Interviewed by DJ/presenter/writer Matt Stocks for the acclaimed Life In The Stocks podcast series, Judas Priest’s frontman is effusive in his praise for Cyrus, who he hails as a fellow “survivor” in the music business.
“She is incredible,” says Halford. “If you think about her life in showbusiness from being a little kid, and how she’s kept her head on straight… She went a big mad as a teenager, which you should do, that’s your right, she was expressing herself. I can’t wait [to hear her Metallica covers album], that’s going to be great. She has an extraordinary voice, like [Lady] Gaga the voice is everything, and she’s a metalhead, she’s always throwing the horns up. She’s someone I’d love to meet if the stars ever aligned.”
Halford also salutes Lady Gaga, and reiterates his desire to work with the New York-born singer, and namechecks some of his favourite, and most inspiring, female artists in the interview.
“Women power, girl power…bless them, we wouldn’t be here without women, none of us blokes would be here without our beautiful mums,” he notes. “Women are so strong and powerful, especially in music… Gaga, Madonna, Miley, my friend Maria [Brinks] from In This Moment, and going back to Vinegar Joe with Elkie Brooks, and Janis Joplin and Shirley Bassey… the power of women can’t be understated.”
Halford also talks about the “magical” feeling of meeting Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.
“I’ve also loved the royal family,” he notes. “For a guy from Walsall going through the gates of Buckingham Palace and then walking up the steps and going into the big music room and seeing all these other amazing people, Brian May, Status Quo, Kate Bush… it was just magical. [The Queen] was glowing, literally glowing, and then she’s standing there in front of you. Cilla Black said, ‘He’s come all the way from Finland Your Majesty…’ because she’s met the Queen several times, and the Queen says, ‘Oh, and what kind of music do you play?’ Heavy Metal. “Oooh, heavy metal, why do they play it so loud?’ It was absolutely mad, and that’s just a beautiful cherished memory.”
Listen to the full interview below.
Recent guests on the Life In The Stocks podcast have included Scott Ian (Anthrax), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Bill Gould (Faith No More) and Wayne Kramer (MC5). Future guests lined up include Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), David Ellefson (Megadeth) and music business legend Michael Alago, the man who signed Metallica to Elektra Records. Host Matt Stocks has a book based on his podcast interviews, Life In The Stocks, Volume 1: Veracious Conversations with Musicians & Creatives, due for publication on December 1 via Rare Bird.