During a recent appearance on SiriusXM's "In The Light", JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked what heavy metal means to him. He responded (see video below): "Oh, it's a lot of things, but I think just to kind of coalesce it and get it down, for me, it's always been about the dynamic expression of the music. And that's the way that the basic elements of any band — the bass, the drums, guitars and vocals — they're all at this really strong, potent place with so much power and, for the most part, with so much volume that it almost defines itself.
"It's very difficult to say what is metal, because you have to really be able to absorb and experience it without slicing it and dicing it, without super-analyzing the components of a metal song or a metal band or a metal experience," he continued. "By definition, you can say the same thing about what is it about country music? What is country music? Well, country music is a lot of things, and in today's world in metal, so is metal. Where I'm from, the roots of heavy metal — the people often reference JUDAS PRIEST as being one of the originators of the heavy metal sound — it was just that moment where everything got louder. As I often say, in the '[This Is] Spinal Tap' moment, everything went to 11, you know. Everything went to 11."
Halford's autobiography, "Confess", arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books. It was written with Ian Gittins, co-writer of "The Heroin Diaries" by Nikki Sixx. In the book, Halford discusses in detail what it was like becoming the first metal icon to announce he is gay in 1998 during an MTV interview, despite knowing about his sexuality since he was 10. Although his bandmates and their management knew he was gay and were accepting, he was advised to be discreet given the macho hetero nature of the metal world. He also opens up about surviving sexual abuse, as well as his struggles with depression, substance abuse, sobriety, and the suicide of one of his former partners. He also talks about how his own suicide attempt in 1986 led him to the rehab program that saved his life.
In September, JUDAS PRIEST and Rufus Publications announced the publication of the first-ever official JUDAS PRIEST book documenting the band's extensive history over the last 50 years. Titled "Judas Priest - 50 Heavy Metal Years", the book has been put together by David Silver, Ross Halfin and Jayne Andrews.
Prior to being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, JUDAS PRIEST's spring/summer 2020 European tour was scheduled to kick off on May 30 in Helsinki, Finland and conclude on July 28 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The band was also slated to headline the U.K.'s Bloodstock Open Air festival on August 9 at Catton Park, Derbyshire.
The U.S. leg of PRIEST's "50 Heavy Metal Years" tour was due to launch September 9 in Oxon Hill, Maryland and wrap up on October 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.