PRIEST's current set.
Asked by Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page) how his voice has held up over the years, Halford said: "My voice is 40 years on in metal.
"I'd like to feel that what I'm trying to do on [the new JUDAS PRIEST album] 'Redeemer Of Souls' is the best examples of my abilities right now. And it's still pretty… I'm going to places that I still can go to. I'm not pulling back in any areas, any dimensions.
"I get frustrated, and I freely admit that I wish I could do the stuff that I could do when I was laying down the tracks in 1974 or 1975, but that's just ridiculous. I don't think any singer can requalify those moments again. So you go out and you do your best, you know?! And we've just been jamming here in the UK, rehearsing the setlist [for PRIEST's current North American tour], and it sounds unbelievable. The new material, especially, is just roaring out of the band.
"It's just been a very transition from the 'Redeemer Of Souls' songs on record into a live performance, which is great. And then the classics, you know — 'Living After Midnight', 'Breaking The Law', 'Another Thing Coming'. These are the things that are part of PRIEST's heritage. And even though we have this massive back catalog of songs, if we didn't come out and play these really important, significant moments of PRIEST, then I think our fans would be disappointed. So this upcoming tour is our best attempt to cover a lot of ground again — play the new stuff, play the classics and give everybody a good night out."
In a July 2014 interview with the Birmingham Mail, Halford stated about how his vocal performance has evolved over the last four decades: "The voice changes obviously. The trick is just to look after it — don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs. I look after my voice these days, and still belt it out.
"When I was a raging drunk and drug addict, I really abused my voice. Thank God I realized I was doing some stupid things. You can damage your voice, and find that you can't do softer things in your music."
JUDAS PRIEST's 17th studio album, "Redeemer Of Souls", sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.