During a recent conversation with The SDR Show, prog mastermind Devin Townsend talked about how he declined a chance to become Judas Priest‘s new singer.
Upon Rob Halford leaving the band in 1992, Tim “Ripper” Owens took on the role of band vocalist; however, Judas Priest was interested in looking for a new singer during that time.
They put an invite out to several artists to audition, and among those artists was Devin.
Speaking about being invited to audition as the new Judas Priest singer, Townsend shares the following (as transcribed by Loudwire):
“Technically, yes that happened, but it wasn’t like they were knocking down my door. Basically, they threw out a blanket thing to a bunch of singers — Warrel [Dane] from Nevermore, myself, a couple of other people.
“But I also remember thinking that singing was this thing that happened to me because of my involvement with Steve [Vai], because I never really set out to be a singer. I learned to sing because I was a guitar player. Most of the singers I auditioned, I didn’t relate to.”
Townsend goes on to add the following, speaking to his vocal skills and the “expectation” of singing like Halford:
“But, as a result of that, the technique that I had was so shoddy, that had I gotten to a situation with that level of expectation, to sing like Rob Halford… dude, I’d be crucified.”
Could you imagine it… Devin Townsend as the singer for Judas Priest? That would have been surreal to see and hear.
Do you think Townsend should have taken the opportunity to audition? You can check out the full interview with Devin Townsend below.
Speaking of Rob Halford, the Judas Priest singer was recently named one of the “best singers of all time” by Rolling Stone. He is mentioned within a ranking featuring a total of 200 singers across different genres – where do you think he was ranked?