ROB HALFORD On Metal Community: 'We Look At Each Other And We Embrace Each Other, Because We Love Heavy Metal'

February 7, 2024

During an appearance on the "Loudwire Nights" radio show, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about the importance of his band's connection with its fans, particularly when it comes to performing live. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When you see PRIEST now, it's an event because, if I'm not speaking complete garbage, JUDAS PRIEST is the longest — I was going to say the 'oldest'; I hate that word — but we've been making metal for 50 years and we're still active and we're still relevant. And so when you, when you come to see your favorite band, JUDAS PRIEST, it is an event, 'cause, wow, you look at these guys and they've been doing this for so long and they're still there for all the right reasons.

"We go onstage with a job to do in terms of responsibility that you have for your fans, because, again — I've said this a million times — we're nothing without our fans," he continued. "It's an absolute fact that any band — never lose the fact that without your fans you have nothing. You can be in the biggest band in the world in a room banging away, but what good is that? It's all about sharing what your creativity and making a connection, and PRIEST has been making that connection now for over 50 years."

Asked if he thinks the heavy metal community is as "welcoming" in 2024 as it has been in recent decades, Halford said: "Those things that you're talking about in terms of complete inclusivity, that's what I love about our metal community, that regardless of the bands that you're into, regardless of what you look like, who you love, whatever, how much money you've got, whatever, it doesn't matter. We look at each other and we embrace each other, because we love heavy metal.

"I was just reading something again the other day about the importance of this particular style and sound of music," he continued. "The importance reaches way further than the music does. It's a very, very important component within us if you're a metalhead, if you're a metal fan. It has all of the attributes for getting into a better mental state. It makes articulation work stronger in all elements of your life. Metal is a very, very powerful part of who we are as people. So if you wanna go deep, but I do go deep — that's what it does, man. And so when I say I love my metal maniacs, I mean that really sincerely and very purely. I think about them all the time, because… 'Family' is a big word to use, but that's what we create — we create this family of this heavy metal community. Regardless of your band, there's a special relationship with every single fan."

Halford added: "When I look out in a crowd of thousands of people, I'm looking at every single one of you, because I know that you've taken this band's music into your life. For a lot of PRIEST metal fans, the story of your life is in music. I'm not saying that properly, but do you know what I'm trying to say? If you've been with this band for the longest time and we play 'Breaking The Law', suddenly we've gone back into the '80s, we play 'Painkiller', suddenly we're back in the '90s. This time machine of emotions in your life is with you as a fan. And again, that's not lost on me. I really take it very, very personally, and so that responsibility of caring for your fans and looking after your fans is really important, no matter what band you're in."

JUDAS PRIEST's new studio 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.

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