Rob Halford Talks New Judas Priest Album and Past Solo Projects

(Radio.com) Rob Halford is probably one of a handful of metal musicians who would feel struck to recall an Andy Warhol quote. "As Andy Warhol said, the most exciting part of any event is the anticipation and waiting for it," he says, discussing Judas Priest's next album.

That, however, is about all he can say. "We're making a new record," Halford continues, "which we can't talk about because we've been verboten by the label and management." This news may come as something of a surprise, as they recently went on what they said was their final world tour in 2011.
So, with things going so well for Halford and Priest, it's easy to forget that the iconic frontman left the band for over a decade in May of 1992. Priest moved on with a replacement singer, Ripper Owens (the 2001 Mark Wahlberg film Rock Star was inspired by that era of the band), and Halford started a few different projects. He's been back with Priest since 2003, but Halford recalled some of his other bands that are in his studded rear-view mirror.

His first project was Fight, which took a more modern approach to metal: while it had echoes of Judas Priest, it was clear that Pantera was on his mind. The visual changes were even more stunning (and to metal fans, alienating) than his new sound. Gone were the leather and studs, replaced by t-shirts and (gasp!) shorts.

Just when the fans started to cope with that project, it split up, and Rob became less metal, and more sexually ambiguous. 2wo, coincided with Halford's coming out of the closet, and the music seemed to reflect that sense of freedom. While it still featured metal guitars, it also featured industrial beats, some of which were provided by Trent Reznor. But because of the association with Reznor, Halford had to endure accusations of jumping on the industrial/metal trend.

In any case, Halford states, "(2wo) became better because of Trent's involvement, and (Dave) 'Rave' Ogilve of Skinny Puppy who was in the mixing and engineering. Someone put me in touch with (producer) Bob Marlette, who introduced me to John Lowery (future Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5) and we started to jam. we had these very heavy songs."

But it was a trip to New Orleans that led to the collaboration with Reznor. "I went to Mardi Gras, I (met) a friend of mine, we go for a drive, and we drove past Trent's studio." He eventually decided to get out of the car and introduce himself. "I knocked on the Sharon Tate door, tap tap tap, and this voice said, 'Rob Halford, what are you doing here! This is 'Rave' Ogilve from Skinny Puppy, I'll come right down. Trent's gonna be here in a minute he'd love to meet you." More including video.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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