Metal legend Rob Halford took time out from the studio recording Judas Priest’s 18th studio album to attend the launch of the Hell Bent For Leather art exhibition in London last night (27th April).
The exhibition is an official collaboration between London’s Parliament Tattoos and Judas Priest, who have enlisted some of the planet’s greatest tattoo artists to hand-paint leather jackets taking their inspiration from Priest album covers and song titles.
Held at The Provender Building at Camden Stables Market from 5th to 10th May, the display moves on the Brighton Tattoo Convention on 13th & 14th May before the jackets are auctioned off to raise money for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Planet Rock’s Paul Anthony caught up with Rob Halford at the launch where he revealed how he got involved with the “unusual project” that has spawned some “mind-blowing" designs.
As well as waxing lyrical about the exhibition, Rob confirmed that Judas Priest are close to finishing their new album and they are plotting a “big world tour” for 2018.
Rob told Paul: “I won’t say we’re at the end (of recording) but it feels as though we’re coming to some of the final moments.
“It’s great to watch how a record comes together from those early days where there was just me, Glenn (Tipton) and Richie (Faulkner) sitting in the studio with a couple of guitars and just doing what we do – you start the day with nothing and then at the end of day potentially you’ve got a really great, classic Priest song that may live forever.
“We’re hard at it, we’re still doing what we love to do. Priest is a working band more than anything else, it’s that Midlands ethic, the work ethic of anybody that goes to work… I say it’s work because it is work; you work your mind, you’re being creative and now we’re moving through into other stages.
He continued: “We’re preparing for another big world tour, getting stage designs sorted, lighting designs sorted, so this is the beginning of what’s going to be a very exciting 2018 period.”
You can watch Paul’s full chat with Rob below and find out more about the exhibition right here.