JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford, who has been clean and sober since January of 1986, credits his belief in a higher power for helping him in his recovery.
“I’m a different guy to when I was 20,” Halford said furing an appearance on HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta‘s official podcast, “The Jasta Show” (hear audio below). “I’ve been able to look at the world and see the world and find out what really is the most important and valuable thing, to me, as I live from day to day.”
He continued: “When I got clean and sober 28 years ago, that was a major change in my life. And part of my recovery is just having this higher-power belief. And it works. It works, man. It really, really is important.”
Halford added: “There probably will be people listening to [this] podcast who don’t have anything like that in their life, and that’s great; it’s all about acceptance. But I always say to people, if you’re thinking about it, the simplest thing I do is I pray. I pray quite a bit, actually. And even if you don’t believe in prayer, just have a go. Pray for a good day, or just pray for your friend, or whatever it might be. And it’s amazing, man, ’cause it absolutely works. I guarantee, it genuinely does work. And now I’m sounding like [American evangelical Christian evangelist] Billy Graham, but I’m just trying to express some of the things that are important to me on a day-to-day basis that make me able to walk out on that stage each night and do my work.”
While Halford states that he doesn’t want to preach and force people to drink and act responsibly, he is quick to warn up-and-coming musicians that there will be consequences to their actions.
“Whenever I have an opportunity to speak to new, young bands, and they go, ‘Rob, give us a bit of information,’ I just say, ‘Man, just go out there and do everything. Don’t listen to me. You’re gonna do stuff anyway, because it’s your life. But you’ll make choices that may kind of backfire a little bit along the way, and then when they do, think about it and think about what you’ve gotta do to overcome those things where you don’t feel good anymore or you’re angry about something,'” he said. “Because, if you become dependent, a lot of it is due to that kind of imbalance.”
He continued: “In a band, it’s really important to try and stay healthy. Because these people work hard, they put their money down to buy a ticket, they come to the show, they come and see you, they come and hear you, and they deserve the best show you can give them. So don’t go stumbling out on that stage feeling sick because you were up all night boozing or doing whatever. That’s disrespectful to your audience. And that’s just, again, wisdom.”
Halford added: “I hope I don’t sound like I’m preaching. I’m just trying to give [the] listeners just a little bit of an insight to what I think, again, is really important.”
In a recent interview with Classic Rock Revisited, Halford spoke in more detail about his decision to quit using substances. He said: “I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I will always remember the first show I did clean and sober… It was in New Mexico, in Albuquerque. I literally felt elevated, as everything was coming with such clarity. I was able to really… enjoy the performance of JUDAS PRIEST without having all of the other things in front of it. Since that day, it has been a miracle.”
Halford added, “Everybody has to face things in their lives at some point. It [doesn’t have to] be booze and drugs. You can eat too much, or you can not exercise, or whatever… It is not easy staying clean and sober in rock and roll. There are temptations galore from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, especially when you’re on the road. [But] I think we’re some of the strongest people, my friends and my sober brothers in metal.”