Gary Graff of Billboard spoke with iconic Judas Priest frontman/Metal God Rob Halford, and bassist Ian Hill, about the band, once again, being considered for a possible nomination into the Rock N’ Roll of Fame. Excerpts from the article appear below.

…First eligible in 2000 and long considered one of the Rock Hall’s most significant snubs, Judas Priest was first nominated in 2018, then again in 2020 and did well in the fan voting but has yet to make the final list of inductees. “You go ‘Meh. Meh. Next time,” Halford says, while bassist Ian Hill — the sole remaining member from the band’s original 1969 lineup — adds from his home in England that “your enthusiasm tends to curb a little bit when you’ve been turned down twice. The first time we were absolutely over the moon, and of course we didn’t make it and that was disappointing. We didn’t make it the second time, either, and if we’re turned down again, I’m sure we won’t be as disappointed as we were the first time around.”

“But,” Hill adds, “It’s an honor. If we did make it into the Hall of Fame, we’d be over the moon about it.”

For now, the group has adopted a “third time’s the charm” mantra, which has given Halford some additional reason for optimism. “I googled it and apparently it’s a British expression, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s useful.’ As I sent that off I thought about the Grammy; I said that about the Grammy, the third time’s the charm, and I think we got it [Best Metal Performance in 2010 for Dissident Aggressor]. And three’s a lucky number in numerology, so it’s got a lot of karma and good vibes hanging around those three digits. So maybe it will be the charm.”

If induction happens, Halford and Hill both say they’ll also be happy to stand alongside founding guitarist K.K.Downing, who parted ways with the band acrimoniously in 2011 and now leads his own band, K.K.’s Priest. “It’s not a problem to us, no,” Hill says. “Ken was an integral part of this band for a very, very long time. He deserves to be there along with the rest of us.” Halford predicts that, “It won’t be as awkward as Ace and Peter [with KISS]. I don’t think it’ll be awkward at all. I think you have to let all of that go because it’s the night that matters. It’s the moment that matters — but, again, the proverbial saying, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Priest will be busy while the Rock Hall voting is being conducted, of course. The group is slated to resume its Covid-interrupted 50 Heavy Metal Years tour on March 4th in Peoria, Ill., with North American dates through mid-April…The upcoming dates will also feature a quintet lineup with producer Andy Sneap back on guitar after Priest announced last month it planned to tour as a quartet, without him.

“That all came from me, it didn’t come from the band,” confesses Halford, who considered that since the band was founded as a four-piece it would be appropriate to return to that for a 50th anniversary celebration. “Of course, that blew up in my face, didn’t it? To have done something like a four-piece now would’ve been just not right, ridiculous, insane, crazy, off my rocker, have a cup of tea and relax. It’s kind of water under the bridge now. I think my heart was in the right place, but I’m not the first musician to have a crazy idea…”

Read more at Billboard.

15 Responses

  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Rob, we all f–k up sometimes. If Priest does get in, it’ll just be the committee’s way of making us happy and hoping we overlook the crappers and the crock rock RATM getting in as well. Every year (most of the time) they’ll let in 1 deserving artist/band to distract from the other 4 or 5 undeserving “artists.”

  2. Hmm…..I have a suspicion Halford is throwing himself on the sword with his claim it was his idea to tour as a quartet (personally, i think it was a management financial decision idea) . Regardless, at least the right decision to tour as a quartet was eventually decided upon.

  3. although priest should have made it in 20 years ago , the powers that be at the HOF have obviously never considered metal and hard rock to be ” real ” music , and look down their noses at it from on high and have never taken it seriously, so I won’t be surprised if priest is looked over again , I’m glad they have seemed to embrace KK being there with them should they get in , hopefully that means they have removed their heads fully from their asses and KK will actually perform with them that night …..

    1. Robert,

      It has always been obvious from day one, that Jan Wenner, and his ilk from Rolling Stone, have always looked down upon hard rock and metal. They had. and still have, an apparent disrespect, almost a disdain if you will, for that genre music. Holding their elitist noses up so high, for so long, that they are seemingly unaware of most of what they deify, is abject excrement. Personally, I was shocked AC/DC made it in so quickly.

      Even with Wenner’s retirement many years ago, the pompous attitude remains. I hope the Metal God is accurate, in his “three times a charm” assessment, but as a diehard Priest fan, I won’t hold my breath. The Rock Hall is both a sham and a shame.

  4. When they do get in the RRHOF I hope that they perform with KK which then evolves into KK and The rest of Priest touring with an occasional appearance from Glenn.

  5. I think for many artists who have had long amazing careers Getting into the hall has been a dream for them- the ultimate benchmark of success, even though it’s turned into a cesspool of elitist ass kissing its like winning the superbowl – and unfortunately it’s really the only game in town ~

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