During a recent appearance on Ultimate Classic Rock, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford revealed how Robert Plant influences him about recreating the classic Priest songs.
After over a year of waiting, Rob Halford and Judas Priest finally met the audience with live shows, but there was an unexpected surprise for the fans. The band started to play the classic Priest song for these live shows, named ‘Rocka Rolla.’
‘Rocka Rolla’ is a song from Priest’s self-titled studio album that was released back in 1974. The song is re-arranged for the shows in 2021, and the band recently played it for the ‘Bloodstuck’ show.
In the recent conversation he joined, Rob pointed out that Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and his show with Sensational Space Shifters at Austin City Limits actually inspired him to play the iconic song with some arrangements, just like Robert did.
Furthermore, Rob admitted that nobody thought this song is going to work and people like them in the first place, even Rob himself. However, they started to believe that the song is going to rock after restructuring the songs.
Rob Halford shared his opinion about playing ‘Rocka Rolla’ live:
“We all have a list. I threw that out, and Glenn went, ‘I don’t think that’s gonna work.’ And I said, ‘I don’t think it’s going to work either! But wouldn’t it be so cool if we did it?’ Because there is the title track of the first album this band ever made. So, when we got into rehearsals and jammed it, Richie put a bit of a twist on it and doubled the tempo, and made a little bit of an arrangement adjustment.
I thought, ‘Oh, man, this is definitely going to work.’ When I did make a little tiny bit of a before we played that song at Bloodstock and then it came in, it just felt euphoric. It was when foot connected with the heavy-metal football and the game was on. I really loved that. I’ll tell you what I liked about the arrangement.”
“I was on the flight back to America, and I was watching this really cool show that Robert Plant did with the Sensational Space Shifters at Austin City Limits.
The way that he takes the Zeppelin material and restructures it, there are still important aspects of the song that you connect with, but he takes you on a little bit of an adventure. That’s what I felt.
I was on the flight back, and I was thinking about ‘Rocka Rolla,’ and now my mind’s going, Is there anything else we can do like that? What’s another track that we can possibly take a look at that might take that kind of twist from something way back in the ‘70s to 2021? There are endless opportunities in music.”
You can listen to the interview and the song below.