Quietus Interview: Rob Halford talks Screaming For Vengeance, Gap controversy & hints at new album

The Quietus recently talked to Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford about their biggest selling album, ‘Screaming for Vengeance’, out now as a deluxe reissue on Sony/Epic. Recorded in Ibiza and released in 1982, this was the band’s 8th studio album and the first to break Priest in America.

Rob chats about the recording of this classic record and other diverse topics including Big Brother society and the latest Gap t-shirt controversy in which the clothing brand has been accused of ripping off the iconic Screaming For Vengeance cover artwork in a t-shirt print (see the suspicious looking t-shirt here). Halford also let slip about a new album next year.

“Screaming For Vengeance very nearly invented thrash metal; showed a politically and socially conscious side to the band; broke them and the new wave of British heavy metal in America; and, most importantly, contained the sort of riffs which explain why they are the most popular unpopular band in the world, remain as the proudest ‘defenders of the faith’ of the last tribe left in music – heavy metal.” – Quietus

Below are a few snippets from the interview which can be read in full here.

Quietus: “How much did Priest’s increased fame by this point affect the recording?” 

Rob Halford: “Well, I think this is a very important thing that bands need to consider. When you’re sleeping in the back of a van, and we’ve all done that, you’re obviously feeling and behaving differently. Like when we were all sleeping in the van doing Rocka Rolla, that’s not the same as being in a beautiful studio in Ibiza. But once you close the studio doors you could be anywhere in the world, you’ve just got to remember who you are and what you’re trying to do and, again, just do the best job you can. I don’t think you slack off when you become successful – if you do then you’re an idiot, because people don’t buy shit! That’s the bottom line; if you make a crap record it’s of no use or value to anybody and I don’t think Priest has ever been in that world – we’ve always done the best we possibly can, whatever distraction might occur.”

…Later at the end of the interview Rob hints at a new Judas Priest album set for 2013:

Quietus: “Ah, yes, I was told not to ask you about that!” 

Rob Halford: “Well, y’know, we’re in front of the firing squad – that’s probably a bit harsh – but it’s “don’t you talk about it!” from the label, from management, from everybody. “Don’t you dare say…” We’re still told off like kids! But, then again, it’s a bit like opening your Christmas presents in August – by the time Christmas comes you’ve lost the surprise. So we’re trying to keep it tightly wrapped at the moment, it’s still very much in the growth stage, but I tell you man, it’s going to be a fucking killer metal album; pure metal!”

Be sure to also check out all the Judas Priest items uploaded on to Home of Metal online archive. We’ve recently added a whole host of Judas Priest items from superfan Steve Grennan’s collection which are well worth a look. Got any items yourself? Upload your pictures on to our archive.