As one of the most eclectic and popular British metal bands and pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Judas Priest and their vocal powerhouse frontman Rob Halford will forever be one of the greats. In this episode, the first of a two episode arc, host Jon Wiederhorn discusses the beginnings of Judas Priest with a strong focus on Rob Halford. As a closeted gay man in a heterosexual music world, Halford spent a good portion of his days with the band feeling isolated. Even still, his lyrics and piercing vocals paved the way for future musicians to lean into the aggressive nature of metal music. With exclusive interviews with members of Judas Priest, Diamond Head, Life of Agony, and more, listen to them talk about their experiences with Halford and his many influences on metal. 


Judas Priest lead vocalist Rob Halford talks about not being able to recieve sexual intimacy when he was closeted. He also shares the emotional turmoil he endured after being sexually abused as a child and how “Raw Deal” was the only Judas Priest song that truly referenced his homosexuality. Hear Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill talk about the band knowing Rob Halford was gay but waiting until he was ready to come out. Diamond Head guitarist Brian Tatler describes the influence Judas Priest has on his music. Lead vocalist of Pantera Phil Anselmo goes into detail describing what makes Rob Halford such a powerful vocalist. Life of Agony’s lead vocalist Mina Caputo explains how the system didn’t allow people to reach their full potential and be true to their nature. Listen to Judas Priest lead guitarist Glenn Tipton recount a story of a prank gone wrong with a group of Hell’s Angels.

Backstaged: The Devil in Metal is a production of Diversion Podcasts in association with iHeartRadio. Written and hosted by Jon Wiederhorn. Produced and directed by Mark Francis and Scott Waxman. Consulting Producer: Andrew Kalb. Production Assistant: Anita Okoye. Social Media Manager: Stephen Tompkins. Instrumental guitar music by Scott Waxman. Editing by Chris Schreiner. Technical Producer: Clem Fandango. Director of Marketing and Business Development: Jacob Bronstein. Executive Producers: Scott Waxman and Mark Francis. Special thanks to Oren Rosenbaum at UTA.

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