THE METAL GOD, ROB HALFORD, DISCUSSES HIS LOVE OF MICHAEL BUBLE AND PAVAROTTI
Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post spoke with the ever charming Judas Priest frontman, Rob Halford. Excerpts from the interview appear below.
NY Post: You’re not afraid to talk about your love for Michael Bublé.
Rob Halford: Even though I’m a metal singer, the fact that I’ve been able to appreciate other types of performers has probably paid dividends.
When I listen to Michael Bublé, it’s exciting, it’s inspiring. I feel the same way with Michael Feinstein or Ryan Adams. I’m drawn to singers who have something different to say vocally, and Adele would be in there. I saw [Barbra] Streisand in Phoenix and that was mind-blowing. Her voice is just so pure.
NY Post: You’re definitely thinking outside of the metal box.
Rob Halford: I’ve also always had a passion for some types of opera — I’ve got a massive Pavarotti collection. I sing Nessun Dorma when I warm up backstage.
NY Post: Is Priest ever going to put out the tracks you guys did in ’88 with producers Stock Aitken Waterman, of Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley fame?
Rob Halford: I personally would love to release them, but there’s a different consensus within the band. Our rendition of [the Stylistics’] You Are Everything is just beautiful — it’s an ’80s megarock ballad, with big drums, big vocals, sweeping strings.
People are a lot more open-minded now, whereas in those days it could have created a bit of push-back, maybe even some damage to our reputation.
NY Post: Yet from Day 1, you’ve pushed the boundaries in your stage visuals, with all that leather and chains.
Rob Halford: The outfit I used to wear for our first three or four songs was like carrying one of those huge military backpacks! I had to have an operation on my spine a year ago.
My new outfits are just as visually strong but they’re about a quarter of the weight — we’ve reduced the tonnage of the studs [chuckles]. I’ve been in London working on them with Ray Brown. I look a bit like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz on the new tour.
Read more at the New York Post.
I’m going to the show at the IZOD next Friday 10/17. Can’t wait. Wish they would play more from the earlier days – no Green Manalishi in the setlist! Rob is the Metal God, having an open appreciation for other performers/styles of music probably helps him in his own style.
So, last night’s show was AMAZING!!!!! Yes, the setlist is short. But, dear god, Rob is singing incredibly well (in the past he’s been rusty at the beginning of the tour) and Richie REALLY impressed me this time around. I admit I was not the biggest fan of his during the last tour, thinking he really went a bit too far with the stage antics. But, dammit, that guy PLAYS HIS ASS OFF. I hope someone posts the rendition of Victim of Changes they did last night. Holy shit. Richie’s solo was beyond scorching. I’m talking this rivaled what KK used to do in the mid-80s. Just mind-blowing. He also did a very good solo during YGATC, when they sort of break it up. They stepped back and gave him the spotlight for 5 minutes and just destroyed the arena.
Oh, and one thing I also wanted to point out was how animated Rob was. More than normal, I think. This was very apparent duing Devil’s Child. He was all over the stage, getting into it, and you can tell this song just gets him worked up. Just phenomenal. His screams practically shook the building. Was totally blown away last night.
My only slight disappointment is that they slowed most of the a songs down noticeably. And I think this is for Glenn. 🙁 He just seems like he’s slowed down a lot and wasn’t his usual self on stage. Even the solos were a tad sloppy, which is very unlike him. The guitars were VERY poorly mixed the entire show. Way too low in the mix. Although, it was nice to hear Ian the entire time.
The songs are slowed down to accommodate the singer, it gives him more room to take breaths of air. Glenn is just giving Richie the spotlight. He’s been there, done that…and that’s not my idea of a Priest show at all.
I found it interesting that during a Judas Priest biography on TV, Ian Hill had subtitles when he spoke,…. In English!
Wow, that’s ridiculous.
I have heard Ian Hill speak in interviews, and in my humble opinion, and his is perfectly intelligible.
Dana from here 🙂
T, that’s hysterical. You know you’ve lived a good life when you need subtitles!!
Funny, when I went to concerts they used actual smoke, lasers, and fire. What’s with these goddamn video screens? The digital logo, the digital fire, the digital smoke and lasers? Let me get this straight: the ticket price goes up 1000%, I get rewarded with a virtual stage show?
seen them last thursday, was pretty bummed .the band is old and weathered.no fire or balls behind them just a great band on auto pilot..the new kid is good but KK is sorely missed. their sound is not as sharp and brutal as it once was.I agree that those virtual stage shows suck..on the way home I cranked Unleashed in the East.that my friends is PRIEST.always amazed on why Les Binks was fired.He was Amazing on those albums.
Agreed. My favorite Priest album is Hell Bent For Leather with Stained Class following suit. A good part of that is Les Binks’ amazing drumming on those 2 records. Though they’ve had some decent drummers in their tenure (I enjoyed Dave Holland to a degree), nothing came close to Binks’ thunder. Thanks, Gus, gonna go crank Burnin’ Up now…
Found a little more regarding Binks’ departure with Priest. Quoted by Rob Halford, 2003. “…Even as great as Les was, after those few albums, we wanted to go after something a little more simple and harder..”. Apparently, his drumming was too “technical” for them. I suppose they succeeded with Dave Holland’s more spripped-down, steady drumming style (which worked on those records and garnered them more mainstream success in the years that followed). I guess we wouldn’t have gotten British Steel with Binks but I still prefer his more complex, harder-hitting approach. Also, I wasn’t aware that he helped write some songs on those records, most notably “Beyond The Realms of Death”. Interesting stuff.