Silent Screams...Pat & Ray Speak Out.
The myth and the man himself ‘Rob Halford’ or should I say the ‘Metal Messiah’ has returned with his long await new outfit ‘Halford’ which features Mike ex member of ‘The Great Kat’ and Bobby ‘Riot’, not to mention ‘Ray from Two’ and Pat from ‘Diesel Machine’ a new age metal band which features Pat.
With a long history Rob is and will always be the greatest metal singer on the planet, not to mention Judas Priest being one of the the greatest bands around too. Last year Rob released his long await debut album ‘Resurrection’ through ‘Metal - Is’, part of Sanctuary Management. ‘Resurrection’ captures a blend of tradtional metal such as Priest, Maiden, as well as the new age of metal like Pantera, Machine Head. Since the interview the band have released a live DCD, which I’m sure most of you will already own.
I speaks to guitarist Pat, and bassist Ray to find out more about the ‘Halford’ band. Here is what they had to say. In the meantime, I would like to thanx Cozzy for been the coolest tour manager, thanx dude and Rob Halford for letting me meet him again, thanx for signed my ‘Painkiller’ jacket - you rule!!. Also thanx to the rest of the band for been no ‘Rock Stars’ and Sanctuary & ‘Anderson Promotions’ for setting up the interview. Sit back and read on!!!
First of all I would like to ask you the following question, does Rob regret leaving Judas Priest and was it hard for him to leave the band?”
(P) “I do not think he regrets leaving the band, as it was his decision and I think he is happy with what he is doing now. It is a musical and artistic advancement for him to go on and do other things and he is happy with the band and the direction of the music”.
You must of heard the rumours that he is trying to get back with Judas Priest, what is your opinion on these rumours?
(R) “Well he has assured us that it is not the case. Going back to leaving Judas Priest, it was quite commendable for Rob and it shows how much Rob is into the music. He decided to try different styles of music, and some were successful and some were not, but Rob has always stayed true to what he believes in at that time”
At sometime I heard that he was condemning Heavy Metal music, saying it was over, did he actually say this or was he just going through a bad patch?”
(P) “I am not sure about that? I have heard things to that effect, but I never read the actual comments, so I am not sure what he said. There is a big attitude from people in the music business saying that Metal is dead, but that is bullshit!! I think that it is not been supported by the industry and it has always been supported by the fans and radio play is very difficult”.
Ray, you was a member of the ‘Two’ project with Rob, was this something that he felt compelled to do? Also was it a success for him?
(R) “I think when I had got involved with the project, I had heard the ‘Two’ project before Trent’s involvement and it was a guitar heavy based record and it was not as industrial as it turned out to be. I think that at the time Rob had met Trent and they were both interested in working together and Rob was a big fan of some of the stuff Trent had done previously. In my opinion I think it had been taken over and it did not turn out the way it was suppose to be intended. I toured with the band and the tour was great!!”
Ray, you said it was more rock guitar sounding, so why did it end up being a disappointment?
(R) “I think it was the fact that Trent was involved with the record. I was in a band called ‘Machines Loving Grace’ at the time and it had that metal background”
What do you think to the ‘Two’ album?
(P) “I think it was great and I think the reason why it was not accepted was because people were excepting ‘Metal’ and I think if you walk into it blindly you may get what you except, whereas, if you come into it open minded you will love the record”
Let’s move away from the ‘Two’ project and I would like to ask you if you know what ‘Fight’ members are doing now, besides Scott been in Priest.
(P) “I am not sure what the story was with ‘Fight’ why they broke up, but we did run into the guitarist who played on the 2nd album - Mark and he came tothe show and he enjoyed it”.
So why didn’t Rob use any of the old ‘Fight’ members for this new band? Also was it his intention to use new members to get a different vibe for the new album?
(P) “I think that it had a lot to do with it. I think it was more of a clean slate and he did not want to confuse the audience. It is basically a new project with new players and new blood and I think it has worked.”
As we are talking about the ‘Halford’ band, from which bands were you in before the ‘Halford’ band was formed? Also did any of the bands record any albums?”
(P) “I have my own band which are called ‘Diesel Machine’ and we are about to release an album on SPV in Europe. Ray as you know was with the ‘Two’ project and Bobby was with ‘Riot’ and Mike use to be with ‘The Great Kat’. My band come across between Pantera, Messuggah, Machine Head’, that sort of metal.”
So how did you get in the ‘Halford’ band, was it through the press or word of mouth?
(P)" Well it was word of mouth, and as you know Rat was with Rob on his last project and Rob thought he was the man for the job for his new project. As you already know I play in ‘Diesel Machine’ and a friend of mine called Chris who works for ‘Rock Hard’ magazine who is also friends with Rob and the manager and they asked if they knew anybody who would be up for the job and he recommended me and I sent him the ‘Diesel Machine’ album & the rest is history.”
How hard it is for you to be away from your own band and are the rest of your band aware that you will be doing the next Halford album?”
(P) “Yes everybody is into it and they support me and it is something that I love to do. Keep busy!! This is a band and it is my top priority and after all I am playing with the metal god!!”
(R) “We love Judas Priest music, all of us in this band and we all use to jam to the Priest songs when we were kids, so to be part of this project playing our songs and the classic Priest songs is just out of this world!!”
How do you get along with each other as a band? Is it like Spinal Tap were somebody leaves the band and then returns later on - ha!!
(P) “No we all get along very well.”
Besides Rob auditioning you guys for his new band, who else did he have in mind?”
“I think he auditioned about 15 guitar players, but I don’t know them, sorry.”
Besides picking the name ‘Halford’ for the band, what other names did he have in mind?
(P) “I think it is the most recognized name for the band and that is why they they went for that name. There was talk of calling the band ‘Rob Halford’ but I think it was a little too individual and Rob has always treated this band as aband and not just himself. That is why I respect him because when he does interviews he mentions the whole band and not himself”.
How many auditions did you do for the ‘Halford’ band before Rob decided to pick the right musicians?
(R) “Well for the ‘Two’ project I got the call and went for the audition for 2 days and I knew I had the job. It went from there.”
(P) “Well I never auditioned for the band, it was just the word of mouth thing and also I think Rob liked the material that I had sent him. I think Rob knew I was capable of doing the job and it was more of a meeting with him to get the right vibe between us on a personal level.”
How would you best describe the music that you are playing?
(R) “It’s just heavy metal music. I am not one for labeling music with the thrash etc. To me it is just heavy metal music. We wanted to have the traditional heavy metal sound to the music and we certainly achieved that.”
Was the music wrote as a team effort and how long did it take to write the melodies and ideas for the songs?
(P) “ We all got involved in the writing of the album. We brought in riffs and tried to put them in the right order and Roy Z came into help with the arrangements and brought in some of his own material as well and it just progressed from there.”
So were did you rehearse the songs for the album with Rob living in Arizona?
(P) “ Rob actually lives in San Diego now. We rehearsed in L.A. and recorded the album in L.A.”
How did the deal with Sanctuary Management come about?
(P) “ I do not know the story that well, but I believe that Roy Z had worked with Bruce Dickinson and Bruce and Rob are old friends and Maiden use to open up for Priest in the old days and Bruce and Rob talked about bringing over Sanctuary Management with Rod and Rob were old friends too, and Rob liked what he heard and the rest is history.”
Are you all happy to be with Sanctuary Management?
(R) “ Yes we are totally happy. We have never seen so much push from a label & management and Rod comes out to a lot of our shows and this is great for us. Everywhere we go I just see more ads, interviews etc for the band, I love it!!
How many demos did you record prior to the release of the debut album? Were there any songs that did not make it on the album?
(P) "We recorded two sessions & the first one took four days to record and it turned out really well, it also had 10 songs on it. The second demo made us lock ourselves away for about 2-3 weeks in the studio and I think we mastered about 24 trax and some of them were never quite finished and some were better than others.”
So what are you going to do with the songs that you did not use, will they be released on the next album?”
(P) “ I have a couple of favourites that did not make it on the album that I would like to use on the next album. There are no titles or the songs are not finished but I hope that we can work on them for the next album.”
Is the next Halford album going to sound similar to the debut or different?
(R) (Laughing) “The same if not heavier!! I am not sure when it will come out, maybe in January 2002, and that is because we have a lot of touring to still dowith Maiden and we hope to play some festivals in Europe this year as well.”
Besides your label ‘Metal-Is”, what other labels approached you?”
(P) “I know that a couple of major labels showed interest, but I think it was more of a business decision that we wanted a label that would do the things that Sanctuary/Metal - is are doing for us.”
How long is the deal with ‘Metal-Is’?
(R) “I am not sure. We do not get involved with the business too much.”
Why the title ‘Resurrection for the album and were there any other names in mind? Also was it to do with the fact that Rob has risen once again into the metal scene?”
(P) “I think that it is symbolically a rebirth, a welcoming back to heavy metal music. Rob really never left the music it was more of a quick detour. (Ed: What about Satan's goats - ha!!) Pat: I like that one (laughing).”
I noticed that the album took some time to record, why was that?
(R) “Well we changed studios a lot of the time and there was a lot of concern that this album had to be right. There was some re-write musically and lyrically and changing the mix. We had to keep on changing the release day so that we could keep on working on the album, getting the whole thing right.”
We did the drums at ‘Sound City’ which is really a good drum room, and the overdubs we did at ‘Silver Cloud’ and worked with Joe Floyd. We also did some stuff at ‘American’ with Bill Cooper so we had to go where we were needed."
So how did you hook up with Roy Z for the production? I also heard he was suppose to be part of the band, is this true?
(P) “I think he wanted to be part of the band at one point, but I know he is also into producing as well, so I am not sure how it went.”
Pat you wrote some of the songs with Rob and John Baxter, so what are each of the songs about on the debut album?
(P)“ Well typically I wrote the music and Rob has the tendency to write the lyrics on his personal experiences which is his thing. I think the lyrics are pretty obvious on most of the trax and I think the one that sticks out in my mind is ‘Made In Hell’ because that is Robs musical journey to were he is now. Musically I would have to say that ‘Resurrection is one of my favourite songs because it just comes out and kicks you in the teeth.
I also like ‘Locked And Loaded’ and ‘Silent Screams’ which just kicks my ass every time. I was not really a fan of the song ‘Twist’ because I think it was an odd ball track on the album. I think that the song ‘Drive’ had been re-written a few times.
(R) “I think my favourite songs are ‘Silent Screams’ because it has Rob doing his killer screams and killer vocals. I also like the ‘Killing Door’ with Bruce Dickenson. I did not like the same two songs that Pat does not like either because they are either odd ball songs or do not stick out too well.”
So how is the tour going for you so far, as this is your debut headlining tour?
(R) “It is going great!!”
Have you done a promo video for the debut album?
(P) “Well we have not done one so far, but there has been talk about it.”
You supported Iron Maiden earlier in 2000, that must of been a great tour and success for the band, did anything funny happen whilst on tour?
(P) (laughing) “Yes there was quite a few things that did happen. I think it put most of them on the Rob Halford website so check it out!! One thing that sticks out in my mind was that when we were playing in L.A. we thrashed Queensrche’s dressing room which was fun, we were the bad boys of the tour.”
How did you hook up with Bruce Dickinson for the song ‘The One You Love To Hate’ and what do you think to the final cut?”
(R) “I think that it was Roy Z influence after working with Bruce and he must of mentioned to Roy that he was going to work with Rob. Rob had played Bruce a song from the ‘Locked And Loaded' session and he loved it!! Both of them thought it was a great idea and so did the management company.”
So how is the tour going so far on this headlining tour?
(R) “It is going very well for us. All the shows have gone well and the attendance from the fans have been great!!”
As you are headlining, a lot of disappointed UK fans have turned out to see ‘Overkill’, why are they not playing tonight? Was it the fact that you have had a fall out or was it something else?”
(P) “I think it was a financial thing, it was nothing to do with the fact that we had problems with each other, we got along very well. I think they ran out of money and it would cost them too much money to have their gear transported over tot he UK which is a shame.
(R) They were great guys and we hanged out a lot together, we had some great fun!!”
What do you think to the support band tonight ‘Dragonheart’?
(P) "I only watched a couple of the songs last night and thought they were pretty cool”.
(R)“I thought they were pretty cool, they sound like the Euro metal thing”.
What does Rob think to Ripper’s voice and has he heard the last Priest album ‘Jugulator’?
(R) “He has never heard it!! I think it is the past and he is out of Judas Priest and I think it is earlier for him to tell the press that he has not heard it so they cannot have a field day over this matter”.
(P) “Rob was on a radio station in the U.S. and he was in the same town as Ripper and so he invited Ripper to meet him and they got on well together”.
Well guys, I want to thank you for your time, it’s been fun doing this interview. It was also good to meet Rob again for me. Do you have anything to say before we finish?
(P) “No!! (Laughing)”
(R) “Yes thanx for the support and we have had a lot of fun in Europe and we will be back in the year 2001 for the festivals and we will have a new record out soon”
(P) “I really want to thank everybody for their support and yourself Jason. The difference between supporting ‘Iron Maiden’ and heading is that fact that people are here to see us, look out for the next record and live CD”
Check out the Website: www.robhalford.com