WalesOnline‘s Nathan Bevan recently spoke to JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford about heavy metal’s working class roots, the band’s farewell tour and his admiration for Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas. You can now listen to the 15-minute chat at this location.
On the departure of founding JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth “K.K.” Downing:
Halford: “It genuinely came as a massive shock when Ken told us [he was leaving the band]. And we really hoped he’d change his mind, but a two-year world tour can be quite physically gruelling and I think maybe he just lost some of the passion for it.”
On Gareth Thomas, the Wales rugby star who came out as gay in December 2009:
Halford: “I thought it was brilliant for him to do that, took me right back to when I told the truth about my own sexuality. It kind of demystifies the stereotypical idea of what a gay man is, this unfortunate misconception that he isn’t masculine and can’t do blokes’ jobs. And while things are nowhere near as bad as they used to be in the U.K., what Gareth did just helps to keep chipping away at the prejudice. So I’ve tremendous respect for him, both as a player and a gay man.”