It's Roulette time with the Metal King,
of Judas Priest
Rock 'n Roll Roulette
Fast paced, rapid fire, and unedited
"I don't feel like an aging rock star, although that's exactly who I am. Inside, I don't feel any different than I did from when I was 25. I still carry the same passion for the music and for life. But, damn, I just can't pull off the leather these days like I did back then. But, I can still belt it out."
By Kreig Marks, August 2022
KM: Hey Rob! Welcome to Tru Rock Revival's Roulette interview.
RH: Thanks for the opportunity. This should be fun....I think?
KM: LOL. This may or may not be painful, but I think you can handle it. Are you ready?
RH: Yeah man, let's rock this! Hey, I noticed we have the same hair style! Love it!
KM: Thanks. I call it the follically challenged look.
RH: Follically challenged. Haven't heard that one yet. I love it. Very politically correct.
KM: You know it! Tell me about the time you rode your Harley on to the stage in Toronto and crashed and broke your nose. Crashed, knocked yourself out cold, woke up, finished the show! That's Rock 'n Roll at its greatest.
RH: Oh man, I try not to remember that one. Crashed right into the side of the drum riser and took a pretty hard spill. Knocked myself out pretty good.
KM: Isn't it cool though that whenever you want, you can go on YouTube and see footage of the crash?
RH: Ha! You're right! LOL.
KM: After that crash and that show, you announced you were leaving the band. Any regrets from that decision?
RH: You know, life is full of regrets, but you live with them and live through them. Looking back, yeah, there's definitely some regrets. I think we all had a lot of things going on at the time, and we really didn't work through those issues - so the band and I felt it was time for a break. But, eventually we all kissed and made up and we're back rockin' again.
KM: Let's move ahead a few years to 2011. A show in Brazil.
RH: You're really enjoying this, aren't you, Kreig?
KM: Yeah, I am. So, the show in Brazil, another crash on a Harley.
RH: This one wasn't really a crash. It was more of a tip. A tipsy over. Didn't knock myself out this time though.
KM: Well, that's good. It is pretty Rock 'n Roll though, when you crash the Harley's on stage, don't you think?
RH: Always! LOL. And damn expensive, too!
KM: You were away from the guys in Judas Priest for several years. That's when you took on some band projects with Fight, 2wo and then Halford. Do you think if you had never been in Judas Priest these bands would have had more success? Obviously, the fans who went to see those bands perform were waiting for some Judas Priest songs in the sets. Would you agree?
RH: You know, I've never really given that angle much thought. But, it does have a bit of sense to it if you really dissect it. Who knows? We may never know. And, yeah, we did a Priest song here and there.
KM: You are not only known for your very strong vocals but also for your very eccentric behavior off stage. Would you agree?
RH: Eccentric? I don't know if I think I'm eccentric. I'm just me being me. I'm not afraid to be myself. I'm no longer afraid to show my queer side, you know? For many years, I was really careful to keep it to myself, my sexuality. Only a handful of friends knew that part of me. But now, why be afraid to show that part of me? I don't prance or do things like that, but I'm not ashamed of who I am.
KM: You "came out" during an interview on MTV. Was that intentional?
RH: No, it really wasn't, but I'm glad I did. I won't lie, I was terrified at the time. I didn't know how people would react. I know it probably alienated some fans early on, but I wasn't going to pretend to be someone I'm not. A word of advice to anyone reading this, never be afraid to stand up for who you are or what you believe in.
KM: In 2003, you rejoined the band. Were you nervous getting back with the guys?
RH: Nah. We're all friends. It's not like we didn't talk at all the years I was not with them. We kept in touch. But, you know, it was time to put all things aside and get back to being a family again. It was great getting back in there. Still is.
KM: I've read interviews when you've discussed your battle with depression in the past, and your drug use. How are you doing these days?
RH: Yeah, I did suffer from depression. I think it was because I was always pretending to be someone else, and not being honest with myself, my friends, and fans. I fought pretty hard to keep my secret my secret. I used drugs, drank too much, you know, the "Rock 'n Eoll" lifestyle per se', and it caught up to me. I've been sober now a long time, since January 6, 1986. I'm proud of that.
KM: Do you ever get the urge to use again?
RH: Yeah, I do. Anyone who's battled with addiction would agree. I think it's only normal to have those urges but I don't give in to those. I'm fine being around people who drink or do a line, or smoke a joint. I'm cool with that. But if it's out of control, I'm gone, out of there.
KM: During the pandemic, you started to post a lot of videos on Facebook and other social media of yourself talking and just hanging out, being yourself. What got you started on that?
RH: I was fuckin' bored! LOL. It was a fun thing to do, a way for me to keep in contact with my fans.
KM: I won't get into who your musical influences were, since that's been beaten to death over the years. Instead, I'll ask, how does it feel to know that, like those who you looked up to (those who had a profound influence on your singing, your career) there's now hundreds, thousands, maybe more, who look to you as their influence. How does that make you feel?
RH: Well, it depends on what I've influenced them to do I suppose! LOL. In all seriousness, I never set out to become a rock star or to become an influence on others, but if it's turned out that way, I'm proud of that.
KM: Have you ever mentored someone whom you knew needed some help or guidance?
RH: Yeah, I have. I still do and I love doing that. I think we should all do that in life.
KM: Judas Priest is now back on tour. Does it feel any different on stage today than it did 40 years ago?
RH: I still get the same high every night. I love being there and taking people away from their day-to-day thoughts and worries, and for a brief while, bring them to another level, another place where they can be at peace. I don't move around as fast on stage these days, but I think I'm still able to bring it!
KM: Still riding the Harleys on stage? Maybe thinking about starting a Harley riding class as a side hustle?
RH: Brutal. You can be a fucking brutal man! LOL. Thanks for the talk, Kreig! This has been fun. Thank you Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Kreig Marks, Publisher / Founder TRR
Kreig Marks is the Founder/Publisher of Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Rock music has always been his passion, and promoting musicians. In is spare time he is an internationally recognized neuro-fitness trainer/ kinesiologist.