Rob Halford: “I Used My Drugs To Fight Against My Sexual Identity”

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Rob Halford:
(image: Mat Hayward)

Rob Halfod has been sober for about 36 years. In a new interview with Graham Hartmann of Loudwire, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford explained why he used drugs and had a passion for alcohol, saying that it was his way of escaping from people who were against his sexual identity.

Rob Halford announced his homosexuality with tears in his eyes during his appearance on MTV in 1998. At the time, he felt great about making the statement that freed him. Even though he was concerned about losing his fanbase when he revealed his sexual identity, things didn’t turn out the way he expected. He described himself as the stately homo of heavy metal, but the community named him Metal God.

However, during the conversation, the interviewer asked Halford to reveal his experiences with drugs and alcohol and touched on his words in his book, Biblical: Rob Halford’s Heavy Metal Scriptures, that said he never had good times with using them. Saying that he used drugs and alcohol to fight his sexual identity, Halford admitted that he thought using drugs and alcohol was a way of escape.

“Alone only because whenever I drank or wherever I drank, it was just to get completely obliterated out of my mind,” Rob Halford says (as transcribed by MetalCastle.net). “There’s nothing cool or fun, or enjoyable about that. And I used my drugs and booze to fight against my sexual identity. That was part of my being drawn into that world. It was like a crutch, it was like a mental crutch to what was going on, and that was my way of escape; you escape into the oblivion of alcohol and drugs. Again, I also mentioned a lot of my friends do both of those things, and they’re perfectly fine.

“I don’t have the addictive quality that a lot of musicians have. We have addictive tendencies whether we know it or not. But, for me, it was really difficult. So, when I look back now, that’s my touchstone whenever the temptation arises. When I’m watching a football game, the beer commercial comes, [and I’m like], ‘Oh God.’ It never leaves you. It absolutely never leaves you. It really is one day at a time.”

(image: Ebet Roberts/Redferns, Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the interview, the host opened up about Rob Halford‘s beating prostate cancer in the recent past. The musician first experienced symptoms back in 2017. Three years later, in 2020, he underwent a prostatectomy to remove cancer. Although the treatment seemed to be successful at first, more cancer was found within months, and Rob went to radiation therapy in April and May 2021. The treatment was entirely successful this time, and he removed cancer and announced he was 100% cancer-free.

“You didn’t know what was the confessional biblical that I’m into these almost selfish states of mine until I saw an advert in a commercial for the local Phoenix Children’s Cancer Hospital,” Rob comments. “I saw little children with all these tubes sticking out of them. These little kids, you know. You’ve had this long, incredible life given to you by your metal maniac fans around the world. And these kids don’t know what’s going on. So, that was part of the adjustment. Having said that, yes, I totally relate. Because this terror is really terrifying; it’s cancer.

Concluding, Halford said rock and metal artists have a huge community on their backs.: “You’ve got to remember as well there are some people that live alone, don’t really have anybody. This again, if you’re a metalhead and dealing with cancer or anything, you know that you’re part of a metal community that has your back and that loves and cares for you. We’ve got the social media at our fingertips, ‘Tell us how you feel and let us know what’s going on because you’ll find you’ll be flooded with love and responses of encouragement.”

 

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