JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford recently answered a number of fan-submitted questions for the readers of U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine. Asked if politics have a place in metal, Rob said: "Absolutely they do and I've been putting my two penn'orth into PRIEST's music for most of my life, but it's concealed by smoke and mirrors. Take a song like 'Evil Never Dies' [from 2018's 'Firepower' album]. I make some digs there and I know what I mean, but here's the thing, especially for a band like PRIEST: music is about escapism.
"If I hear one more thing about Brexit, I don't know what I will do. To me there's a place for politics and I applaud bands that make it important in what they do, but with me the clues are there if you want to look for them."
Back in 2018, Halford told Newsweek that he is "not a Donald Trump supporter," explaining that the U.S. president's policies have turned political divides into chasms and alienated minority groups like the LGBTQ community.
"It's a very shaky time right now," Rob said. "I have so much faith in this country. But it does seem as though the brakes have been slapped on. It's indeed disturbing, and it's such a shame, because throughout the Obama administration, tremendous things were achieved on the basis of human equality. That's the issue here. Treating one bunch of people this way, and treating this bunch that way. You can't do that. You have to give everybody the same rights."
Halford acknowledged that many PRIEST fans won't agree with those views, saying that "there's a ton of metalheads that are supportive of [the Trump] administration." But, he added, "That's great. That's okay. You're not bringing that to the show. We're there to all join together, and that is the beautiful thing about a free, transparent society — which we don't appear to have right now. Some fans are completely opposite to me politically. But we can still be in the same room and have a good time and hopefully have a good discussion while respecting each other's opinions."
JUDAS PRIEST will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with a world tour coming to the U.S. in the fall. Support on the "50 Heavy Metal Years Tour" will come from SABATON.