JUDAS PRIEST Singer: ‘I Consider Myself A Lower-Case Gay’

Richard Burnett of Canada’s gay and lesbian news site Xtra! recently conducted an interview with vocalist Rob Halford of British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On whether JUDAS PRIEST not having been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has something to do with his being openly gay:

Halford: “I don’t know, let’s have a think; who in there is gay? It’s a good question. I consider myself a lower-case gay, not screaming like my good friend [porn director and drag queen] Chi Chi LaRue. I love all my friends in the community, and if the moment came [for induction into the Hall Of Fame], it would be a tremendous moment, not just for the band and our fans, but for the whole LGBT community.”

On inventing metal’s leatherman look:

Halford: “It all came from my own imagination because I was never into the gay leather scene.”

On crossing paths briefly with QUEEN lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died from AIDS 20 years ago this month:

Halford: “I was going to Mykonos with friends from London via Athens. We did what we all did then: the clubs, the parties. At one club Freddie was holding court at the other end of the bar. We were two ships passing in the night. He waved, I waved. The place was packed, and we never got a chance to connect.”

On the hard rock/metal scene of 1980s Hollywood:

Halford: “In my heyday I always started with a bottle of Dom Pérignon, then a case of Budweiser, then two Jacks. I was a serious drinker. Then the lines of coke got you up again. Then the next day there was all the denial. I don’t miss that old routine.”

On his blue-collar roots:

Halford: “Coming from Birmingham, like [BLACK] SABBATH, we came from nothing and made something of ourselves.”

On whether JUDAS PRIEST being on its farewell tour means the end of metal:

Halford: “Heavy metal is always going to be there. At its core, it’s all about a primitive connection we all need to keep in our lives.”