Interview with Rob Halford: Keeping The Doors Open

Rob HalfordRob Halford, best known as vocalist for Judas Priest, has moved into the world of film. His first solo band, Fight, are releasing War Of Words—The Film on Nov. 20. After 19 years, more than a dozen global concert tours and dozens of gold and platinum awards as the defining vocalist of Judas Priest, Rob Halford departed Priest in 1992 to pursue a solo career. Metal God Entertainment, a record company Halford formed, is proud to debut the theatrical and DVD releases of Fight War Of Words— The Film, a documentary and 5.1 concert featuring the songs and performances of Rob Halford’s first solo band, Fight. The movie will premier in 5.1 Dolby Surround Digital Sound and can be viewed at NYC’s Chelsea Theater on Nov. 14. Visit dandentertainment to purchase tickets. Rob Halford and Mike Chlasciak will both be in attendance.

I had a few minutes with Rob Halford recently, and asked a bit more about why he’s decided to revisit Fight.

Why did you decide to explore the film medium?

We wanted fans to have a physical product. We wanted to put it in such a format where they can really experience Fight. With great sound and visual, this was the way to bring it to the fans. We have hundreds of hours of footage from Fight, interviews and also backstage stuff. Ordinarily that would come out in a DVD format. But Metal God Entertainment will represent this treatment that transforms a whole experience into a film.

Are any members of Fight working with you on this movie release, or will you be working together in the future on getting Fight back together?

Brian [Tilse] and Jay Jay are going to Detroit for the movie premiere. Then we’re trying to get the band together for the thing at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I don’t discount that we might do something together in the future. Why not? I don’t like to close doors on anything. I don’t see why you should close something down just because you moved onto different issues. We made some great music, a band is a band, and I always like to just keep doors open.

Where are you with Priest right now?

I just did my vocals two weeks ago. It sounds unbelievable. I’m trying to bite my tongue because we are all keeping it close to us before we talk about it in-depth. As far as what I think about it, this is going to be big.

It’s very easy for a band once they get successful commercially or formula-wise to kinda say, ‘Gotta sell some records, gotta pay the bills, let’s make another one like we made last time,’ and that’s something I personally never wanted to be as a musician. I always wanted to push the limits, from Point Of Entry to Retribution. As one of the writers in Priest, along with Glenn and KK, we never go into a writing mode with the intention of replicating something because it was successful before. With Nostradamus [forthcoming Judas Priest release), it’s going to be a success.

For us it already is, as writers, recorders. But obviously the proof is when it’s out there, it’s up to the metalheads out there, but I think they will be satisfied. I think it will re- establish the great things we’ve been doing in metal for the past three decades.

Did your recent rejoining Priest after all these years inspire getting back with Fight?

That’s a good question. The things that I do aren’t always planned out. [laughter] They just seem to occur, like the right things to walk back into. I honestly don’t believe there was ever a moment when I thought, ‘Well, the reunion of Priest has been significant, then why don’t I do that with Fight.’ I haven’t really given any great thought to making any more Fight music. But who knows?

So why did you choose, of all the things you’ve done, to make a movie featuring Fight and make all this stuff available to fans?

Everything I’ve ever done has got a lifeline attached to it. I just want to make it available for whoever might be interested, either by checking it out online as a download or as a recording. And if you don’t know about it, some things get overlooked and then three four or five years later people say, ‘I’ve got to check this out.’

With the Internet, when we first became attached to it in the early ’90s, it’s now part of everyday life. And everything culturally—books, music—is more readily available now than ever before. You just hook onto a server and there it is. So fans that either weren’t into metal back then or never were fans of Fight now have the chance to go back and take a listen and check it out.

Rob Halford and Mike Chlasciak will also be at Vintage Vinyl Records in Woodbridge, NJ, on Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m. for an in-store signing.