Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice recently spoke to Judas Priest singer Rob Halford. Halford spoke about his latest Christmas album Celestial, his opinions on Judas Priest's nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his thoughts on the NEW Three Tremors featuring Ripper Owens, Sean Peck and Harry Conklin
Celestial marks the first Halford solo effort since 2010's Halford IV: Made of Metal. He has released two albums with Judas Priest since that time, 2014's Redeemer of Souls and 2018's Firepower.
The Judas Priest singer previously released the holiday-themed Halford III: Winter Songs in 2009. That album featured a mix of original songs, along with holiday standards like “We Three Kings,” “What Child is This?” and “Oh Holy Night.”
When asked why he felt the need to do another Christmas album
"This is a special one for me, I've got my brother on drums and my nephew on bass and a couple of respective friends on guitars Jon Blakely and Robert Jones. So we kind of wrap this up as Halford family and friends because that's exactly what it is and it just seems like a great opportunity to work with my immediate family that I wanted to do for years. I was with my family a couple of Christmas' ago and we were listening to Winter Songs, so I said to them let's see what we can make in terms of music in this holiday theme together. Write some new songs and add some traditional songs and I got the green light and what a great time we had. The way the record turned out was just phenomenal."
When asked how you go about writing new Christmas songs
"You know how metal works, as far as the music you're constantly inspired by what you're listening to and for us I think the inspiration came from working on these wonderful traditional holiday Christmas classics. These traditional songs have been with us forever and are great songs and will always take a different interpretation. So when I was hearing the songs I said to the guys you know while they're at this let's see what we can come up with together in terms of originality. It was just a thrill to have an opportunity to have original tracks which are, Protected By The Light, Donner and Blitzen, Morning Star and Celestial. Those were bonus moments that came out of recording the traditional songs."
When asked if Judas Priest wins the nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who will accept the award in terms of band members (ex members)
"I feel we're going to have to wait until the day quite frankly but it's Judas Priest in every aspect, in every respect and to be nominated for the second time is a another thrill and an honor for everything that we love about Judas Priest and the fifty years that we'll have you know I've been around as a metal band next year. So whatever turns out will be great for Priests and will be great for metal.
When asked about his thoughts on the NEW Three Tremors, which was his idea years ago
"I know about them and they are wonderful singers and they're doing something really cool and special. I wish them all the success in the world with it."
Rob Halford, 'Celestial' Track Listing
2. "Donner and Blitzen"
3. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
4. "Away in a Manger"
5. “Morning Star”
6. "Deck the Halls"
7. "Joy to the World"
8. "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
9. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
10. “The First Noel"
11. “Good King Wenceslas”
12. "Protected by the Light"
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