ACCEPT frontman Mark Tornillo conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford last year for a feature in Germany’s Rock Hard magazine. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he thinks it’s still important for a band like JUDAS PRIEST to continue making and releasing new music as opposed to touring on the back of its catalogue:
Halford: “Yeah. I think we need to do it. ACCEPT‘s got enough records that you guys can go out and not need to write new music, but you do. PRIEST is in the same situation, because, as musicians, that’s how we got to where we are — we got to where we are by writing and recording. I think the big dilemma is how bands, particularly new, young bands, how they’re able to make a living out of that process now, because it’s difficult, isn’t it? It’s really difficult, because everybody fucking steals it. And then you’ve got a lot of young kids that say, ‘I’m not gonna pay for it. I’m just gonna watch it off YouTube or get it from here and there and everywhere.’ So the economics of putting a new band together and getting your music listened to and people buying it and getting a few dollars to put back in the band, it’s really hard work now. But I think it’s very, very important that no matter what band you’re in, you test yourself and you see what you’re capable of doing. And that’s why PRIEST is gonna make another record after ‘Redeemer Of Souls’. We don’t need to, but we want to. We genuinely wanna do another record, because we had a blast making ‘Redeemer Of Souls’. So you just do it, don’t you, man? This is what we do. We’re a band. You’re in a rock and roll band. You write songs, you play ’em out live, and that’s what it is.”
On what advice he would give to up-and-coming bands, especially young singers:
Halford: “I think the first thing you should try and strive to get out of being in a band is that feeling, that magic that happens when you’re jamming in a garage or a rehearsal place and you’re all playing together and something’s happening that’s really exciting that gives you a buzz, gives you the energy, gives you the passion… I think if it starts at that level and you’re enjoying it and having a good time with it, then you’ve gotta do everything that you can to keep that close to your heart. I’ve done so many shows with PRIEST, I’ve lost count now, but I get the biggest kick in the fucking world when I go out with my band and I start singing; it’s never left me. I’ve never felt tired of it — I’ve never felt that, ever. And that is really the heart of the matter again. We can’t exist without our fans; our fans are our inspiration. It’s our fans that inspire us to keep doing what we do. So it’s the fans that you gain, even when you’re a brand new band… I can remember those early days of PRIEST when we’d play a club, and there’d be three people there — three people, but they’d be banging their heads. That’s how it starts. It’s a beautiful thing, really, isn’t it, Mark? So I would say to any young band, firstly, try and get as much joy and pleasure as you can out of your own band, and being with each other, being a band of brothers; there’s girls in the bands now. It’s everybody believing in the dream, fighting for the dream, making the dream real. The very simple, simple aspects of being in a band are just that. They only become cluttered, they only become challenging, they only become difficult when you become more successful, because suddenly you’ve gotta change, haven’t you? You’ve gotta be a businessman, you’ve gotta read contracts, you’ve gotta be here and there, [do] interviews, blah blah blah blah. You’ve gotta be able to carry all the extra baggage and still wait for that moment when you go out and play your heart out with your band, because that’s what you wanna do.”
On Gene Simmons‘ recent comment that “rock is dead”:
Halford: “No, I don’t agree with it all. I think that it’s pretty difficult to get somebody from a certain generation to be able to relate to a different generation. You see, I might be a sixty-four-year-old metalhead, but I feel like I’ve got a sixteen-year-old metalhead heart in me. Because I’m on the Internet every fucking day, I’m on Instagram, I’m on the social web sites, I’m looking at all the different things that are happening, and it’s buzzing, it’s thrilling, it’s exciting. There’s incredible things happening. It was different in 1970. It was different in 1980. It’s 2015, man. Try and think and look at and absorb and relate to what’s happening now, and not to the past, because the past is gone. The music is living forever. And I know it’s easy to make comparisons, but to say that something is dead, I think, is… it’s like a real kick in the balls to all the new bands that are desperately trying their hardest and their damndest to do well and to be successful in rock and roll. So, far from it, Mark. I think it’s alive, I think it’s thriving, and I’m really excited about it for the future.”
JUDAS PRIEST‘s tour in support of their 17th studio album overall, “Redeemer Of Souls”, was one of the most extensive of the group’s entire career — consisting of 130 shows in 33 countries, and offering a setlist that touched upon selections from nearly all of their classic albums. And now, fans can relive the live PRIEST experience once more, with the release of the new CD/DVD/Blu-ray, “Battle Cry”, on March 25 via Epic Records.
Recorded live on August 1, 2015 at Germany’s Wacken Open Air festival in front of an audience of 85,000, “Battle Cry” is available on a 15-track CD, with the entire show on Blu-ray and DVD (running over 94 minutes), as well as digital audio and video formats. The DVD and Blu-ray also contains three bonus tracks shot in Poland on December 10, 2015 at the Ergo Arena, Gdansk, Poland.
What makes the show’s track listing so appealing is it balances new classics (“Dragonaut”, “Halls of Valhalla”, “Redeemer Of Souls”) along with headbanging classics (“Metal Gods”, “Electric Eye”, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming”), as well as key album tracks from yesteryear (“Devil’s Child”, “Beyond The Realms Of Death”, “Jawbreaker”).