Kirk Hammett drops truth about which band Metallica worships

Metallica, of course, is a god of thunder, but there is one group that the band adores.
Kirk Hammett of Metallica
Kirk Hammett of Metallica / Francesco Prandoni/GettyImages

What must it feel like to be a band that influenced potentially the most influential band in the history of heavy metal? Sure, Black Sabbath was around long before Metallica, but that does not mean millions of kids everywhere are listening to more Sabbath albums than Metallica records. (No offense to Ozzy and his mates.)

Where would Metallica be without AC/DC and Deep Purple? Moreover, where would the world of music be without Metallica? Maybe some eschew the excellence of some of the best metal bands, but there are only two types of music: Good and bad. Metallica happens to be on the side of good.

At a recent question and answer session at a signing for the band's book, Metallica: The Black Album in Black & White, in Munich, Germany, in May, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo were asked about their influences. As they answered, a photo of Hammett and fellow band member James Hetfield at a Judas Priest concert in 2023 projected behind them. Hammett came clean about what Judas Priest meant to Metallica.

Metallica's Kirk Hammett espouses on the band's love of Judas Priest

Hammett said, "We were worshipping at the altar of Judas Priest. Their music means so much to us. And the way Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing played the guitars...I mean, they are architects of what we now know as heavy metal, to put it bluntly. And James and I, we love Priest."

Judas Priest singer Rob Halford has joined Metallica a couple of times on stage over the years when Metallica covered Judas Priest's "Rapid Fire." Clearly, the respect between the bands is mutual.

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Priest also made it a bit easier for the bands that followed, such as Metallica, to hold huge concert tours and large arenas. The double-guitar leads of Tipton and Downing also influenced Metallica's Hammett and Hetfield (and Dave Mustaine before Hammett joined Metallica). Both bands, for what it's worth, are part of the few metal bands to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Of course, Judas Priest likely did not set off at the beginning of their career to simply influence others. They wanted to make great music and they did. They also just happened to help bands such as Metallica know how to make great music as well.

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