In a new interview with SiriusXM's "That Eric Alper's Show", JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about how becoming the first metal icon to announce he is gay in 1998 during an MTV interview served as an inspiration to fans who were struggling with similar emotions.
"You know, I've become a dad," Halford laughed (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I am a dad. My kids… Glenn [Tipton, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist] always used to call the fans the kids; he still [does]. I'm, like, 'Glenn, they're as old as we are.' He goes, 'No. They're still kids, because we are all kids at heart.' It's important to find that child inside of you, to keep that nurtured.
"You become a dad," Rob continued. "You go to your dad about stuff. And I love that. That suddenly happened when I started to connect on social media. 'Cause I come from a place where that didn't even exist, folks… So, all of that great stuff started to happen. And then it's the Spider-Man thing: 'With blah blah responsibility comes blah blah.' And you have to take it very seriously, because words used incorrectly can be terribly destructive and hurtful and painful. So you really need to get into this philosophy, if it is at all possible, and it is — think before you speak; think before you tweet; think.
"We're all running on emotions, more now than ever. 'Cause the place I live in now in 2022 is nothing like the place I lived in in the '50 and the '60s. So this business of talking about sexual identity, talking about bullying, mental health and anti-Semitism and anything that is dark and destructive and painful, we all need somebody to be able to reach out to, and that's what we should do.
"That's what happens when you're in this beautifully blessed place, whether you're a musician or a sports personality or a movie star or whatever, these things come to you, and you have to be able to be ready to deal with them," Rob added. "You can't push it away; you can't push away these important questions. So I welcome them, and I do as much as I can to let that 14-, 15-. 16-year-old, 50-year-old person that is in the closet or going through a transgender transformation, whatever… First and foremost, it's your life. You live by your own rules; don't let anybody tell you how to live your life. A simple statement like that to somebody that's hurting can be very useful. Because you're in a ball in a corner; you can't let anything in, you can't let anything out. But if it's somebody that you admire because of their music or because of their basketball talent, you can listen to them.
"This is the great thing about music. When we were kids, we hated our mom and dad and school and friends and blah blah blah, but we loved our music. Our music was our only friend. Our music spoke to us. Our music was the one tangible emotion that we could relate to, and we could say, 'Yeah, that song is about me.' Or, 'I know how that song feels like.'"
Halford is promoting his new book, "Biblical: Rob Halford's Heavy Metal Scriptures", which arrived on November 1 via Hachette Books. In the follow-up to his 2020 autobiography "Confess", Halford runs his lively eye over all facets of the hard rock history and the heavy metal world via bite-sized reflections, opinions, and memories in scores and scores of areas, all linked by a biblical theme.
Several months ago, Halford publicly revealed that he battled prostate cancer during the pandemic. He previously mentioned his cancer battle in the new chapter added to the updated paperback edition of "Confess". In "Confess", Halford revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years.
In July 2020, Rob underwent prostatectomy, an operation where the entire prostate gland is removed plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles. After more cancer was found last year, he went through radiation treatments in April and May 2021 and eventually got then all-clear in June 2021. He also had an appendectomy after a tumor was discovered on his appendix.
"Confess" arrived in September 2020 via Hachette Books. Co-written with Ian Gittins, the book offered 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.