ST. LOUIS — Judas Priest's Farewell World Tour is making the rounds, but front man Rob Halford says the tour is not as final as it may sound.
"I wish there was another word besides 'farewell,'" he says. "This is our last big world tour. We're stopping the big two-year treks."
But the door is still open for smaller, shorter tours.
Putting on the type of shows Judas Priest is known for is physically demanding, especially over long periods, Halford says.
"It's grueling to put on these very physical shows, getting a few hours sleep and driving to the next city to do it all over again," he says. "But we would never lose the passion for performing. We love to do that, getting out there and seeing the fans who love and support you and give you 100 percent."
What Halford expects to do is go back to basics with the band's tour schedule.
"We wouldn't cut any corners, but we would just generally get deeper into the music," he says.
But before that happens, the band will pull out all the stops on this tour, which Halford says is a full-on metal extravaganza with a new stage and costumes, lasers, fire and more. Judas Priest will play tracks from the band's first album, "Rocka Rolla" (1974) through its most recent studio album, "Nostradamus" (2008).
"It's interesting listening to these songs, seeing if a song written in 1973 will stand up to our last release," Halford says.
In conjunction with the tour, Judas Priest also has a couple of new collections in release. The box set "Single Cuts" brings together all of the group's singles and B-sides from 1977-1992, totaling 51 tracks.
If that's too much, there's also "The Chosen Few," a collection of 17 Judas Priest classics handpicked by the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Slash, Alice Cooper and others. Among the songs on "The Chosen Few" are necessities such as "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight."
"We felt these were some of the significant moments of our career, so it's a cool and interesting release," Halford says.
Meanwhile, a new album is in the works to help keep Judas Priest's legacy going strong.
"It's going to be a very pure record, straightforward and uncomplicated," Halford says.