JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford recently conducted an interview with Canada's Exclaim! magazine. A few excerpts from the interview follow:
Exclaim!: What are your current fixations?
Rob Halford: "I am something of a bookworm. I do enjoy killing time in the bunk on the tour bus reading all kinds of material. I've got a pretty broad taste when it comes to reading — anything that can take my mind. When we get a chance I like to go to the movie theatres. I saw 'Sideways' the other day.
Exclaim!: Why do you live where you do?
Rob Halford: "I'm lucky enough to be able to have travelled the world so many times and as a Brit, I have an affinity with those parts of the world. I love the city of Amsterdam for lots of different reasons. It's a very cool place to hang out in and it's what I feel is a very human environment because there is a tremendous amount of liberal thinking over there. I think that's why it's a big attraction to a lot of people, especially people in the music business. And who wouldn't want to hang out in Southern California? It's gorgeous down here. I just enjoy the American lifestyle, although I have differing views and opinions that go on down here with current administration policies. You try not to let that interfere with your life."
Exclaim!: What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Rob Halford: "It would probably have to be back way back in the '70s when I went to the Isle of Whyte Festival where JIMI HENDRIX and THE WHO played. I went down there with countless thousands of other people and camped out in a tent and enjoyed that festival atmosphere and experience. I saw Hendrix who is a god, really, in the world of rock'n'roll. It was just a very profound three-day event and I think obviously it moved me to want to carry on as a musician. And that was before I was a professional musician."
Exclaim!: What have been your career highs and lows?
Rob Halford: "I guess the highs come when you're making steps forward in terms of success and recognition. Obviously when you have the chance to take your music further away from your home base, as it is with most groups, just through hard work and determination. Not only in taking your music around but also focusing on your music and making it as good as you can make it. Everything that surrounds that desire and intensity I think is vital to a musician. I think the highs though are when you get that first level of success, whether it's a gold album or a platinum album. Or every show to me is determined by the reaction that you're able to generate with your performance. I don't think, in all reality, that I've experienced a real low, per se. I think that any moment that you bought into where you had to struggle is part of growth. I think you face those low moments and turn them around into powerful ones."
Exclaim!: What are your feelings on piracy, Internet or otherwise?
Rob Halford: "I think it's been a learning curve for a lot of people and there is a comfortable way of us all utilising this incredible technology. Obviously there is a portion of people that feel it is okay to take these things away from you without giving any recompense. We've all got bills to pay, so anything that's taken away from musicians is a disservice to everyone because we need that resource generated by what we do to carry on. I think that more recently there has been a better grasp of the situation with everybody trying to make it work and for us all to feel comfortable with it."
Exclaim!: What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Rob Halford: "When I was touring with the band, I was having a shower and suddenly someone was standing in front of me saying, 'Hey Rob, that show was great! I followed you all over the world, you're the best!' I'm standing there being praised in the shower and he handed me some CDs and asked, "Can you sign these for me dude?" I basically told him to fuck off. You can't really sign stuff when you're wet and covered in soap. Of all the places that you think are secure and you've got a little time to relax after a show and not being interfered with, that's one of them."
Read the entire interview at this location.