Rob Halford has confirmed that at least one song on JUDAS PRIEST's new album, "Firepower", touches upon politics. "I think I went in that direction with 'Lightning Strike', talking about collusion," he told the Chicago Tribune.
"JUDAS PRIEST are not a political band, but I think we find a way to put our feelings and ideas into the songs, whereby our fans can extrapolate their own views," he added.
"I'm an older metalhead, and I'm a lot more opinionated than I used to be. I kind of have to bite my tongue sometimes with my lyrics."
Asked if he has been tempted to move back to England in the year since Donald Trump became president, Halford — who has lived in Phoenix since 1985 and also owns a home in San Diego — said: "Not in the least, no. Running away from something doesn't do anything, except put distance. I love America dearly. What's really important is the common good and unity of the people of this country, and making sure that everybody gets a fair shake, and that to me doesn't appear to be the case right now. Teachers should not need to have to buy books for the kids, or pencils and pens. That's absurd. This is America. I think evenness and equality and a level playing field from any administration is an absolute responsibility. End of speech."
Halford, who revealed he was gay 20 years ago, recently told Newsweek that he is "not a Donald Trump supporter." He said: "I have so much faith in this country. But it does seem as though the brakes have been slapped on. It's indeed disturbing, and it's such a shame, because throughout the Obama administration, tremendous things were achieved on the basis of human equality. That's the issue here. Treating one bunch of people this way, and treating this bunch that way. You can't do that. You have to give everybody the same rights."
Halford acknowledged that many PRIEST fans won't agree with those views, saying that "there's a ton of metal heads that are supportive of [the Trump] administration." But, he added, "That's great. That's okay. You're not bringing that to the show. We're there to all join together, and that is the beautiful thing about a free, transparent society — which we don't appear to have right now. Some fans are completely opposite to me politically. But we can still be in the same room and have a good time and hopefully have a good discussion while respecting each other's opinions."
JUDAS PRIEST kicked off the "Firepower" world tour on March 13 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
The band's latest album, "Firepower", was released on March 9 via Epic.
The North American leg of the "Firepower" tour will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas.