Metal God ROB HALFORD Page 3
By Bob Nalbandian
BN: Your first solo project, Fight, was very similar musically...100% in your face metal. I thought your last project, Two, was quite interesting, although, it obviously didn't display your vocal ability. I looked at it as more of an experimental project. Was that your insight?
ROB: That's exactly what it was, and I enjoyed it. It was unusual for me, I didn't understand it fully, but that was just part of what I was seeking to do. And I felt that it played its role in coming to the end of me searching and wondering. It helped me to rekindle the love of metal that has always been inside of me, so I feel stronger and more passionate for it now than ever before. It was good to be away from the traditional essence of the metal sound.
BN: The last few years were very tough for metal music in general, even for a lot of the independents. But within the last couple years, it's really been coming back strong.
ROB: It's interesting to see what's gonna grow out of this.
BN: Let's go way back, to the beginning days of Judas Priest, back in the early/mid'70s. I believe your first journey to America found you opening for Led Zeppelin. Is that correct? And how did that come about?
ROB: Yes. Judas Priest did two shows with Led Zeppelin; it was the Bill Graham event "Day on the Green" at the Oakland Coliseum. The true essence of metal came out of those first two dates with Priest in the late '70s - coming out to America for the first time. It was Robert Plant who got us on that bill. He knew that Priest were in town, and he said "get me that band from my home on the bill, I want Priest to open the show." Those shows were responsible for breaking Priest on the West Coast, all the press and international media were at those shows. That was a very pivotal moment for Priest and for metal music.
BN: You, as a frontman, really were the first to bring upon the whole metal image, with the leather and studs, and the Harley Davidson. You essentially created that whole fashion.
ROB: I'm just thrilled to be a part of the beginnings of something that was new.
BN: How did the whole denim, leather and studs image come about? Back then, the "heavy metal" fashion was more a hippy-ish, dark, Black Sabbath kind of image, but Rob Halford and Priest brought on a whole new look, which really institutionalized metal.
ROB: It's part of a timeline and progression of what you hear and experience today. But, we were just a band that played music. You're not really aware of what you're doing, you're not thinking it through, you're just writing songs, making records, and doing shows. You don't really perceive it any further than that. You don't really think of it like you're the 'next big thing.' It's just one of those pivotal moments in rock'n'roll.
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