Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford says he loves his veteran metal band more than ever because they have maintained a sense of ambition and hunger to win over new fans every time they hit the stage.
The group recently released the live DVD Battle Cry, which captures a performance at last year’s Wacken Open Air festival in Germany while they were on the road in support of their 17th album Redeemer Of Souls.
The singer reveals his approach to playing festivals, where Judas Priest are just one of many acts on the bill.
Halford tells Rock Cellar magazine: “I think when you’re on stage like that and you’re playing to so many people, you’re aware that not everybody’s a Priest fan. It’s a mixture of metal heads and a good portion of them are there for Priest but there are metal heads in the crowd that may have never seen Priest before in their lives.
“For me personally – and everybody else in the band might have a different opinion – I feel, what can we do to make a Priest fan tonight? What can we do for this metal head to go, ‘Man, this band is great, I’ve gotta check them out again or check out this record or that record.’ That’s the ambitious side of the band and the hunger side of Priest that’s never really changed.”
The Metal God remains impressed by the band’s hunger to deliver their best every time they perform.
He adds: “You’ve got to really play more than ever with a sense of determination and attack. I love my band more than ever just because I see that tenacity and that self-belief and those wonderful attributes Priest has that all bands strive to get, which is this magic…and we’ve captured it live.”
Inspired in his own career by a host of classic rock singers, Halford’s always watching and learning from other vocalists in an effort to hone his craft.
Halford says: “I’m old school so Mick Jagger, Bowie - rest his soul, he was just mesmerizing - obviously Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Ian Gillan. I’m just talking about singers mostly. If you’ve got a good front man in a band – much like a great lead guitar player, drummer or bass player, whatever it might be – whatever your mind is attracted to, there’s a lot to learn and I still get that now.
“If I go see a band I’m always curious. But when we do festivals particularly I love to stand on the side of the stage and watch singers from these other bands. Everybody had some kind of thing that’s going on that you go, ‘Man, that’s cool what they did there.‘”