The tree may be trimmed and the stockings hung, but Judas Priest front man Rob Halford has got another thing coming this holiday season. The Metal God behind such punishing, headbanging albums as British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, and Ram it Down has released Halford 3: Winter Songs, a collection of beloved Christmas covers and original material.
Accused of breaking the law of heavy metal convention, Halford tells Blurt Online:
… people have asked me if I think metalheads will be a bit turned off by this, and I think, no, not really. I mean, these songs are around us all the time, and they were around me when I was a kid growing up. I think that whether you believe in the religious message or not is irrelevant, quite frankly. They’re just great songs, aren’t they? They’re wonderful songs, and that’s all that really matters. On a personal level, they do mean a lot to me. That’s just the way I am.
I think you have to be fearless as a musician. You can’t sit around wondering what this person or that person is going to think. What’s the point? No matter what you do, whether you’re writing a song, making a movie, writing a book or whatever, you’re just driven by your own ideas and fantasies and dreams, aren’t you?
It never crossed my mind that the album was a risk. It never crossed my mind that it might blow up in my face just because I was relating to the music in a really sincere, genuine way. You have to empathize with the lyrics of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “We Three Kings” – you’ve got to believe in what you’re singing. And as long as it’s coming from the right place when you’re performing it, that’s all that matters.
Winter Songs include renditions of these timeless Christmas classics: “We Three Kings,” “Come All Ye Faithful,” “Oh, Holy Night,” “What Child is This,” “Light of the World,” and “Oh Come O Come Emanuele.” Original tracks include “Winter Song” and “Get Into the Spirit.”
Asked if he sang Christmas carols as a kid, Halford responds:
Oh yeah. The funny thing is that, ironically enough, when I was a little kid at school I actually sang “We Three Kings” in a Christmas nativity play – dressed up as one of the kings. Is that bizarre or what? I didn’t even think about it until after I’d recorded it and my sister Sue reminded me. I showed her a list of the songs we’d done and she said, “You’ve done ‘We Three Kings’? You did that one 50 years ago!” And I thought, “Oh my God, history’s repeating itself.”
I don’t know how I feel about this. Personally, I love Christmas songs. However, I have a feeling that, after years of devil worship and homosexual butt-sex, Halford is simply trying to atone for his sins. I just hope, for his sake, God isn’t a Ripper Owens fan.
Halford 3: Winter Songs is available now!