Metal God ROB HALFORD Page 2
By Bob Nalbandian
BN: Resurrection is released on "Metal-Is" records, is this your own label through Sanctuary Music?
ROB: It's actually Rod Smallwood's label, which will be exclusive to metal artists. I looked at the majors, and a lot of them didn't want to know me anymore...go figure. What I like about Sanctuary is its simplicity. They totally understand the metal scene globally, and they fully understand the relationships metal bands have with the fans. Sanctuary recently acquired Castle Communications and Tom Lipsky's label, CMC International, and Tom is very excited about the involvement with Sanctuary and Rod Smallwood. So they already have massive, built-in, worldwide distribution, so their simple philosophy is looking after the bands and the fans. It's not this big profit/demographic thing. Their interest is in the band and the music, and developing and nurturing it to make it grow to give it career, substance, and life. That's how the major labels worked back in the '70s and part of the '80s, and then suddenly we hit this wall where if you don't go gold in the first couple months, you're out the door. It's really awful...sick and evil.
BN: That is so true. If you look at a lot of the classic rock/metal bands of the '70s...Judas Priest, UFO, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Scorpions...they wouldn't have lasted more than two albums given the philosophy of the music business today. Those are the bands that have longevity, yet it took them years to develop into gold & platinum selling artists. Today, with the ridiculously high budget, an artist would normally have to sell gold on their debut in order to break even and avoid being dropped.
ROB: It's everywhere in the global format, even in the movie industry. People don't even think about the movie, they just look at the first weekends opening.
BN: It's all about explosions, special effects...whatever sells and what's gonna get the people in the theatre on opening night. It has nothing to do with a good script or good plot anymore. So, how instrumental was Bruce Dickinson in your signing with Sanctuary?
ROB: Bruce gave me the connection with Rod Smallwood and the Sanctuary group after he heard the stuff I was working on with Z. He just got so pumped up and excited about it that he threw it all at Rod Smallwood. And I've known Rod ever since he was an agent who booked Priest, this was before he ever discovered and managed Maiden. We go back forever...Isn't it wonderful how life takes its journeys? And that connection with Bruce is how the vocal collaboration came about on the duet "The One You Love to Hate." It was just an idea of "how would it sound if Bruce and Rob sang together on a track?" And side by side, it's just a natural thing to experience.
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