Without question, ROB HALFORD is one of heavy metal’s all-time great vocalists – as heard through his highly influential and groundbreaking work with JUDAS PRIEST. But over his career, he has also proven able to master a variety of other styles vocally – including holiday-themed music. And in time for this holiday season, Halford will be releasing an all-new album, entitled Celestial (out October 18th via Legacy Recordings), and a day later, will be signing CD or LP purchases of the album at FYE Arizona Mills at 2:00 P.M (in Tempe, Arizona). Details to follow closer to the event.
The album will also be available for pre-order on Rob’s artist store – with exclusive merchandise and a limited, autographed metallic-gold color version of the vinyl.
Credited to Rob Halford with Family and Friends, the album mixes holiday classics with all-new compositions, and will appeal to lovers of traditional holiday music and headbangers alike. “The great thing about heavy metal is it’s got these kinds of multiple dimensions,” explains the man also known as the Metal God. “I think when you look at it from an outside point of view – if you’re not really familiar with the metal scene – it can look pretty intimidating. And it is a very strong, powerful experience. But it comes at different levels. I think the music that we’ve made on Celestial, for example, gives a display of that. Metal maniacs – as we call ourselves – are just as ready for the holidays as everybody else. And what we’ve tried to do with this music is to reach out to as many of those metal dimensions as we possibly can.”
And judging from the “Rob Halford with Family and Friends” banner, Celestial sees Halford joined by a supporting cast of those very close to him – his brother (Nigel) on drums, his nephew on bass (Alex, son of Priest bassist Ian Hill), has sister (Sue) on bells, and twin guitar tandem of Robert Jones and Jon Blakey.
Once all the contributors were in place, Halford “went away and listened to a lot holiday music and Christmas carols. Traditional stuff. 12 tracks – including original tracks that I’m particularly excited about. And in that way, because of the dimensions of each song and the messages of each song, I think we cover a really broad platform. To me, more than anything, I wanted it to have its own characteristics and be a little bit more different than the regular rock n’ roll Christmas album.”
Halford has certainly accomplished this goal, as evidenced by such standout originals as the album-opening title track, “Donner and Blitzen,” and “Protected by the Light,” as well as reworkings of such holiday standards as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Joy to the World,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” among other standouts. “‘Donner and Blitzen’ gets the snowball rolling for Celestial – a song full of excitement, love and hope,” says Rob. “You can hear and feel the power of Christmas time – energy roarin’ with rockin’ reindeers haulin’!” The video for ‘Donner and Blitzen’ can be viewed here:
“I think the holidays for any family are a mixture of fun and excitement and apprehension of the whole event. The magic of it more than anything else. It’s just a beautiful time of year – which a lot of us wish would be for every day of the year. It’s a beautiful thing as far as bringing families together. So, what better way to celebrate it than with your family, friends…and music. You must have music at Christmas time.”
And with the arrival of Celestial, Rob Halford has certainly done his part.
For The Metal VoiceNick H caught up with The Three Tremors at The Token Lounge on March 9th, 2019 and did a full metal report on the band talking about their new album, their live show, their next steps and what the members are up to outside of The Three Tremors.
Watch the interview here:
THE THREE TREMORS, the project featuring acclaimed heavy metal singers Tim “The Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (JAG PANZER) and Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck (CAGE, DEATH DEALER, DENNER/SHERMANN). THE THREE TREMORS’ self-titled debut LP was released on January 18th.
When asked the idea behind the band
“We decided to do it because there was a lot of mystery and intrigue behind the original idea and us as metal fans we were deprived of something that could have been awesome. It was obvious Geoff Tate, Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford were not going to do it, so we decided we are going to fulfill the prophecy. I was not going to be a project, it was going to be a live band playing our own songs. ” Sean Peck
When asked about the Trinity project with Blaze Bayley, Tim Owens and Geoff Tate comparing to the The Three Tremors
“We did that one song for Geoff Tate’s record but there were no plans to do an album. Maybe Geoff Tate’s original idea was to do a full album with the Trinity I don’t know. We did that Trinity tour and we had a lot of fun and we all got along really. The difference between The Three Tremors and The Trinity is that this is our own material.” Tim Owens
When asked about any news plans for The Three Tremors
“We will be releasing the debut album with all three singers singing singing by themselves of the debut CD. We also already have three killer pieces of artwork for all three solo albums. It will probably be a 3 cd set as one package and maybe throw in a new original song or two as well. Once we finish up on our North American tour we will begin work on the Second three Tremors album.” Sean Peck
When asked if they knew about the group the 3 T’s (Michael Jackson nephew’s band)
“I never seen that, never heard of that.” Sean Peck
“I am completed surprised, under the radar”, Harry Conklin
When asked Sean Peck if there will be a new studio Denner/Shermann Album
“Michael Denner 100% wants to do another record and Hank Shermann is getting ready to launch a solo album but he likes to be focused on one thing at a time but we will get Hank to come around somehow. We had a lot of music left over from the first two releases and I have been compiling stuff and I am going to do everything in my power to make it happen.” Sean
When asked being invited to sing on multiple projects and bands
“I get asked a lot to sing on other people’s records, more than people can imagine and I enjoy doing it, it’s nice to be in demand to do these things. In a perfect world it would nice to be in one band but I have to make a living and the only way to make a living is to be really busy, music is my job.” Tim Owens
When asked about his thoughts of KK Downing recent statement saying Tim is a better singer than Rob Halford
“I don’t agree, but it is flattering. I was in top form when I was in Judas Priest I’ll take it as a compliment.” Tim Owens
When asked about re-recording Judas Priest Jugulator and Demolition albums
“I do play almost all of the Jugulator CD live, I can record it live so maybe, or maybe record my favorite songs off of each record and put them out. I’m not for sure yet.” Tim Owens
When asked about his thoughts on Blaze Bayley albums with Iron Maiden
“I think they are great records and I love them,it’s funny cause years later we have become friends, I love those albums.” Tim Owens
The summer’s most anticipated metal mash up performance, reports Bravewords.com – featuring pop metal icons BABYMETAL and JUDAS PRIEST‘s legendary vocalist Rob Halford – took place last night at the third annual Journey’s Alternative Press Music Awards, Fueled by Monster Energy. The performance, which featured Babymetal’s Su-Metal and Halford’s dueling vocals on Judas Priest classics “Painkiller” and “Breaking The Law”, saw the meeting of the “Fox God” and the “Metal God”.
Watch the video footage HERE, and check out exclusive quotes from Babymetal and Rob Halford at RollingStone.com.
Continuing our 40th anniversary celebration week for the classic RAINBOW “Rising” album, today it is the turn of the Metal God himself Rob Halford! The whole interview with Rob, discussing many subjects including his thoughts on “Rising”, can be heard on the audio player below.
Metal God Rob Halford had already released his first album “Rocka Rolla”,with NWOBHM legends to be JUDAS PRIEST back in 1974, a year before Ritchie Blackmore’s RAINBOW’s first self-titled album and two years before “Rising”. Several parallels can be drawn here – both bands built their careers in the 1970’s and became hugely successful, creating a plethora of classic music which are still favourites of many today. Decades later, in various ways they are still very active in the music industry, both with an extremely devoted fan base.
So here is a man who 17 albums later, knows a fair bit about quality music! Rob spoke very highly of Ritchie and RAINBOW, discussing how the sound stands up to the test of time. Rob also pinpointed the fact that RAINBOW were leading the rock music scene at that time, with their innovative sound and style:
“It’s a significant record. It’s a thrilling album – to hear that kind of performance from Ritchie at that particular time was a big deal. It plays as well and sounds as well and feels as good now as when it first came out. That shows you how important and how valuable that music still is.”
Discussing his favourite track on “Rising”, Rob stated: “Stargazer definitely. The band were so important at that time in how they were defining certain sounds and styles.”
Where to start when talking about a vocalist and front man who has had the most phenomenal career, starting way back in 1969, before going on to achieve super stardom and success with one of the biggest, best known and loved metal bands on the planet! He is an idol to millions and was rocking and performing before so many bands that are around today. He is looked up to by peers, fans and critics – he is like a walking manual for metal. Of course I can only be talking about the one and only METAL GOD, JUDAS PRIEST‘s Rob Halford!
Rob has one of the most, if not THE most recognisable voice in metal, showing no signs of letting up any time soon, much to the delight of PRIEST fans around the globe. With an impressive seventeen studio albums under their belt, the most recent being “Redeemer Of Souls” released in 2014, JUDAS PRIEST are now set to unleash a new live album “Battle Cry”, on CD, Blu-ray and DVD on 25th March via Epic Records. The album was recorded at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2015, with some bonus clips filmed in Poland.
I was very fortunate to be able to have a chat with Rob about this forthcoming release, as well as PRIEST‘s past work, touring and plenty more. You can read some excerpts from our conversation and listen to the full audio below:
Regarding “Battle Cry”, Rob discussed the whole experience:
“As all of our metal maniacs are aware, we were out for the last eighteen months, one hundred and thirty three shows and umpteen countries, thousands of miles travelling to see all the Priest maniacs around the world on the Redeemer Of Souls tour. Thanks to everybody for supporting the Priest on that release. It was a very important record for Priest because it was our first studio album in quite a while and we were so thrilled with the way it turned out. It becomes extra qualified when your fans get behind you to give you such incredible support, so thank you everybody for doing that.
So along the way we went all over the world and did many, many kinds of shows, different kinds of venues and what we were hoping to get was a festival experience that we could film, consider for release, as we haven’t done anything like that for quite a while. So were were aware there’s the festival in Germany called Wacken, which is the premier European metal festival and we had an opportunity to work something out with all the production that was already in place and to film it all and record it all and really just use the environment and all of the great vibes, the atmosphere that exists in festivals wherever you might go in the world, but this particular one in Wacken.
It’s kinda cool, it’s kinda special in the way it’s put together. So there you go, that’s all we needed to do to plan ahead. We just went out there and did what we always do, played our hearts out everywhere we go and got it all captured live in the flesh, on the DVD, the Blu-ray and the separate audio CD. It’s a celebration of Priest to share with our wonderful fans, just add it to your Priest collection.“
Discussing the “Battle Cry” track list, Rob stated:
“Yeah it gets increasingly difficult you know, with so many albums and hundreds of songs recorded. It’s such a challenge that when we get together and decide what we’re gonna play and write a set list that we all agree on and that really is part of trying to find the balance there and then. Because I’ve got my favourite songs, Glenn’s got his, Richie’s got his, so has Ian and Scott and we try to find a balance. Any show that you go to for any of your favourite bands, it’s largely thought out in terms of dynamics – you know you start out something very strong and recognisable and powerful and then in Priest’s case, you try and take your fans through a little bit of a Dr Who and the TARDIS thing you know, jumping about from this decade to that decade. And you try to do as much as you can in the time that you’ve got to please as many people as you can. That’s very hard, ‘cos we know people go ‘oh they didn’t play so and so’, but it’s just the way it goes.
So here we were, really what was the Redeemer Of Souls tour, that was the release that we were consistently supporting and we weaved songs from that album into material from Painkiller and British Steel and so on and so on and it worked really well. It was a good solid show from a musical point of view.“
On the subject of undertaking such a huge tour in 2015, Rob expressed:
“(Laughs) It got a bit scary at the end when you look at your face in the mirror! You forget about that once the intro tape starts and your fans start roaring, you feel like a million dollars. It was pretty intense, it was a strong tour especially for some gods of our generation. And that’s what I love about metal you know, we’ve said it before – metal’s for everybody from all walks of life, all different generations. We’re still so grateful to have this opportunity all of these years later, to have our glorious fans giving us such overwhelming support. It always comes back to the fans, you can’t do anything without the fans, we can’t thank our fans enough for that.“
I asked Rob how the ever changing world of rock and metal has an impact on him:
“I think it makes you realise your music is immortal, your music is eternal but a different perspective from a physical point of view. Without being morbid, God bless Lemmy, Bowie, all these really amazing important real legends, icons in rock and metal, they’ve left us with all their wonderful music and still remain very influential. What you do really is putting one foot in front of another and it’s also celebrating what they did, what they achieved. I mean, I was always inspired by Lemmy, with what he stood for, just looking at him on stage.
Bowie was one of my all time heroes from a singer’s point of view, but also in the amazing work that he created in his life. And my mate Ronnie, the same deal with Ronnie, all these beautiful people that left us with all of these treasures to really still enjoy and to bounce off, to get ideas and get a rush from. You’ve really got try and get over the hurdle of the sadness and then how great it is that we’ve got the music left to enjoy, to bang our heads to and have good times together with.“
When asked about new material to come from our metal legends, Rob revealed:
“The writing sessions will come first and I think much like any band, you start off the day in a writing session and you’ve got nothing you know. You turn the amps on and you start riffing and jamming and maybe by the end of the day you’ve got something that will turn into a really good piece of music, that’ll potentially last forever. So that creative side of Priest is as strong as it ever was and we’re all very very pumped up and thrilled for the opportunity that’s about to come to us again. There’s a new Priest record on the way and when it’s ready we’ll be letting everyone know it’s on the horizon. I would like to think that by the end of this year we’ll have the bulk of it created, but you can’t say for certain. The thing about Priest is that we treasure everything that we do, we so love being in this band Judas Priest. We can guarantee that we’ll give you a big solid dose of Priest metal!“
Regarding KK Downing‘s recent statement about playing with JUDAS PRIEST again, Rob said:
“It’s funny that is because I think that’s a dream of a lot of people, to imagine Maiden and Sabbath and Priest and Zeppelin. Can you imagine what that would be like at Wembley? Oh my God, it would be mad, it would be like multiple nights! Forget about fifty shows Michael Jackson didn’t do, it would be like a hundred shows at Wembley. It’s great to hear there’s that passion still in KK’s voice for Priest. We go around the world slogging away working really really hard playing the songs that we wrote together and really forging that back catalogue, just putting on incredible shows night after night with so much strength and power and energy. It’s beautiful that Priest still has conviction and still has that desire and passion and love for what we do in metal, so it’s all good vibes.“
Talking about what else Rob has left to achieve, he stated:
“Well I’m still very hungry to do a blues record, I love the blues. Before I joined Priest, in my early years as a musician, I listened to a lot of blues like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, John Lee Hooker, the people that invented it of course. The story goes everything comes from the blues.
I’m just curious to see what my take could be. I’ve no idea – would it be traditional, would it be heavy, a metal blues, what could it be? I think the best thing for me to do would be to do it with people that could direct me, give me some ideas as to where they think this voice, ‘cos it’s all about the voice, could be best utilised. That’s one of the things on the bucket list yeah, doing a blues album.“
Discussing the recently published interview with ACCEPT‘s Mark Tornillo, Rob enthused:
“Yeah great, he’s a brilliant singer, great front man, love that band Accept. It was unusual, a call to have a chit chat from two guys that do the same type of work, it was a lot of fun to do. I think there should be more of that ‘cos we love having chit chats with our friends in the business and with journalists like yourself. When you’ve lived the life there’s a lot of common ground, but it’s also an opportunity to pick up on stories that you probably don’t know about, you know, things you wouldn’t know about if you’re kind of outside what it’s like to be in a band.“