Judas Priest’s Rob Halford talks ‘Invincible Defend’, Dolly Parton, acceptance in metallic group – Nationwide


It’s been six years since Judas Priest launched their final album, however on Friday the British Heavy Steel pioneers returned with their nineteenth studio effort, Invincible Defend.

Since 2018’s Firepower, the Breaking the Regulation hitmakers have had a rollercoaster journey. COVID-19 wasn’t the one impediment that put a wrench of their touring plans. Lead singer Rob Halford battled prostate most cancers all through a portion of the worldwide pandemic earlier than getting the all-clear in early 2021.

Not lengthy after they had been again on the highway, co-lead guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered a near-fatal acute aortic aneurysm onstage throughout a efficiency at Louisville’s Louder than Life pageant in September 2021.

The 43-year-old was halfway by the band’s final tune of the night time — Painkiller, mockingly — when it occurred. Faulkner powered by and completed the tune and was rushed to a hospital the place surgeons carried out a life-saving surgical procedure.

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Faulkner stayed on the mend till rejoining Priest on the highway in March 2022, shortly earlier than they had been set to embark on their mammoth fiftieth anniversary tour.


Rob Halford (R) and Richie Faulkner (L) of heavy metallic band Judas Priest carry out on the Heaven and Hell Steel Fest, in Toluca, Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.


AP Picture / Alejandro Godinez

Through the trek, the leather-clad quintet stopped in Los Angeles for the band’s long-awaited induction into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame — the place Priest welcomed again estranged band members guitarist Ok.Ok. Downing and drummer Les Binks to make speeches, earlier than a rocking medley efficiency.

Moreover, Halford carried out Jolene with the Queen of Nation herself, Dolly Parton — a private favorite icon of his — earlier than happening to file the tune Bygones along with her for her acclaimed 2023 Rockstar album.

Talking with World Information, Halford expressed his gratefulness: “I can’t thank her sufficient, not just for giving me the chance, however for giving the metallic group the chance, as a result of I do know who I’m, I do know what I signify. I’m a singer on this British heavy metallic band.”

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Inductees Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, from left, Dolly Parton and Rob Halford of Judas Priest carry out throughout the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, on the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.


AP Picture / Chris Pizzello

By the best way, we’re not but performed with the challenges.

All through these successes and shut well being calls, co-lead guitarist Glenn Tipton had been combating Parkinson’s illness since 2008 — a battle he made public solely weeks earlier than Firepower was unleashed to the world.


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The fruits of feelings endured by Halford, Tipton and Faulkner — Priest’s core songwriters — in that point resulted in one of many band’s most ferocious and introspective data up to now.

Between lead singles Panic Assault and Trial By Fireplace, energy ballad Crown of Horns and the touching, tributary closing monitor Giants within the Sky — which pays homage to fallen metallic legends Ronnie James Dio and Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister — followers are handled with a few of Halford’s deepest lyrics up to now. The weak nature of those compositions, nonetheless, doesn’t take away from the “heavy” points that heavy metallic followers ought to count on. All through this file, all 5 band members are firing on all cylinders and carry out with conviction that hasn’t been heard since 1990’s Painkiller. Although we’re met with sonic twists and turns that harken again to data of Priest’s “golden period,” the general range contained inside Invincible Defend’s progressively shines brighter as every monitor ends and the subsequent begins — serving as a reminder that Priest by no means does precisely the identical factor twice and is a drive to be reckoned with, nonetheless, in spite of everything these years.

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The title, Invincible Defend not solely represents the victories and hardships of the collective band, however these of their followers, too, in accordance with Halford.

The 72-year-old “Steel God” emphasised the significance of writing music that can join with Priest followers — or “heavy metallic maniacs” — and with the ability to present them that they’re not alone in no matter troubles they face.

For many years, Halford has been an advocate for acceptance and empowerment of these inside not simply the heavy metallic group, however for folk from all walks of life.

The Dwelling After Midnight singer recounted the loneliness he felt for the primary 25 years of being part of Judas Priest and feeling like he needed to disguise his sexuality as a outstanding determine within the music group at a time the place it was not as well-received.

It wasn’t till he publicly got here out throughout an MTV broadcast in 1998 that he felt really like himself.

“Tolerance and inclusivity is one thing that that I received’t cease speaking about. This complete enterprise of being embraced and feeling not alone and feeling (like) a part of a gaggle of individuals which can be all feeling the identical manner is absolutely particular and distinctive to the metallic world.”


Steel followers have fun the efficiency of the British heavy metallic band “Judas Priest” at WOA – Wacken Open Air in wacken, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.


Frank Molter / dpa through AP

And although Halford has confronted prejudice alongside the best way, Halford has paved the best way for a number of generations of metalheads and LGBTQ2 members and says that the collective thought of embracing one another’s variations has improved considerably since his profession started.

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Previous to unleashing the pummelling Invincible Defend, Priest shared 4 of the 11 tracks as singles, providing a mere style to their loyal followers.

He made clear that whereas Tipton’s battle with Parkinson’s has slowly deteriorated his stamina, his compositions are nonetheless very a lot current. And the place Tipton was not in a position to file a phrase or solo to his finest capability, Faulkner stepped in and replicated it as precisely to his bandmate’s type as attainable.

Glowing on the unimaginable reception they’ve acquired, Halford couldn’t include his pleasure for followers to listen to the remainder of it, including an eagerness to get again out on the highway.

Taking Tipton’s place on the highway as soon as once more will probably be touring guitarist Andy Sneap, who additionally produced Invincible Defend — his second time producing for Priest. Happily for some followers, Tipton has beforehand made a handful of appearances on the highway for the band’s encore.

Although Priest have but to announce Canadian tour dates, Halford has shared fond reminiscences of travelling the nation through tour bus from coast-to-coast, and is promising the band will return within the close to future.

“I’ve pushed the whole breadth of Canada, and it’s probably the most superb factor. I really feel very, very fortunate that I’ve been in a position to. It’s only a lovely nation,” Halford stated, including, “We will probably be coming again.”

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Judas Priest will start the primary leg of the Invincible Defend world tour in Glasgow, Scotland on March 11, making their manner by the U.Ok., U.S. and several other European international locations till July.

In addition to choose tracks from the 53-minute spanning mammoth that’s Invincible Defend, Halford guarantees diehard followers a wholesome dose of the classics, in addition to “two or three” deep cuts.

You may watch a condensed model of our interview with Rob Halford above.


Judas Priest, the band, with a picture if their nineteenth studio album ‘Invincible Defend’ (2024).


Kyarah Boon (UK Worldwide Group)

‘Invincible Defend’ is now obtainable worldwide at judaspriestinvincibleshield.com.

2024 ‘Invincible Defend’ world tour dates

March 11 – Glasgow, Scotland
March 13 – Leeds, England
March 15 – Dublin, Eire
March 17 – Bournemouth, England
March 19 – Birmingham, England
March 21 – London, England
March 24 – Frankfurt, Germany
March 25 – Munich, Germany
March 27 – Dortmund, Germany
March 29 – Prague, Czech Republic
March 30 – Krakow, Poland
April 1 – Vienna, Austria
April 3 – Basel, Switzerland
April 5 – Lyon, France
April 6 – Assago, Italy
April 8 – Paris, France
April 18 – Wallingford, Conn.
April 19 – Newark, N.J.
April 21 – Studying, Penn.
April 24 – Bangor, Maine
April 25 – Boston, Mass.
April 27 – Youngstown, Ohio
April 28 – Indianapolis, Ind.
Might 1 – Rosemont, Unwell.
Might 2 – Minneapolis, Minn.
Might 4 – Kalamazoo, Mich.
Might 05 – Maryland Heights, Mo.
Might 07 – Huntsville, Ala.
Might 09 – Daytona, Fla.
Might 11 – Alpharetta, Ga.
Might 12 – Cell, Ala.
Might 14 – Charlotte, N.C.
Might 17 – Evansville, Ind.
Might 19 – Washington, D.C.
Might 21 – Albany, N.Y.
Might 22 – Syracuse, N.Y.



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