Rob Halford Recalls Judas Priest Resisting Against The ‘Metal Is Dead’ Era

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford opened up about their journey as a metal band through the 70s and 80s, a time when disco was the hot trend. Specifically, he addressed the phase when metal music was allegedly on the decline, often dismissed as ‘dead.’

According to Halford, the industry appeared to shun metal when disco came onto the scene. This was particularly challenging during the creation of their 1977 album ‘Sin After Sin,’ as the band was constantly reminded that metal was ‘dead,’ and punk was the new sensation. However, Judas Priest decided to adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach, refusing to conform to popular opinion, and it eventually became a mainstream genre.

Rob Halford’s words about Judas Priest resisting the ‘metal is dead’ comments read:

“When disco came along, the entire industry seemed to turn its back on metal. It was tough for a lot of us, particularly when we were making [1977’s] ‘Sin After Sin,’ because everyone was telling us metal was dead, it’s all about punk, but we just took a wait-and-see approach. Now, globally, metal is mainstream in ways they’d never have predicted, and it’s inspiring people around the world.”

He added:

“By the time we reached [1980’s] ‘British Steel,’ we’d started to feel more confident about who we were and what we were doing. Finally, we could pay the rent and afford a bottle of milk for our cereal! For that first decade, everything we earned went back into the pot. Through sheer determination and self-belief, we got to the tipping point, but we never ever reached a point where it was like, ‘We’ve made it, lads, so let’s relax.'”

Halford further elaborated on the band’s struggle, stating that all of their earnings in the first decade went back into maintaining the band. However, they persisted, and by the time they released ‘British Steel’ in 1980, the band felt more secure about their identity and their music. Despite the ‘metal is dead’ comments, they stayed true to their roots, proving that music genres, like many other things, have their ebbs and flows.