Rob Halford: ‘Living in the Moment’ Is Driving New Judas Priest Album
The vocalist tells Jackie that he left it all on the table in terms of what was covered in the book and he also discusses the emotional journey of recording the audiobook in his own voice for fans to listen to. We also get an update from Rob on the next Judas Priest album. Check out the chat below.
Here tonight to talk about your first-ever autobiography. It's called "Confess." A gay man in an economically disparaged area of post-war England who is highly regarded as a world-class singer. What will readers learn that makes an already interesting life story even more compelling?
Well Jackie, you and I have known each other for a long time and know my metal maniacs for a long time and we've always talked openly about many things in my life and particularly with the band I love so much Judas Priest. But there's all this stuff going on in everybody's lives respectively that we don't get to deal about, you know? So this is an opportunity to take all the things I've been able to remember right from my early school days experiences right up to the way of the world kind of stuff. So it's a long journey. It's nearly 69 years of metal stories that we put together collectively in the book "Confess."
Rob there have been exciting high points in your life. There have also been some traumatic low points as well. Mentally and emotionally, what steps did you take to insulate yourself while revisiting all of it for the purpose of your book?
Well, I was encouraged and prodded and probed by this incredible guy Ian Gittings and he wrote the book with me or at least took me through the journey. We sat together and we spoke for hours 50-60 hours of one-on-one conversations in the kitchen at the house in Phoenix and the house back home. He has a great way of taking you from A to B.
The one thing that we talked about before we even started to get into making the book was what was on the table and what was off the table. My thing to him was that I was going to throw it all on the table. Everything! We are going to pile this table up with everything that I can remember and every single moment with your encouragement and your questions will provide that table to be - stuff will be falling off the edges and that's what we did. It was great. It was great. Some of it was tough to get through but this is why the book is called "Confess."
Rob, although you're one of the most revered vocalists in heavy metal history - The Metal God - people also describe you as nice, a real gentleman. Why is it important to you that character be equally evident as talent?
It's very important. I think I'm not unique in how I present myself on stage. That's a real person the 'Metal God.' It's no different than my friend Alice or Marilyn Manson or Ozzy or any number of my friends that take on a different persona. It's a real living experience. We're not kind of making it up.
It's almost like a Jekyll and Hyde thing. We balance it because it can be kind of dangerous. But It's real and I think our fans know that. Fans can smell fake a mile off. So what you're experiencing from me as I go up onstage with Priest is the 'Metal God.' He's just a real embodiment of everything that I love about heavy metal music. Its an embodiment of everything I love about heavy metal music. You know metal music changes us when we listen to metal it excites us. It energizes us and makes us rise up. All of that is kind of wrapped up into this metal experience you get from me when I'm onstage.
Rob there's an audiobook version of "Confess" read by you. For someone who's spent most of his life communicating through a microphone, what made this process different and perhaps intimidating?
Well here's the test. When you read the book next time try reading it out loud because it's completely different and girl, I tell you it took me just over a week of about 4-5 hours a session. It was amazing, it really was because I'm now reading the complete book and there were many many moments where I had to kind of regain my composure because the book is full of emotion, a lot of raw pure emotions down to the bare bones to kind of read that from the page but another to speak it out. It was amazing.
I was encouraged by the producer who was over in Jersey and I was in Phoenix and we had link-ups going all over the place because I wanted to give my best performance as I've always tried to do. So we got through it. I haven't heard the audiobook yet. I'd be interested to hear the sound of my own voice. I've told you before Jackie, I hate the sound of my own voice. It's like I hate watching myself on stage and video or anything but the time will come when I do though. I would like to think it gives it a little bit of extra value in the human connection and a lot of metal maniac readers do enjoy the audio experience.
Judas Priest by the way were ready to commemorate a milestone anniversary before COVID-19 shut down touring. The band also released an impressive album with Firepower just two years ago. What does the equal relevance of past and present indicate about the future of the band?
It's very important to look back at your past experiences. That is what we do in bands. We look at where we've gone and what we've said. We're always kind of reevaluating where are and what we're working on now and I think the world already knows that Priest has started to follow up to Firepower and it's starting to come together and sounding incredible. So this whole focus of living in the moment but also getting ready for what's coming next is what drives us and so that's where we are with Priest right now.
I hope to see you soon.
It's a pleasure, Jackie. Thank you everybody around the world. Stay safe and we will all get to get back together again as soon as we can. We need each other. We love each other so much. Being onstage, seeing you guys come to the shows - that's what we live about. The heavy metal community has probably got even stronger so when we get back together again - Wow, it's gonna be wild again. We will have some good times again. Thanks again, Jackie.
Thanks to Rob Halford for the interview. You can pick up his new book "Confess" right here (as Amazon affiliates we earn on qualifying purchases), and be sure to follow Rob on Instagram and Facebook. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.
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