That time Metallica’s 23-year-old James Hetfield told me that Judas Priest was “a little too safe”

hetfield

By Steve Newton

Thirty years ago I met James Hetfield in his hotel room in Vancouver, and we talked for a bit about heavy metal, the death of Cliff Burton, new bassist Jason Newsted, and Metallica’s latest album, Master of Puppets.

I’m not sure which day in ’86 the interview happened, but it was sometime between the September 27 death of Burton and the December 19 Metallica show at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum.

I remember Hetfield’s room was a shambles, and he kicked pillows and assorted junk out of the way before using the length of his arm to clear clutter at the table when we sat down.

He was wearing a t-shirt that read: BEWARE THE MERCILESS ONSLAUGHT.

At one point I asked Hetfield which category of metal he thought Metallica fell into, and what his fave metal bands were.

Turns out Judas Priest wasn’t one of them.

Have a listen:

 

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One response to “That time Metallica’s 23-year-old James Hetfield told me that Judas Priest was “a little too safe”

  1. Well, at that time Priest had just released “Turbo”, which had a hair metal-alike sound. So yeah, I could understand why he said that. Anyway, I think that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a Priest fan up to that point. In fact, Metallica were.
    Or maybe in that moment he was more into hardcore punk and underground extreme metal, so he just wasn’t too interested in bands like Priest or Maiden anymore.

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