Metal!

Judas Priests' Rob Halford on Why He Loves Phoenix

Long before heavy metal was known for ingredients such as shredding guitars, double bass, "horns up" or black leather, the budding chefs were studying up in the 'burbs of England. Not far from Birmingham -- which eventually spawned Black Sabbath -- a young Rob Halford walked to school in Walsall on a daily basis, past the metal foundries with molten metal oozing out of vats.

In 1973, Halford (in his early 20s) came on board with Judas Priest, just a few years after the band's conception. A year later, the landmark metal band released its debut, Rocka Rolla, followed by such legendary albums as Painkiller, British Steel , and Screaming for Vengeance.

"We say that metal was invented in the West Midlands," says Halford. "So we were living and breathing it before a note was even played."

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise