Rob Halford Thinks James Hetfield Is Not Pretentious At All
Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford appeared in a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock to discuss their performance at the Power Trip festival, where his band performed, as well as Metallica.
During the interview, the rocker highlighted James Hetfield’s genuineness. Halford recalled Metallica watching their set during the festival, chitchatting with Hetfield, and explained the band’s characteristics:
“I was in and out. I had so much stuff to do with the record. Because as you know, the calendar is always full. I wanted to try and be there for the three days. Obviously, Metallica did. I was talking to James about it. ‘Nah, we wouldn’t have missed this for the world. We saw everybody.’ I wish I would have had that opportunity. Just to emphasize that again — here’s the biggest metal band in the world and they’re out front [watching the groups as fans]. Air guitar and heavy metal horns in the air with all of the fans. They’re the most amazing people in the business as far as keeping your feet on the ground.”
The frontman shared his admiration for the band, especially for not being pretentious:
“It’s no more of the ‘80s thing, ‘I’m not getting in the limo because it’s two degrees too warm.’ There’s none of that! [Laughs] These guys are so real, beautiful and caring. That’s what I love about them. There’s this nurturing that they have, not only for each other, but for other bands that they’re fans of. It’s a very real thing for Metallica.”
Metallica Watching Judas Priest’s Set
The two bands took the same stage along with Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Tool. Among the thousands of fans, on the front, there were Hetfield and Kirk Hammett as well. Metallica’s official Instagram account posted an action shot with the caption, quoting a lyric from ‘Rapid Fire’:
“Pounding the world like a battering ram.”
With Metallica’s headline performance scheduled for October 8, the rockers arrived a day early on October 7 to watch Judas Priest’s set. Attendees witnessed and captured images of James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, enjoying the performance from the front row.
Metallica then shared their reflections on their experiences at Power Trip over the weekend, including the viral moment when they were seen watching Judas Priest:
“I just kind of realised that we’re down in the very front, looking up. You got Rob Halford riding out on a motorcycle, and there’s fans behind us, looking at us. They’re watching us enjoy that. How cool! I guess that’s pretty cool, you know, but we’re fans at the end of the day. We wanted to be in the mix and see it. So it’s been a fantastic weekend.”
Metallica Initially Wanted To Be Like Judas Priest
Despite being around for more than four decades, Metallica initially wanted to be just like Judas Priest, who started their career in 1969.
Priest, boasting a discography of 17 studio albums that have reportedly sold over 45 million copies worldwide, is renowned for delivering heavy metal anthems like ‘Living After Midnight,’ ‘Breaking The Law,’ and ‘Screaming For Vengeance.’
It appears that, in their early days, one of Metallica’s primary goals was to become a band akin to Judas Priest:
“Judas Priest is everything we wanted to be as a band starting out. If someone asked you to define what heavy metal is, that’s one of the bands you’d show them.”
You can see a video of Hammett and Hetfield rocking out to Judas Priest below.