Rob Halford Offers Advice on Identifying Depression + How To Help
Judas Priest's Rob Halford discussed the importance of keeping the conversation of mental health open following the recent suicides of iconic rock musicians.
In a chat with Wall of Sound, the veteran vocalist got real about the situation, telling the interviewer that mental health is something we have to keep discussing in order to effect change. While he noted it's often difficult to identify someone in the throes of depression or other mental disorders, the best thing one can do is reach out.
"We have to keep talking about this," Halford said in the interview excerpt transcribed by Blabbermouth. "Because here's the thing with this type of situation... When we lose our dear friends, we always hear the story, 'Well, they were fine. They had a great show and said see you tomorrow on the bus,' and they're gone."
The Judas Priest frontman continued, "It's an incredibly difficult thing to try to focus in and try to figure out what's going on in somebody's head. The only thing you can do is love each other and support each other and just see if there are any kind of telltale signals. And there generally is something somewhere in the mix that's just gone by you in what happens in a day. But it's awful."
Singling out the succession of suicides that have haunted rock music of late, Halford suggests that major depression in the music scene "doesn't seem to go away." But he does commend forthrightness in addressing it.
"Rock 'n' roll, creative people, it's just this terrible, terrible thing that just doesn't seem to go away. But what is good is that these days now, it's being discussed more openly. It used to be, 'Oh, you're depressed. Pull your boots up and get out there.' You can't do that. You've gotta try and help the person," the singer said.
Still, the Judas Priest icon and "Metal God" put himself in the shoes of those experiencing it worst. He said that, in his own journey, getting clean and quitting drinking is what propelled him through mental health struggles.
"Each of us deals with it in our own way," Halford added of the constant struggle. "I will say for myself, when I stopped drinking and drugging 33 years ago, that was the best thing I could have done for myself."
Further, Halford gives what's probably the most important advice for a person experiencing mental issues or suicidal thoughts: Whether it's a friend or a support line, seeking help in the situation isn't something that needs a stigma.
"I know for a fact that there are outlets instantly where you can reach to. It's on the internet. Just sending a text to somebody, staying in touch, looking after each other, seeing how you mate is doing. 'You haven't called me for a couple of days. Is everything all right?' An e-mail. Anything. It's reaching out, it's staying with each other, having each other's backs, as the expression goes, and trying to do what you can."
A new Judas Priest album, the follow-up to last year's Firepower, is currently in the works. They'll be out on the road with Uriah Heep at the following stops:
May 03 - Hollywood, Fla. @ Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
May 06 - Nashville, Tenn. @ Nashville Municipal Auditorium
May 08 - Atlanta, Ga. @ Fox Theatre
May 09 - Biloxi, Miss. @ Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
May 12 - Washington, D.C. @ The Anthem
May 14 - Huntington, N.Y. @ The Paramount
May 15 - Huntington, N.Y. @ The Paramount
May 16 - Uncasville, Ct. @ Mohegan Sun Arena
May 18 - Albany, N.Y. @ Palace Theatre
May 19 - Albany, N.Y. @ Palace Theatre
May 22 - Milwaukee, Wis. @ Riverside Theater
May 23 - Milwaukee, Wis. @ Riverside Theater
May 25 - Rosemont, Ill. @ Rosemont Theatre
May 28 - Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater
May 29 - Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater
May 31 - Dallas, Texas @ The Bomb Factory
Jun. 01 - Little Rock, Ark. @ First Security Amphitheater
Jun. 03 - St. Louis, Mo. @ Stifel Theatre
Jun. 05 - Colorado Springs, Colo. @ Broadmoor World Arena
Jun. 08 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan @ SaskTel Centre
Jun. 10 - Lethbridge, Alberta @ ENMAX Centre
Jun. 11 - Edmonton, Alberta @ Rogers Place
Jun. 13 - Dawson Creek, British Columbia @ Encana Events Centre
Jun. 14 - Prince George, British Columbia @ CN Centre
Jun. 16 - Kelowna, British Columbia @ Prospera Place
Jun. 17 - Abbotsford, British Columbia @ Abbotsford Centre
Jun. 19 - Airway Heights, Wash. @ Northern Quest Resort and Casino
Jun. 21 - Kent, Wash. @ Accesso Showare Center
Jun. 22 - Portland, Ore. @ Moda Theatre of the Clouds
Jun. 24 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Warfield Theatre
Jun. 25 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Warfield Theatre
Jun. 27 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ Microsoft Theater
Jun. 29 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel
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