Halford: Metal is a force for good

Rob Halford says he will "tear to pieces" any argument that metal is a destructive force.

The Judas Priest frontman famously fought off a 1990 ‘subliminal messages’ trial in which their music was blamed for the suicide death of Raymond Bellknap and the self-inflicted gunshot wounds suffered by James Vance.

Halford says rock and metal is all about “good vibes”. He tells Hot 106.1: “You put somebody in front of me that can absolutely say to my face that rock and roll or metal is destructive, and I’ll tear that idea to pieces, because it’s not.

“Everything that we do in rock and roll, in metal, it doesn’t matter how extreme it is, it’s all about good vibes, it’s all about energy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s aggressive energy or any other kind of energy.

“We’re not in this business to do anything other than make the best music that we can give you, the best times that we can give you, the best memories that we can. I think everybody in music does that — it doesn’t matter whether it’s rock or metal or folk or R&B, soul, blues.

“We’re all out there having the best opportunities that we have with our music and with our fans. So anything that’s come to us that has been from a negative source has never been directly related to what we do with our music.”

The lawsuit centred on allegations that Priest’s song Better By You, Better Than Me contained messages when played backwards that urged the two men to kill themselves.

The judge ruled that the message was an accidental mix up of background lyrics and was not deliberately hidden in the track. The trial was covered in the 1991 documentary Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance Vs Judas Priest.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.