Judas Priest Defend ‘American Idol’ Appearance on ‘Headbangers Ball’
Many metalheads maligned Judas Priest for appearing on ‘American Idol’ last spring to perform with the show’s resident rocker James Durbin. Even Slayer‘s Kerry King was shocked that Priest went so mainstream. However, in a recent sit down with ‘Headbangers Ball’ host Jose Mangin, Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton reveal they considered ‘Idol’ a golden opportunity not just for them but for the metal genre.
“Firstly James is a metalhead, he’s hardcore and the real deal and that’s what attracted us to do it,” the Metal God known as Rob Halford said. “It was another opportunity for Priest to fly the flag for heavy metal.” So, if you were pissed at Priest for appearing on such a pop-leaning show, put away your guns, because Halford’s point and his argument are utterly bulletproof.
Even though Halford’s reasoning was strong enough, his cohort, guitarist Glenn Tipton chimed in, saying, “We were very honest about why we did it: because 30 million people watch it and our priority and mission in life is to get metal across to the mainstream and expand the audience that listens to heavy metal…We felt it was a great thing to do. We enjoyed it, had a blast.”
K.K. Downing’s replacement Richie Faulkner also sat in for a portion of the interview. In case you didn’t know it, Faulkner played in a band with Lauren Harris, the daughter of Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris.
Halford and Tipton addressed the swell of rumors that Priest are packing it in and calling it a day since they amidst their ‘Epitaph’ world tour. Turns out, it is a swan song but only for massive global treks. Priest are retiring from that type of touring, not touring in general.
Halford declared, “This is not the end of Judas Priest. It’s a preservation order on ourselves! We have a lot more things we want to do. These big massive world tours, that take two years out of your life? We’ve had great times doing that over and over, million of miles of driving and millions of fans. We want to keep it going. We will still go out, but there won’t be anymore massive world tours.”
Lastly, the band spoke about ‘The Chosen Few,’ which is the comp that finds the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and members of Kiss, Guns N’ Roses and Slipknot covering Priest songs. Tipton joked about the reason that Ozzy offered up his take on ‘The Ripper.’ He said, “Ozzy chose ‘The Ripper’ since the last note Rob hits in there is just below what dogs can hear!”
For more on Judas Priest, check out Loudwire’s exclusive interview with Halford and bassist Ian Hill, here.