In a new interview with Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show, JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford spoke about what it was like recording the audiobook version of his recently released autobiography, "Confess".
"Well, here's the test," Rob said. "When you read a book next time, try reading it out loud, because it's a completely different [experience], I tell you.
"It took me just over a week of about four or five hours a session. And it was amazing — it really was — because I'm now reading the complete book, and there were many, many moments where I had to kind of regain my composure, because the book is full of emotion — a lot of raw pure emotions down to the bare bones. [It's one thing] to kind of read that from the page but another to speak it out. And it was amazing.
"I was encouraged by the producer who was over in New Jersey, and I was in Phoenix, and we had link-ups going all over the place, because I wanted to give my best performance like I've always tried to do," he continued. "So we got through it.
"I haven't heard the audiobook yet. I'd be interested to hear the sound of my own voice. Which I've told you before, Jackie — I hate the sound of my own voice," Halford added. "It's like I hate watching myself on stage and video or anything. But the time will come when I do that. And I would like to think that it gives it a little bit of extra value in the human connection. And I know a lot of metal maniac readers do enjoy the audio experience."
"Confess" arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books.
Known as "The Metal God" by his devoted, global fan base, Halford has always subverted the norm, and "Confess" offers readers a compelling, heartfelt and honest look at the struggles Rob has faced with addiction and his sexuality as well as exploring his music and his many brushes with controversy.
Written with Ian Gittins, co-writer of "The Heroin Diaries" by Nikki Sixx, the book charts Halford's rock and roll lifestyle from the late eighties to the band's 50th anniversary in 2020.
Halford explained: "'Confess' is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to expose every facet of myself. Digging deep with nothing to hide and nothing to fear was in many ways exciting, fun, disturbing, terrifying and cathartic. I've held nothing back. It's time for me to 'Confess'."
In a recent interview with Robert Cavuoto of Sonic Perspectives, Halford stated about the book's title: "I would like to feel there are parts of this book which are relatable to others. Everybody is the same, as we all share similar life experiences. There are so many things that happen to us; we are almost identical no matter where we are from. I've traveled the world and seen how our music can touch people from all walks of life and professions. Confessing these stories or episodes is important, and it gives the reader a look-see into this guy that you only see from one point of view."
Asked if he has any regrets about sharing some of his stories with the world, his friends, his family and bandmates, Halford said: "That's a really great question. When I was sitting with [co-writer] Ian [Gittins, who also co-wrote The New York Times bestseller 'The Heroin Diaries' by Nikki Sixx], I was very open and honest. It just flows out of me. Being clean and sober for 30 years, I don't lie anymore, nor do I hold anything back. I like people to be the same towards me.
"I don't doubt for one minute that some people will be shocked by what's in 'Confess'. This is my life, and me telling you all the important parts of it. It's up to you to decide how to interrupt and utilize it.
"Going one step further, when I was having these long sessions with Ian, I would stop and go, 'Why did I say that?' particularly with some of the family incidents. I really had to let that go.
"When you are confessing, it's exactly what you are doing. To protect certain individuals, we just changed their names out of respect.
"It's crazy — some days I feel great that it's all out there. Some days I would like to rewrite a paragraph or part all over.
"I'm sure I'm not the first person who has made this kind of book.
"Quite frankly, if I weren't feeling that way, I would think there is something wrong with me."
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).