Halford left the band following 1990's PAINKILLER to front a succession of musically abrasive groups, but, according to guitarist GLENN TIPTON, the band finally decided last week (ends11JUL03) the time was right to reform.
The axeman explains, "We've been bonding our friendship again with Rob over the last two years or so, and we've had a lot of offers to reunite, but we've all been doing our own things. We've only just come to a point where we felt everything's right.
"Obviously when we split there was a lot of animosity and we didn't speak for a number of years. I saw Halford for the first time in years about two years ago, and it was very emotional.
"Anything that was said or done was all forgotten. We've been together for 30 years and we've been through a lot together in this band. It just needed time really. We all did our own thing, and it ran its course. It's all about timing."
However the mover means jettisoning replacement frontman TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS, who the band hired from a Judas Priest tribute group in 1996.
Tipton says, "He's been fantastic. We told him last week, and basically, he said, 'Look, I've got to agree with you.' He's a big Priest fan. And he's been a real gentleman about it."
The reformed line-up, featuring Halford, Tipton, guitarist KK DOWNING, bassist IAN HILL and drummer SCOTT TRAVIS, who joined in 1990, are planning to record new material, as well as going on a world tour and possibly releasing a box set compilation.14/07/2003 17:24