Back in October of 2023, Metallica shared a photo of Kirk Hammet and James Hetfield rocking out to Judas Priest during the Metal Gods performance at the Power Trip Festival in California. The photo was taken by Ross Halfin, the band’s longtime photographer.

Last May 25, bassist Robert Trujillo, and guitarist Kirk Hammett participated in a Q&A session at the Metallica: The Black Album in Black & White book signing session that took place in Munich, which was hosted by Halfin, and during the event, that very same image was displayed on the screen while Trujillo was flipping through some of Halfin‘s captured moments.

Hammett minced no words when reflecting on the moment: “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.”

“We don’t really get a chance to see bands, a lot of times, when we’re playing a huge festival or something because we’re always backstage doing press or getting ready for the show or rehearsing or whatever,” Hammett explained about the rarity of such moment for them. “So when we did Power Trip, we got there early — a few days early — just so that we could see all the other bands. And it was great — the anticipation of seeing Iron Maiden, Priest, AC/DC, and Guns N’ Roses, and actually seeing them. It was a wonderful time.”

Trujillo also added a humorous comment, highlighting the surreal vibe during the festival: “And it was kind of a trip because, on the final day of the Power Trip festival, it was, like, ‘Oh, that’s right. We have to play now.'”

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