The veteran band have been the victims of legal action in which it’s been claimed they promote violent behaviour. A notable lawsuit in 1990 claimed they’d hidden subliminal messages in their music which caused two men to commit suicide. It was said they’d embedded the words “Do it” in their cover of Spooky Tooth track Better By You, Better Than Me on their Stained Class album. The case was dismissed.
Halford, who spends most of his time in the US, tells MTV Hive: “I approach this topic with a tinge of sadness, because unfortunately those incidents have always come out of the United States – a country that has been so wonderful to Judas Priest, and many other metal acts from different parts of the world.
“Circumstances like those have never happened in Europe, never in South America, never in the Far East. When metal has been blamed for violence, it’s only happened in the States. I don’t mean to sound bitter about that – it’s just a reality, and it makes me really sad.”
Halford says he understands why such accusations might be made. “It’s a natural human instinct to put up a wall when you’re afraid of something. You immediately go into protection mode. You don’t let things come in.”
But he adds: “If you’re on the outside and don’t got a clue about metal, then I don’t see how you can have an opinion until you’ve discussed it and investigated it. And those types of attacks generally came from people who were in the dark.”
Priest are working on an album with new guitarist Richie Faulkner, who joined after KK Downing retired in 2011. They release live DVD Epitaph – filmed during their final large-scale world tour – on May 28.