Joanne Huffa of NowToronto.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Rob Halford of British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
NowToronto.com: I remember when there was a distinct line drawn between metal fans and punk fans, but bands like PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD were the rarities that it was cool to like regardless of the length of your hair. To what do you attribute your widespread appeal (for lack of a better word, your cool)?
Halford: From the start, we wanted to put on a show that fans would remember by the looks as well as the sounds. So we invented the leather studs, whips and chains that married perfectly with our music. Times change the looks of bands. We had ours from the mid-’70s on and have played around with it here and there, but stayed true to ourselves.
NowToronto.com: Metal seems a lot more diverse today than it did in the past. Has your audience changed in the past 15 years?
Halford: We have grown old together, but every show we play now covers just about all kinds of demographic: from heavy metal kids barely in their teens to guys and gals from our time of life. Metal has no age limit. Never will.
NowToronto.com: I’m guessing you haven’t lived in England for a long time, but I’m wondering if growing up in Birmingham — with its juxtaposition of industrialism and nature — influenced your music. Do you think there’s something about that area that inspired bands to play heavier, faster or louder than others?
Halford: We count our blessings that we came about as we did at an exciting time of musical development. Many people say PRIEST was at the beginning of the scene, which is true. Metal comes from electric prog blues rock and we refined all of that into how we sounded. We guess it’s the same for all bands as far as where you come from gets into your music. We lived and breathed the metal of the foundries and factories, so maybe that is in our blood.
Read the entire interview from NowToronto.com.