Rob Halford Calls Priest's 'American Idol' Performance 'A Great Opportunity for Metal Music'

"More people saw Judas Priest in America in three and a half minutes than I think we've played to ever," the frontman says.

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Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford recently discussed the metal gods' 2011 performance on the "American Idol" show, calling it "a great opportunity for heavy metal music."

During an interview with the Screamer Magazine, the singer named the "power to reach people" as the popular show's main strength.

"More people saw Judas Priest in America in three and a half minutes than I think we've played to ever," Halford said. "35 million people saw the band in one go. It was a great opportunity for Priest, but also for heavy metal music. The next morning, I was checking iTunes, and the Priest collection, I think it was 'The Essential Judas Priest,' had shot to No. 1 overnight. That's the power that 'American Idol' has, in the way that it reaches people."

The frontman also reached the subject of the new album, naming it the top Priest priority at the moment. As previously reported, the band's new record should drop by the end of 2013.

"Priest is working on a brand new record right now," Halford said. "It's coming together really great. It's got all of the essential elements that you love about Judas Priest if you're a Priest fan. I'm going back to England shortly to start laying all my vocals down."

The group's latest studio effort, "Nostradamus," came out in June 2008 via Sony/Epic Records as the sixteenth Priest record. With 42,000 copies sold in the US within the first week, it peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 chart.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nostradamus was kind of a weird album for me, especially considering my love of concept albums, but they still got mad chops, and I'm sure they could still rock it. Kind of excited to hear it,
    I myself loved Nostradamus. Unlike though, say Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, or Queensryche's Mindcrime, this is one that you have to listen to in its entirety, because it doesn't lend itself that well to selective song listening .
    I totally agree with you, but Nostradamus was a bit long for listening to it in its entirety, so that might've turned off quite a few people too. But most parts of it were indeed great!
    This is great news, considering that Rock/Metal has taken a back seat in recent years
    Why do people by Greatest Hits albums? Buy all their records, people miss out on so much sh!t because the only two songs they heard are you got another thing comin' and living after midnight? There are better songs than lead singles by Judas Priest. Such as the Point of Entry album.
    Diamond Dave
    people get there eventually. Who the hell goes out and buys a 14 studio album discography after hearing 2 or 3 songs they like?
    Exactly. Greatest hits/Essential (essentials are usually less hit song inclinded) are gateway compilations. They serve their purpose amicably. That's how i got into Iron Maiden around 2003 (although with Priest I bought British Steel and Angel of Retribution a few days after hearing Breaking The Law for the first time, in 2005)
    I don't think that most of the people who watch American Idol give a crap about heavy metal.