JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford: ''I Never Wanted To Leave Priest''

December 6, 2006, 12 years ago

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In a quite revealing interview with Orpheus Spiliotopoulos, Chief Editor of Metal-Temple.com / writer for Rock Hard magazine, JUDAS PRIEST’s frontman Rob Halford spoke about everything ranging from the moment he left Priest in the early '90’s (and the reasons which truly led to that) up to the highly anticipated upcoming album of the band, titled Nostradamus. Here’s a short excerpt from the interview:

Q: Since on the next issue of Rock Hard magazine there’s going to be a huge article on Judas Priest, focusing mainly on you, a lot of significant people from the world of Metal have been asked what their opinion is about the Priest story in the 90’s with you parting ways with the band back then etc. One of the world’s most renowned music authors, Martin Popoff (BW&BK;), believes it was a number of factors, one of them being your sexual orientation, the fact that for a long time you had to keep it as a secret from the public and then a lyrics kind of thing, since he believes that with FIGHT, TWO and HALFORD you were able to address some adult themes for a change. He adds 'I would suspect it’s a bit like Bruce Dickinson leaving IRON MAIDEN.' What’s your response to Martin’s thoughts?

Halford: "Well, Bruce didn’t leave Maiden because he was gay! [jokingly, Rob Laughs]. But that’s my response to Martin’s observation about my sexuality. You must know, 1000% it has nothing to do with why I left Priest. The only reason why I stepped away from Priest, as you know the story goes... It was never my intention. I never wanted to leave Priest. It was the ugly contractual almost litigation condition that I was involved with, on purely words on paper. That forced me to step aside from the Sony contract and that’s when the shit hit the fan, so to speak. But Martin’s right on the other areas."

Q: About the adult themes?

Halford: "Yeah, I mean, Priest never was and never will be a kind of sociopolitical band. Priest was never a RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE or anything like that. So it was an opportunity for me as a lyricist to write things about, you know, War Of Words... those were the things that I didn’t do while I was in Priest. Subjectively I’ve covered that in Priest, I’ve made ambiguous content with Priest lyrics that to me refer to more reality-based issues in the world. That’s not what we’re about in Priest. Priest’s world, lyrically, has been one of escapism, fantasy and less reality-based. Unless you take songs like ’Living After Midnight’ and ’You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’... The closest we ever got with making a statement was with ’Breaking The Law’. ’Breaking The Law’ was a real statement. I’ll be interested to see what people have to say because that moments of my departure had way more impact and significance to more people than I really considered."

Read the entire interview with Rob Halford by clicking here.

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