ROB HALFORD Talks Ozzfest, Made Of Metal And Future Of JUDAS PRIEST In New BraveWords.com Interview
August 26, 2010, 5 years ago
As Ozzfest 2010 made its final stop at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA on August 24th, JUDAS PRIEST singer and HALFORD mainman Rob Halford took full command of the audience dressed in a long leather fringed coat in true metal majestic glory. Prior to the set, the Metal God spoke with Bravewords.com correspondent Deb Rao regarding a number of topics including Ozzfest 2010, Halford's upcoming solo release, Made Of Metal, future touring plans and the band's special appearance at the Loud Park Festival in Japan on October 16th.
BraveWords.com: Ozzfest 2010 is coming to a close today in Boston. What are your thoughts regarding the final show today?
Halford: "It’s over to quick. I was just saying to Ozzy the other day, I think we all just found our legs. When you are on the road, it takes two or three shows to get under your belt so to speak. I think most bands feel that way. Especially if you haven't been out as often as the Halford band has been. It has been about seven or eight years since we were back on the circuit. So we have literally dived into the deep end with one warm-up show in San Francisco. Which is like a little theatre gig to kind of kick the tires and everything. It was at The Regency, it went really well. Then a week later, we are in front of 30,000 maniacs in Montreal. It was incredible. I think it just shows the passion that this band has. I think everybody talks about this in a band. As far as being able to get onstage and do the metal. So we went from one extreme to another as far as types of the venues and also the distance from San Francisco and one minute we are clear across the country in Montreal. The Montreal show was absolutely brilliant. The fans were great. It was attended by metal heads all over. Really not just from Canada but from elsewhere. It is already getting locked in as an established metal festival. Everybody had a brilliant time. We had a little bit of a break before we were back out on the Ozzfest for 2010."
BraveWords.com: Now last time you performed at Ozzfest was in 2004 with Judas Priest. What was it like bringing your solo band Halford to the festival this time around?
Halford: "Yes, that was a special Ozzfest as well. It is challenging in a way. As it is again for most bands because when we walk out there we got the Halford fans who have been really gracious and still waiting for us to come back. Then you got Ozzy fans and Crüe fans. The band adds a sense of value because we are trying to connect and make new fans and turn new fans into our music. I am sure that is the same for every band that is on the main stage or the second stage. Again you kind of bring that into the mix of everything that you do. It really is again an example of what Sharon and Ozzy try to stay true to. Which is the Ozzfest should be an opportunity for all kinds of metal and all kinds of bands with different approaches and different styles to be out there together. Literally present an Ozzfest that practically has something for everybody's taste. It is brilliant that Sharon and Ozzy have kept that attitude still. Their original idea is still very much intact. I have been around forever. Ozzy has been around forever. MÖTLEY CRÜE has been around forever. I think that takes care of the established type of section of metal. There are a lot of fans that come from that type of experience but equally."
BraveWords.com: Let's discuss the new legion of Halford fans that are witnessing the band for the first time today in Boston.
Halford: "Yes, that is it exactly. We are picking up new fans. Instinctly, people are drawn at what we do. There will be people here at the Comcast much like Montreal that are seeing the Halford band for the first time. We are turning them on to what we do."
BraveWords.com: You have a new solo album coming out this fall. Are you going to try and experience a bit with the sound? I have heard 'The Mower.' I can hear a definite blues style in there this time around.
Halford: "I mentioned the blues because really it is a wonderful record. It is as diverse as we have always done. You can compare it to the elements of Resurrection in some respects. I think this release Made Of Metal has a little kind of that attitude about it. We are going all over the place. It is a really entertaining interesting bunch of songs. I mentioned the blues because if you look at the roots of metal it is definitely embedded in the blues experience . It is a little bit of everything. It wasn't planned this way. But the way we take you through all the different songs. There are fourteen tracks. It really has a little bit of everything for every type of metal experience from some extent. But having said that it is still very much an established Halford sound with all the players. I think that if you are a fan of classic metal, I wouldn't say we are a modern metal band that wouldn't be true. But I think we are experienced enough and we are interested enough to see what other things we can do. 'The Mower' is probably the most extreme track on the release. As we go into the fall drop date I will be talking to BraveWords track by track. It is a fantastic record. We can't stop listening to it. We are in the final mixing stage as we are speaking today. We are hoping to master it this coming weekend. Because we want to get the drop date in before the end of September. It will be on the Metal God record label. Much like we have said since the invention of The Internet because a lot of metal fans are die-hard as far as wanting the physical CD in the collection. We want to make sure we give the fans that opportunity. Equally if they want to go for the digital download from either the Halford website or from iTunes. There is just lots of ways that you can enjoy the music."
BraveWords.com: "Last time I saw you perform was right here at the Comcast Center on the British Steel tour. It was absolutely brilliant. As an artist how rewarding was it for you to perform the entire British Steel album in its entirety? This album helped define the genre of metal.
Halford: "It is a very definitive record. It has taken on that life all by itself. As a musician in Priest, you don't really have much control over the destiny of where a record can end up. It just goes on its own life journey. Then the fans become more connected with particular record. People like yourself and all of our friends in the media and the radio and reaches this status this level that you never even imagined it would when we first made it. 1980 was a very important year for metal. Not only that particular year alone, you had Priest, you had Maiden, you had Ozzy, you had Crüe. There were a whole bunch of important records that were released in that one-year. 1980 was beginning of really the worldwide reach of the metal scene. So to get an opportunity to play all of that live in concert was a real treat."
BraveWords.com: Any thoughts on maybe bringing it to the live screen or Broadway?
Halford: "I don't know about that. I think actually the Nostradamus record we are really trying to put that into the mindset of a stage production. With British Steel we have the DVD that was released a few months ago of the full band live performance with every track in the sequence. I think we pretty much covered the territory for British Steel for people to go and enjoy if they haven't already got into it. I guess next year when Priest goes out we will be doing some more of the British Steel along with other opportunities that we have got here."
BraveWords.com: What are your future touring plans? You are taking the year off with Priest and pursuing your solo career with Halford. What is next?
Halford. "Yes, Priest is taking the year off. Priest is going to be back out on the road I would imagine the spring of next year. It is going to be another solid year for metal for Priest."
BraveWords.com: Hopefully before that we will get to see Halford back on the road again this fall?
Halford: "Yes, we are going to take the opportunity and do as many shows as we can through the rest of this year. We got the Loud Park event in Japan coming up in October. We got some other things that we are in discussion with and we are pretty close to finalizing all of those. As soon as we confirm anything it just goes on the Halford site.'
BraveWords.com: Any closing thoughts for the readers at Bravewords.com?
Halford: "I would like to thank all of the fans from BraveWords. Thank you for checking us out again and sticking with us. We look forward to getting into Made Of Metal. It is a great record. It really is. We'll wait for the feedback!"