Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford expressed his thoughts about the origins of heavy metal music by drawing attention to a specific area in his latest conversation with Metal Pilgrim.
As a rock music genre, heavy metal emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s, rooting from blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock. Its most known and distinguishable characteristics are distortion, extended guitar solos, thunderous sounds, etc.
According to academics and critics, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple were the genre’s pioneers, and interestingly, their members founded them in England. In addition, Rob Halford, one of the most influential heavy metal singers, highlighted a connection between the music and Black Country.
Halford stated that Black Country, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution with coal mines, iron foundries, glass factories, and brickwork influenced heavy metal musicians and the genre’s loudness and strong social and political messages.
The Judas Priest singer added that during the ’60s society, people’s lives started to change for good which was reflected in the music. Therefore, Robert Plant, Tony Iommi, and himself were affected by this situation, and it became an essential part of their musical journeys.
In Halford’s words, he said:
“You could suggest that it’s a coincidence. This beautiful marriage between the heavy metal industry, the coal mines, the steel factories, and the metal works are places where people work hard. As I was a kid growing up, people still worked very hard in those places today.
However, in the UK, there was something of a renaissance and social revolution going on from when I was born in 1951, particularly through the ’60s. Included in the revolution was the way that music was getting louder and stronger, and more intense, not only music but the social and political messages.
So for those of us in the West Midlands at the time, whether it’s Tony Iommi or Robert Plant or any of the other bands that aren’t necessarily metal, I think we were all touched and caught up in this great commotion of musical adventures.”
You can check out the interview below.