In a brand new interview with the Denver Westword, JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill spoke about Rob Halford's decision to reveal more than 15 years ago that the singer was homosexual.
During a 1998 interview with MTV, Halford addressed the subject of his sexuality publicly for the first time, telling the music channel: "I think that most people know that I've been a gay man all of my life, and that it's only been in recent times that it's an issue that I feel comfortable to address, and an issue that has been with me ever since recognizing my own sexuality."
Asked if he and the rest of JUDAS PRIEST members were shocked by Halford's revelation, Hill said: "Oh no, we knew. I think most of the people that knew him knew as well. It's always been his choice. He chose to keep it to himself for a lot of years and he had his reasons for that. He thought it would be better if he kept it under wraps, maybe. None of us were going to stand in his way but he decided he wanted to keep it to himself."
Halford recently told The Press Of Atlantic City that he expected metal fans to alienate him when he first spoke about his homosexuality. "I probably deluded myself into thinking I would get rejection," he said. "Nothing could have been further from the truth."
He continued: "When you make that choice of stepping out and facing the issue of disclosure, you do create this kind of self-imposed negative fear. It's unfortunate it still happens today. 'Do I step out and say I'm a gay guy?' But you have got to do it and live your life on your terms and no one else's terms. Don't say you can't do this and you are worried about people being offended. If they push you away, then they push you away. Grab life by the horns and tell them, 'Take me for what I am and who I am and if you don't like it, that's your thing. Not my thing.'"
He added: "If I had been in the band at the time … I think when it happened was a good moment. The fans were amazing."
After the release of JUDAS PRIEST's 1990 album "Painkiller", Halford wanted to do a solo record, but the rest of the group wouldn't let him. So he left the band and did it anyway, while his bandmates continued without him. PRIEST recruited vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens in 1996 and released two studio albums, 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition", before reuniting with Rob in 2003.