What The Hell?

An interview with Rob Halford

The doctor may not be delighted with Resurrection, but fans will be. Produced by Roy Z, who has been doing superb work with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson (Dickinson sings on "The One You Love to Hate"), the CD sticks both feet in your chest and doesn't let you up till it's had its way with you. Halford has assembled a young unit of special forces from all over the place: guitarist Patrick Lachman from LA, guitarist Mike Chlasciak from Poland, bassist Ray Riendeau from Two and drummer Bobby Jarzombek from Riot are at once heavier, nastier and slicker than Judas Priest ever was. Resurrection cuts loose with the double-kick-drum assault of modern metal, coupled with an ultradynamic, melodically disciplined studio sound and the most challenging vocal screeches and proclamations Halford has pulled off in many a season. And the songwriting (mostly by Halford, Roy Z and the band) is diamond-crafted, with the operatic "Night Fall," the schizo-epic "Silent Screams" and the transcendent title track cutting especially deep.

Now all that's left is taking it to the stage. Gosh, what do you suppose Halford will wear?

With a breath, a sigh and a twinkle in the eye, he answers, "Ah . . . leather." Halford laughs with glee. "Leather—lace . . . No, the leather. What's next? A suit of armor? I don't know."

What did he think when Pat Boone stole his leather-dude-on-a-hog look for the good-humored metal tribute Boone essayed several years back?

He guffaws. "Pat's waaaay too deep in the closet," he says. "Come out, Pat! Oh, dear."

Though no longer closeted himself, Halford claims not to be the party boy he once was, notwithstanding "Temptation" (another Resurrection title). Still, this interview was conducted in a West Hollywood hotel. "Whenever I stay in LA, I stay in this part of town, just because I'm close to my own kind. But I can't go to the clubs and I can't go to the bathhouses because I have to get up at 5 o'clock in the morning to do fucking interviews. I have to be in bed at 9 o'clock at night!"

Halford looks completely serious as he describes the scene: "A Harry Potter book. And my hot chocolate."

HALFORD PERFORMS WITH IRON MAIDEN AND QUEENSRYCHE AT VERIZON WIRELESS AMPHITHEATER, 8808 IRVINE CENTER DR., IRVINE, (949) 855-2863, (949) 855-6111 OR (949) 855-8096. SEPT. 10, 6:30 P.M. $17-$45.

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