Judas Priest frontman and metal icon Judas Priest is featured in a new interview with Noisey in support of the band’s new album, Firepower. An excerpt is available below.
On new song “No Surrender”
Halford: “The great thing about Priest in all the years that we’ve been making heavy metal music is that we’ve always kind of carried this metal flag, if you will – this beacon of hope that, no matter what you may be going through in life, there’s always a sense of overcoming difficulties, a sense of winning, a sense of coming out on top. We’ve always tried to push this kind of positive experience in the songs that we make. So ‘No Surrender’, it’s a statement. It’s a simple fact that, from our perspective, no matter what you’re up against, the greatest thing you can ever do is face that challenge. Overcome it, and win, and never surrender.”
On coming out as a gay man
Halford: “When you’re a musician, one of the things that comes to you in the beginning that is quite unexpected is the reaction from your fans, and to the way your music plays an important part in their life, in figuring things out. That’s what happened to me. The moment I came out as a gay man, I never really thought of the consequences. Of course, the proverbial happened, it hits the newswires and it’s this big, big thing. As a result of that, you then get these beautiful messages back from your fans around the world saying that because you’re able to step forward and proclaim your sexuality in a strong way, in a proud way, that that’s helped them in life, and you go, ‘Wow.’ So as a gay guy in metal, I welcome this opportunity to reinforce that statement. These difficult times for a lot of us. In this matter of sexuality, you’ve got to be able to talk. When the terrible scourge of the AIDs epidemic hit the world, up until that point, the gay community didn’t really have much of a strong voice. There was an organisation in London called ACT UP who were very vocal. They went storming into Parliament, held these big demonstrations, and had a simple slogan — ‘silence equals death.’ That simple statement was very profound. The battle goes on for me; as a gay man. I shall not be happy until I see equality across the board. That’s vital. I don’t think it’s right that there’s one set of rules for one individual and another set of rules and laws for another individual. That’s not the way the world should work.”
Read the complete interview here.