“I just go out and do it,” Halford responded. “And as I’ve been doing this now for 50-odd years, I really have to save my voice; I have to make sure that it’s got the strength. ‘Cause when you’re drinking, that’s the worst thing for your voice, especially when you’re a doing a show. How the hell did I get through those shows [before I got sober]?
“Yeah, I’ve been using these pipes for 50 years, and I’m trying to get the most out of them. I’ve had to make some adjustments. I wish I could sing ‘Painkiller’ like I did in ’91, but I can’t. But I can have a good go. I can give it a good thrashing and a good whack.
“But even now, after I’ve done ‘Painkiller’ and I finish the song on the stage and the crowd is roaring, I’m going, ‘Could have done better. That note wasn’t quite there.’ That’s the just the way we push ourselves in this band. We just love to give the best that we possibly can.”
Halford recently spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s follow-up to 2018’s Firepower album.
He said during a recent appearance on Lazer 103.3 radio station: “We’ve already started work on it. We had some great writing sessions in the early part of this year until the world came to a stop in late March. I came back here [home] to Phoenix just to chill and relax for a bit and get ready for another writing session. ‘Cause that’s what we need to do as a band.
“You make a bunch of work and then you walk away from it and then you go back to it later and re-analyze it and continue the growth of the record,” he continued. “That’s what we were doing then, and we’re still doing it now — we’re still putting bits and pieces together.
“It’s an unusual way of making a record, but we’re not the only band that’s going through this situation in terms of creativity. You can’t let this pandemic stop you; you’ve gotta try and still get as much out of life as you can.”
Released in 2018, Firepower is the band’s first studio album since 1988’s Ram It Down to be produced by Tom Allom and the first one with Andy Sneap as co-producer. The album sold around 49,000 copies in the United States within its first week of release, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the band’s highest-charting album in the US.