ROB HALFORD On METALLICA: 'They're The Most Amazing People In The Business As Far As Keeping Your Feet On The Ground'

January 21, 2024

In a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about the band's performance at last fall's Power Trip festival the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The historic three-day event took place on October 6, October 7 and October 8 brought together six iconic bands that define loud and powerful music: GUNS N' ROSES and IRON MAIDEN (Friday, October 6),AC/DC and JUDAS PRIEST (Saturday, October 7) and METALLICA and TOOL (Sunday, October 8).

"The day, the event — the hundreds of thousands of people that were there," Halford said." It was just such a beautiful exchange. All of the guys from METALLICA were out in the front and they came to hang out with us after the show. There was all of this friendship and all of this camaraderie. All of the bands that performed at Power Trip, we all know each other and we've all lived very similar lives. It's like that family environment where you all connect. You look at each other and you know what you do, you know where you've been and you know the experiences you've had. Because all musicians have very, very similar life experiences. So it was great, you know?"

Asked if he, like METALLICA, got a similar chance to watch any of the other bands, Rob said: "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 [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman] about it. [He said], '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. 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."

Back in 2021, Halford picked METALLICA's "Ride The Lightning", as one of his "greatest songs of all time", telling Rolling Stone magazine: "Old 'TALLICA. New 'TALLICA. I'm old school, man. I bet you guys are the same about PRIEST. It's crazy, isn't it? It's usually the first two or three albums that you make in any given band that are the reference points to who you are and what you're about. And so, for me, those first batches of METALLICA, the extraordinary way that they interpreted their style of metal and branded it with such a unique force just generates as much now as it did then. So, 'TALLICA, ride the lightning on the heavy metal Harley."

In May 2013, Halford joined METALLICA on stage at the fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods award show presented by Epiphone at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California to perform the PRIEST classic "Rapid Fire".

Halford previously performed "Rapid Fire" with METALLICA at one of the band's four intimate shows in December 2011 at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of the week-long celebration of METALLICA's 30th anniversary as a band for fan club members only.

In 2019, METALLICA played a snippet of PRIEST's version of "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)" while rehearsing for its concert in Bucharest, Romania.

In 2020, Halford told Revolver magazine that METALLICA was the last concert he went to see as a fan before the pandemic hit. "I [saw them] play in Glendale, in Arizona," he said. "That was a blast. I've known those guys forever. I went with my other half, Thomas, and a good friend of ours who's a police lieutenant, James.

"It was great to see the band because if you, by the grace of God and good luck and fortune and hard work and slugging at it, you get to all these different levels, and METALLICA went about as far as you can, and still are at," he continued.

"Their shows are gigantic. If you've seen 'em — they're big production. And it must be a nightmare for them, like it is for us, to try and pick a setlist. But their setlist was a combination of the ones that we wanna hear, plus the new stuff that you do. It was a great show."

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