Interview with Rob Halford: A Metal God Christmas

Was there also a challenge factor for you?

Absolutely Cathy, yeah. I hate repetition, that’s just the way I am. I am always looking for something new. That’s why I love this country so much! America and everything that goes on in the American entertainment industry is—where is the next great idea? Where’s the next great adventure? That is still part of my inner feelings of what I do musically. There is always another great song to do in metal, but this was an opportunity to have a completely different set of ideas and these songs were very powerful for me. I said years ago, what I want to do in my personal solo endeavors is to display sides of me that I can’t do elsewhere. I think that’s what most solo artists do, they tend to open up a little bit more and say to the world, ‘This is what I feel about this subject, or this is what I feel about that thing that’s happened.’ So this is a very personal release for me, and I love it, because it’s all over the place.

That fantastic song by Sara has a message that means something to me, and with a song like, ‘I Don’t Care [For Christmas],’ it’s Planes, Trains And Automobiles, that’s the inspiration for that song. I love that film, I watch it every year. John Candy and Steve Martin and the drama that they go through to get home for Christmas Eve. I thought why not write a song that carries that type of message, and that was a real fun song to do. Roy had the basic song in his pocket anyway. I said, ‘Well, let’s give it this message. It’s Christmas time and the weather is rubbish and the freeway is jammed and the stores are jammed, and you’re trying to get home and your car breaks down.’ It’s a nightmare and you just get so frustrated. I thought let’s have fun with that, if you could have fun with that stuff [laughing]? With the dramas of the holidays.

So what I am trying to say is that this release has all different kind of emotional textures, from spiritual ones to fun and drama, it’s all over the place. That’s what I like to do as a musician in my solo work, to go everywhere and do anything. Whatever feels right, to just go instinctively into places that you feel comfortable with and that you want to have fun with and display.

What about touring, would you do shows for this record?

Somebody just asked me that in Poland. Like everything that we record, no matter who, you have to be able to recreate it in a live environment. I don’t have the opportunity right now, because of the time constraints to make this happen, but I want too. Next holiday season…

I love what TSO do. TSO go out every year and they make a success of that. I know Dee [Snider, Twisted Sister] is doing another Christmas thing in New York this year. So I mean the metalheads, we like that stuff just like everybody else, I am sure they are starving for this, you know? So I like to feel that people accept it for the good spirit and the good feelings that it’s been put together for.

It’s such a treasure, because it’s the complete package.

I am very glad that you’re saying that, because I am already getting a little bit of pushback from people. Those who seem to take everything I do with an incredible amount of, ‘But you’re the Metal God, and it has to be serious and it has to be screaming metal.’ And I love that passion, but I am glad that you’re taking it for what it’s worth and what it’s meant for. It’s a good time of year and it’s a good time to celebrate on all levels on a spiritual level, but importantly to me is just our family, friends and relatives, and just the good times that we have around the holidays.

I am somewhat surprised that you are getting that pushback, because vocally on ‘Get Into The Spirit,’ that’s matched anything that you’ve done with Priest. Only the Metal God could sing like that.

It was important to me to have that style of performance, because that’s what I am famous for, and this is for my metalheads that I love so much. But it is for everybody, I mean, but it’s primarily for my metalheads who look after me and support me. I know what my metalheads like and that’s what I am, and that’s what I do. I wanted to make sure that there were some strong tracks on there as well as the lighter moments. ‘I Don’t Care [If It’s Christmas]’ and ‘Christmas Is For Everyone,’ it’s universal. I travel the world, I am a very lucky guy. I’ve seen so much of the world and I have met so many wonderful people, but hopefully, this kind of music will touch everybody. Whether you’re from Japan, Peru… we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.