rob halford

IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR #8: Hello again, Metal God…!

I arrived at my hotel fairly early. Luckily, those “nicer”, more expensive hotels are more likely to have a room available even if you show up early, so I kept my fingers crossed. Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything, but we got all the paperwork done and they asked me to come back around noon. That was still 3 hours earlier than regular check-in time, so I call that flexibility and good service.


Russia's Classic Rock magazine has uploaded a 14-minute video report on the April 18 concert in Moscow from PROJECT ROCK (formerly ROCKSTAR), the new band featuring former and current members of JUDAS PRIEST, ALICE COOPER, OZZY OSBOURNE and AC/DC. The clip includes performance footage as well as an interview with the group's lead singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens, who has previously fronted JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and DIO DISCIPLES. Asked how much of the 2001 Warner Bros. movie "Rock Star", starring Mark Wahlberg as a salesman-turned-rock star, was styled after Owens, who fronted a JUDAS PRIEST cover band before being tapped to become the new lead singer of the actual group, Tim said: "When they first [got the idea to do] the 'Rock Star' movie [under its original name 'Metal God'], it was really gonna be about me. And then JUDAS PRIEST pulled away from it, because they didn't like some things. So [the producers] really made their own movie, I think. The similarities were that I auditioned for JUDAS PRIEST and I sang one line of a song and hit a note and made the band. But then a lot of the things, they kind of went out… I mean, I wasn't that kind of fan when I made the band, because I was that kind of crazy kid in high school in the '80s. But this was 1996, so I wasn't living at my parents' with posters on the walls. I mean, it was still pretty cool. I mean, to have a movie loosely based on you is pretty cool." Regarding whether it was ironic that the "Rock Star" movie became almost prophetic in the sense that Mark Wahlberg's character in the film ends up playing small clubs with his original material after the band's original lead singer rejoins the group, Owens said: "For me, the movie was almost [like real life]. Rob [Halford] came back [to JUDAS PRIEST], which was good for me, to be honest. My career, I went on to do a lot of stuff. It was better for the band, it was better for Rob. So it was kind of funny. I think I became a little bit bigger than the coffee shop singer that Mark Wahlberg was in the movie in the end, just playing there. I still get to play in front of thousands of people in Russia. But it is similar how he went on to do his own thing." Owens also spoke about the progress of the recording sessions for the debut album from PROJECT ROCK, which also features Keri Kelli (SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, ALICE COOPER, RATT) on guitar, Simon Wright (DIO, AC/DC, UFO, DIO DISCIPLES, Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE) on drums, Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO) on bass and Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis (GUNS N' ROSES) on keyboards. "I just finished the vocals," he said. "I flew from L.A. — I was in the studio with Keri — I flew directly here. The vocals are done. It's almost done. Probably, like, a September release, maybe. But it's gonna be great. We're really looking forward to it. Keri and I busted our butts on it, especially Keri." In a 2012 interview with Loud magazine, Owens stated about his departure from JUDAS PRIEST: "Well, you know, we all knew that Rob would come back eventually. That was a given. I love the guys in PRIEST, and if there's anything where I look back and wish, 'Oh man I wish it could have worked out,' that would probably be it. I was glad to see Rob come back, [but] I do wish they would play some of my material when they're out there [on the road]." Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before the band reunited with Halford in 2003.

ROB HALFORD Says New JUDAS PRIEST Album ‘Redeemer Of Souls’ Is ‘Relentless’

On Monday, May 5, Eddie Trunk — co-host of the VH1 Classic television program "That Metal Show" — conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST members Glenn Tipton (guitar), Rob Halford (vocals) and Richie Faulkner (guitar) for Eddie's show "Trunk Nation", which airs live Mondays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST on SiriusXM's Hair Nation, XM channel 39 and Sirius channel 39. A few excerpts from the chat follow below (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the amount of time it took to put together JUDAS PRIEST's new studio album, "Redeemer Of Souls": Halford: "Six years has whizzed by, but in that time, of course, we did not only the 'Nostradamus' tour, but the 'Epitaph' tour as well. Then we got into writing mode and made 'Redeemer Of Souls'. So we ain't been hanging out doing nothing." Tipton: "It's 18 or 19 tracks — I can never remember — so there's a big chunk of work there. But we enjoyed it. It's returning back to the roots of PRIEST. It's classic PRIEST." Halford: "When we finished 'Epitaph', we just got so buzzed from the fans and the reaction wherever we went. Just to put the 'Epitaph' tour together, which was we tried to put a song from every record into the show, and we were living in the life of JUDAS PRIEST, all those decades, in one show, night after night on the world trek, and I think that really did something to us eternally; as musicians, it should do when you tour. So we realized that this next record really had to be really strong, full of energy, because it's relentless, the tracks are relentless. The energy that you feel off 'Redeemer Of Souls' is replicated in that direction time and time and time again." On whether they still feel good about "Nostradamus" six years after the album's release: Tipton: "Yeah. [We're] absolutely proud of the album. Yeah, it was a little bit off the wall, and it wasn't quite a small element of people expected from PRIEST, and maybe they would prefer a more PRIEST classic album. But we've done it now, with 'Redeemer Of Souls', a completely classic PRIEST album, and probably the same element will turn around and say, 'I wish they'd tried something a bit different.' So you can't please all of the people all of the time, or some of the people some of the time, whatever that saying is. But we enjoyed writing ['Nostradamus']… A lot of it was done on keyboards, wasn't it?! We wanted to do a concept album. We've always wanted to do something that was a bit different, and we've never been afraid to experiment and try. You never know how it's gonna turn out, but you've gotta try these things and we're very proud of that album. And the small element, again, that said, 'We want more classic PRIEST,' we listened — you've gotta listen to your fans — and that's what we've done now. And you couldn't have a more classic album than 'Redeemer Of Souls'." Halford: "If you look at bands of longevity, like PRIEST, you see the trail of music that we've left, I don't think we could have probably made as great a record as we have with 'Redeemer Of Souls' if we didn't have 'Nostradamus' as a reference point. It's a stepping stone to the next place. Every record that we've made, we've tried to give it some distinction, some separate identity. 'British Steel' doesn't sound like 'Stained Class', 'Stained Class' doesn't sound like 'Painkiller', 'Painkiller' doesn't sound like 'Defenders Of The Faith'… So I think everything has its place and has its moments, and we've always fed off these different areas that we've gone into with our metal. So thanks to 'Nostradamus', we've got 'Redeemer Of Souls'." On how guitarist Richie Faulkner's addition to JUDAS PRIEST has changed the band's outlook on its future following the departure of founding PRIEST axeman K.K. Downing: Tipton: "Richie came in and energized the band a lot. And when I say that, before anybody reads it wrong, I'm talking about energized me, certainly… I'm getting on a bit now, and we're all from a different generation than Richie comes from, so he came in and really did energize the band. And not only that, his contribution, particularly to the writing, is unbelievable, because he came in and fitted in, slotted in straight away. But that's because he did his homework, and he's always been a PRIEST fan. He listened to PRIEST and he knew what he needed to bring to the table, and he brought exactly the right things to the table, so that we got a new angle at looking at things, but it's still very much JUDAS PRIEST." On whether they changed their minds about not doing any more tours once they got on the road and saw the overwhelmingly positive reactions to JUDAS PRIEST's new lineup: Tipton: "In all honesty, we always said — we never really changed our mind — that 'Epitaph' was the last world tour that we were gonna do, that there was a possibility we would always do more dates. So we stuck to our guns. We weren't trying to trick people by saying it was our last tour. It was our last world tour. It can take a chunk out of your life. Just work takes a big part of your life, and when you go out on tour, it takes a chunk out of your life. So I think we're re-energized now with the new album [done]. I think it makes you think twice: 'How could I give this up?' You know? 'How could I possibly give this up?' And that drives you on. And it's driven us on for 40 years. And we're still alive… barely. But we're still alive." Halford: 'We've said a million times and we'll say it a million times again, it's all down to the fans. The fans constantly motivate us. We've never ignored the fact that without our incredible JUDAS PRIEST fans, we wouldn't have had the life that we've had. So at the end of that 'Epitaph' tour, you go home for the first time in almost two years and you're thinking about all of that great emotion, and it's very difficult to say, 'That's the end of that. That's the end.' So we're refocusing, and we are gonna go out, [but] not as extensively [as before]. We feed on the energy that the fans give us, as we've always said, and they were the inspiration for us to put together 'Redeemer Of Souls'. We were thinking all the time about how the fans would react to this vibe or that vibe. And that's not to say that we were letting somebody else take our musical direction, but it's great to have that understanding, to have a reference point of who put you where you are. When you've been doing it for 40 years, you're thinking a lot more about things that you didn't when you first kicked off. 'Cause at the beginning, you're just very organic and you don't have a big fan base. There's a purity, like we've always said. With a lot of bands, to some extent, some of the best moments happen on the first two or three releases, and then all the other things start to come into play." On Richie's involvement in the writing process for "Redeemer Of Souls": Faulkner: "It was an incredible honor to be a part of it. I mean, since Day One, since the band said, 'You're in. You've got the job,' there's been creative input from all sides. It's not a situation where there's maybe two people that run the whole show and everyone else just turns up and plays — it's not like that at all. There was discussions about the setlist or changing songs or input into the set design or the production… You know what I mean?! So right from the word 'go,' it was very inclusive, like a creative family, and that dynamic has kind of spread throughout my three years in PRIEST into the writing included in there. And we were out on tour during the 'Epitaph' tour. I had a recording rig out on the road with me. So I'd go back in the dressing room, spend a few hours putting down riffs. Rob would poke his head around the door and say, 'Oh, what's that? What's that you're putting down? I've got an idea for that.' Or Glenn would come in the room with his guitar and say, 'Oh, I've got this riff. Can you put this down?' So it started very organically. We were out on the road putting down riffs. And when it came to the time to actually sit down, get together, put the ideas in the pot, if you will, for the 'Redeemer Of Souls' record, we had already started. It was an organic process. And it had been inclusive from the beginning." On why there are five "bonus" tracks that are included on the deluxe version of the album and do not appear on the CD's regular version: Tipton: "They are all great songs. The reason they are not on the album is because the 13 that we chose are very consistent with what we wanted to do, which was release an undisputable heavy metal album. The others, they are not lightweight by any chance, but they've got a different feel, a different texture. So it's not a case of trying to rip the kids off and trying to get more money for an extra album, it's just a case of, these five tracks seem to deserve to go on their own CD, and that's what we did." Halford: "We didn't want to drop the energy. From the opening thunder-and-lightning on 'Dragonaut' right up 'till the end of 'Battle Cry', it's just full-on, it's relentless. It's great." On JUDAS PRIEST's touring plans: Tipton: "It's all a little bit 'play it by ear.' We're looking at starting some dates in the fall — exactly how many and what size, what capacity, we're not sure. But one thing that we have discussed is PRIEST have got such a wealth now of songs behind us, we probably won't go over the top on production like we've done before; the strength will be in the music. That's our feeling at the moment with this next tour." Halford: "We wanna go back to basics, to a certain extent." "Redeemer Of Souls" CD track listing: 01. Dragonaut 02. Redeemer Of Souls 03. Halls Of Valhalla 04. Sword Of Damocles 05. March Of The Damned 06. Down In Flames 07. Hell & Back 08. Cold Blooded 09. Metalizer 10. Crossfire 11. Secrets Of The Dead 12. Battle Cry 13. Beginning Of The End Bonus tracks: 14. Snakebite 15. Tears Of Blood 16. Creatures 17. Bring It On 18. Never Forget "Redeemer Of Souls" release dates: Friday, July 11: Australia Austria Benelux Finland Germany Ireland New Zealand Norway Sweden Switzerland Turkey Monday, July 14: Asia (excluding Japan) Czech Republic Denmark France Greece Hungary Poland Portugal South Africa UK Tuesday, July 15: Canada Italy Latin America Russia Spain USA Wednesday, July 16: Japan The "Redeemer Of Souls" title track can be streamed in the YouTube clip below. The song was made available for purchase via iTunes and other digital service providers on April 29. Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral judaspriestredeemerofsouls_638 Read more at

ROB HALFORD: New JUDAS PRIEST Album Is ‘Absolutely Finished’

British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST have completed work on their brand new studio album, to be released later in the year. Speaking to Artisan News at last night's (Monday, March 17) VIP listening party for the Ronnie James Dio tribute album "This Is Your Life" and awards gala at the Avalon in Hollywood, California, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford stated about the band's new CD (see video below): "The record is finished; it's absolutely finished as of today." He added: "It's a relief. It's a relief because whenever PRIEST makes an album, like any band, you put your heart and soul into it; it is that typical 'blood, sweat and tears.' It's not an easy thing to do 40 years later. But PRIEST has always been up for the challenge of that, and it's one of things that we love to do more than anything else as we move on through our metal years. So this is a great time for PRIEST: 40th anniversary, a brand new record. Life couldn't be better." In a 2013 interview with, Halford described the new PRIEST CD's sound as "hard. It's heavy. It's something we think our PRIEST fans will be thrilled with. We know we have a reputation to maintain, and we know we have to deliver something really strong and solid. The album is going to be full of all the great things you love about JUDAS PRIEST — I don't think I can say anything more than that without being hung, drawn and quartered." Speaking to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner, Halford said about what fans can expect from JUDAS PRIEST's next LP: "We felt it was very important to follow up [2008's] 'Nostradamus', the last release, and that was a concept experiment and it was a real success for us and the fans loved it, but I think our fans and ourselves as a band, we want to get back to the side of PRIEST that we haven't heard for a few years and reemphasize and remake those big, heavy metal statements again." PRIEST's next album will mark the band's first release with Richie Faulkner, most recently guitarist in the backing band for Lauren Harris (daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris). Faulkner joined PRIEST as the replacement for original PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing, who announced his retirement from the band in April 2011. Asked how it has been collaborating on new music with Faulkner, Halford told Guitar World in a 2012 interview: "Really, really strong. Exciting. He's riffing and saying, 'Robby, I'm thinking of this and this and this.' It's really exciting to have that kind of energy, because you feed off of it." He added: "[Richie] went through the ritual on [the 'Epitaph'] tour, did great work on stage, the fans embraced him, so it's now time to see what we're capable of, the writing trio of Glenn [Tipton] and Richie and myself." Regarding whether technology has changed JUDAS PRIEST's songwriting process at all, Halford said: "It's dangerous to walk around with a flash drive on a bunch of keys. [Laughs] To a great extent, it doesn't really change. The technology is amazing in terms of the advantages it brings to music now, some of it good, some of it very bad. It's all about discipline and self-belief, determination, wanting to do the best you can do and not accepting anything that's below par. We've always had that attitude in PRIEST. We've always felt really strongly about any track that goes out for our fans. We're still doing it like we always have: firing up the riffs and finding a vocal melody to go with it, me going into me wonderful world of the Roget's Thesaurus and trying to come up with a new lyric and a new idea. And that's what we've been doing for four decades."

JUDAS PRIEST Singer ROB HALFORD To Guest On ‘The Simpsons’

According to Entertainment Weekly, the voice of JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford wil be featured in an episode of the animated series "The Simpsons", set to air sometime next year. The episode will also star Will Arnett, director Judd Apatow, and his frequent costars Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman tells Entertainment Weekly that in the episode, titled "Steal This Episode", Homer is taught by Bart how to illegally download films, and he starts screening them in his backyard for folks in Springfield. "Even though Homer is stealing, he's doing it for the community, he’s doing it out of the goodness of his heart," says Selman. An overzealous FBI director in charge of anti-piracy subsuqently goes after Homer, andHalford winds up singing a parody of the JUDAS PRIEST classic "Breaking The Law" in an effort to nab Homer. In 2002, Halford had a small film role as a pornographic video store clerk in "Spun", a crime comedy-drama dark-comedy directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who has helmed music videos for some of the biggest pop and rock artists in the world. Rob told Screamer Magazine earlier this year: "I had a fantastic opportunity to work on that 'Spun' movie with Mickey Rourke. And to watch Mickey Rourke, I just don't know how he does it. He just switches it on, and he's a different person almost. That's the great challenge that these actors have. It's not easy, but these actors make it look easy because they are so good at what they do." Given a chance to act again, Halford said that he would certainly consider it. "I never say no to anything," he said. "I think if you do, you don't know what you've missed. I think you should try everything in life. If it doesn't work out, then at least you can say you've tried it. There's nothing worse than having regrets. If life affords you an opportunity and you can go for it, then you should."

JUDAS PRIEST Settles Breach-Of-Contract Suit With ROB HALFORD’s Longtime Manager

According to, JUDAS PRIEST lead singer Rob Halford, other PRIEST members, and the band's management team have reached a settlement with Rob's longtime manager John Baxter in a breach-of-contract suit. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel granted the parties' joint motion for dismissal on Thursday after they said they’d reached a settlement. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Halford, his PRIEST bandmates and the group management team were sued by Baxter to the tune of around $50 million. Rolling Stone reported that Baxter's suit, which can be found as a PDF document at this location, alleged "fraud, breach of contract, and intentional interference with contractual relations." Shortly after Halford fired Baxter in August 2012, Baxter claimed that he realized that the PRIEST frontman owed him millions due to "contract breaches, including failure to pay commissions, salary and expenses dating back to 1992." He said that Halford misled him by saying that he was unable to pay Baxter the monies owed him, but promised to do so when he had the money at hand.