Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford is easily the most well-known gay musician in heavy metal, and the singer has asserted he’s irreplaceable.
In an interview with the Edmonton Journal, Halford jokingly made the claim that “a straight man can’t do my job.”
The vocalist is well-known for his vast vocal range and discusses how he keeps his voice strong after all of the years of touring and recording. Later in the interview, the vocalist talks about his coming out in 1998, admitting he was concerned with losing fans.
Halford recalls being “surrounded by homophobia” and further says there are still countries where Priest can’t play because of his sexuality.
“I discovered when I did come out that I was in this trap gay people find themselves living in that you’re living your life for everyone else, but not yourself,” says Halford.
The vocalist admits his sexuality isn’t important to the band’s music, but jokingly says “a straight man can’t do my job.”
While the joke is made in jest, it does seem like a bit of a shot at Tim “Ripper” Owens who is a straight man that fronted the group at one point. Halford left the band from 1992 to 2003 and during that time Owens faithfully fronted the band.
We don’t think Halford is being malicious with his words here, but there was clearly something missing on their albums released during his time away from the band.
He also later pointed to Queen’s Freddie Mercury to support his words, saying “If Freddie hadn’t have been gay, Queen would’ve been a totally different band.”
The interview ends with Halford saying he’ll be writing down further thoughts on his perspective about gay people in music. While we’re not sure what will come of that, we’re beyond stoked for what it is.
What do you think about Rob Halford’s comments? Let us know in the comments below.