JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford says that he is hoping that streaming music services like Spotify will apply “common sense” in the near future so that artists can be compensated more fairly for their work.
Asked by New Zealand’s 3News to weigh in on the ongoing debate surrounding Taylor Swift‘s decision to pull her music from Spotify, Halford said: “I think that we are seeing the debate about streaming much like we saw the debate when Apple iTunes first came onboard. It was a very, kind of, tumultuous time, and it took a while for things to settle down.”
He continued: “If you look at the breakdown of streaming, if you take what the artist gets once the breakdown happens, it really is just pennies out of the pie. It’s like a piece; you slice it up. The bands get the tiniest bit. And then we have to divvy that up between how many members there are in the band. So it’s a bit of a battle that’s going on. But I really hope that fairness will prevail.”
Halford added: “The big [streaming services] like Spotify, they appreciate the position that they’re in. They’ve got buckets of money, and they go, ‘Well, we’re still getting…’ Well, come on, guys. I think, you just gotta be ‘fair’s fair’ here. Without us, you don’t have a streaming company. That’s it, plain and simple.
“So it’s a struggle, it’s a battle, but I think the artists will prevail and I’m hoping that we’ll see some common sense from Spotify and the others to make it all work for everybody.”
Halford was also asked what advice he would give to new bands who are just starting out and are forced to deal with decreasing record sales and smaller recording budgets.
“I could talk to you for hours about this, but in a nutshell, first and foremost, if you’re in a band, don’t give up, don’t give in,” he said. “Just go as far as you wanna go in your dreams. It doesn’t matter… Don’t think about… I mean, it’s good to imagine where you might end up, because that’s what drives us all, I think. But the basic core of being in a band, being with your mates, getting together in a garage or a rehearsal space, banging away… it’s the best feeling in the world; it really is. So enjoy that first and foremost.”
He continued: “If you wanna try and become professional, then you do have to be prepared for quite a bumpy road. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 1971 when PRIEST began or 2015. It is a different world. It’s gotta be incredibly challenging for new bands now, from a financial point of view, just to find enough money to put in a van, to get the engine turning. That’s what we did in PRIEST — food or petrol. We’ve gotta put petrol in. So that really hasn’t changed that much. But to actually try and make it work economically is difficult. But please don’t let that dissuade you. ‘Cause we need more bands, we need more music. We are the old guard of heavy metal, and we need the new metal bands — all kinds of music. We need the new blood to keep it strong and alive.”
JUDAS PRIEST‘s 17th studio album, “Redeemer Of Souls”, sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.
JUDAS PRIEST‘s 2008 double-disc concept album, “Nostradamus”, shifted 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at No. 11. This marked the band’s highest-ever chart position in the U.S. In Canada, the CD opened at position No. 9 after moving close to 4,000 units.
JUDAS PRIEST‘s 2005 CD, “Angel of Retribution”, premiered with 58,000 copies in the U.S. to debut at No. 13.
JUDAS PRIEST‘s most successful album to date is 1982’s “Screaming For Vengeance”, which spent 53 weeks on the Billboard charts, receiving gold RIAA sales certification on October 29, 1982, platinum on April 18, 1983 and double platinum October 16, 2001. The album included the band’s only U.S. top 100 hit single, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'”.
Other million-seller RIAA certifications for JUDAS PRIEST are “Priest Live” (October 29, 2001), “Turbo” (July 24, 1989), “Defenders of the Faith” (September 26, 1988), “British Steel” (August 9, 1989) and “Unleashed in the East” (November 10, 1989).
JUDAS PRIEST also has gold albums certifications (500,000 sales) for “Stained Class” (November 10, 1989), “Hell Bent For Leather” (November 10, 1989), “Point of Entry” (November 10, 1989), “Ram It Down” (July 18, 1988) and “Painkiller” (January 2, 1991).