Pride month is in full force and, in keeping with that, the god-daddy of gay metalheads Rob Halford has asserted — somewhat jokingly, we think — in a new interview with the Edmonton Journal that "a straight man can't do my job."
In the story, the singer also discusses how he keeps his voice strong and how Priest make sure that they give crowds what they want while also easing in new material, but the discussion gets real when talk turns to Halford's coming out in 1998. Admitting he was concerned with losing fans at the time, the Metal God recalls being "surrounded by homophobia" and admits that such attitudes are still an issue today, particularly in countries where homosexuality is banned, preventing Priest from visiting to perform.
"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," he explains. While he describes his experiences in the Seventies and Eighties as "incredibly difficult," Halford emphasizes that his love for being in the band is what kept his heart in it when more bigoted attitudes prevailed.
While the frontman doesn't consider his sexuality necessarily important to Priest's music, he jokes, "I will say, a straight man can't do my job." He then points to Freddie Mercury and the band Queen to underline his assertion: "If Freddie hadn't have been gay, Queen would've been a totally different band."
The chat ends on a high note, with Halford claiming he'll be writing down further thoughts on the issue at length at some point. While we wait for that book, hopefully he'll make good on another wish he reveals in the interview — his desire to duet with Elton John.
Below, see Rob Halford reveal the hilarious stories behind classic Judas Priest photos by Ross Halfin: