British metal outfit Judas Priest is playing Bone Bash XII today on what it’s calling the Epitaph World Tour, a farewell of sorts. Frontman Rob Halford and company are going out in classy style, with the greatest hits-themed “The Chosen Few,” featuring 17 catalog chestnuts like “Painkiller,” “Dissident Aggressor” and “Diamonds and Rust” chosen by some of Halford’s peers — with each offering an explanation of the selection’s personal significance. Is it truly the end? Halford — who also performs as simply Halford — sets the record straight.
An “Epitaph” tour? Really? Well, by now we’re using every opportunity to get the message across that this is not the end of Priest — we still have plenty of things that we want to do for the future. But this is definitely the last world tour that we’re going to do. We’ll just be more selective with some of the shows that we do in the future. For example, the next time we go out, we might just come to America and then take a break. World tours are wonderful to do, but they take a lot out of you, physically. So by cutting back a bit on the touring, we’re giving ourselves a future.
Were you amazed by what stars like Ozzy and Metallica had to say about you on “The Chosen Few”? Well, you never know, do you? Ozzy liked “The Ripper”! Who knew? Although it is kind of in Ozzy’s world — a song about a guy who slashes people’s throats. But yeah, it was exciting to hear what Lars and James from Metallica listened to in the Priest catalog, as well as Slash, Slipknot and on and on.
Your new “Halford — Live at Saitama Super Arena” video is coming out on Blu-ray. Have you ever seen yourself on hi-def Blu-ray? Oh, no — I try and avoid it. But you do take advantage of technology, and you’re a fool if you don’t. The Internet, the social networking — they’re very important to us to get your music, your ideas and your information across.
How did you wind up on a Virgin Mobile commercial as a real pulpit-pounding priest? Ha! That was my friend, [film-video director] Jonas Akerlund. I did a little cameo in a movie called “Spun” for him some years ago, and Jonas is a huge metal fan, and he loves Priest. So I think just by looking at the Virgin Mobile script, he thought, “Hmm … I need a priest. I’ll call the Metal God from Judas Priest and stick him in the pulpit!”
IF YOU GO
Where: Sleep Train Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord
When: 6 p.m. today
Tickets: $25 to $125.65