In late 2021, JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford sat down with Metal Hammer and spoke about his long-standing relationship with the San Francisco thrash pioneers.
When asked what Halford thought when you first heard METALLICA, Rob replied: “The first few albums are still my favorites. It was great: here was a band from America, on the West Coast, who are part of the world that… maybe this will sound ridiculous, but when I was growing up, San Francisco was this hippie place. Beads and sandals and all that kind of stuff, and then you get these metal maniacs making this incredible racket! Wow!”
Editor’s note – In clarification of Rob’s statement, he named the albums “Kill ’Em All“, “Ride The Lightning” and “…And Justice For All” as the first few – meaning three – albums, which could either be an oversight on his part or a simple mistake made by the publisher. As we all know, “Master of Puppets” is not only the band’s third album, but one of the most important and significant records to ever be released in heavy metal as a genre. At the very least, in this writer’s opinion, skipping that album and jumping to “…And Justice For All” just seems odd being the massive significance of “Puppets”, however we get where Halford is coming from about his love for early METALLICA records.
When the JUDAS PRIEST singer was asked about the first time he met METALLICA, he replied: “I saw them when they came and did some shows in Phoenix. They were very beautiful guys, like we all are in metal; you look at the other guys in bands and you don’t even have to say anything, you know you’ve lived the life. And then there is the respect. Kirk came up onstage with us [at Louder Than Life festival in September] and was like a kid in a sweet shop – ‘I can’t believe I’m up onstage with Priest playing The Green Manalishi!’”
Halford was also asked how important he thought METALLICA were to the 90s metal scene, to which he replied: “If you look at the history of Metallica, much like if you look at the history of Judas Priest, it’s a band that’s responsible for an incredible surge of attention to metal. Their slightly controversial Black Album… it was never meant to be called The Black Album, it was just meant to be called ‘Metallica’ with the snake on the front, but that was like Priest’s Turbo album, because they cut their hair and they started to sound a little bit commercial. But really, that’s never been the case – it was just the band flexing their musical talent and having a great producer behind them. And extraordinary things came from it.”
JUDAS PRIEST are set to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this fall. The band are poised to receive the Musical Excellence Award at the event, which will honor Eminem, Dolly Parton, DURAN DURAN, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, EURYTHMICS and Carly Simon in the Performers category.
METALLICA were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame back in 2009.
Photo credit – Chelsea Lauren