Although they've been eligible since 1999, it wasn't until 2017 that Judas Priest were even nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll of Fame. They missed the cut, and guitarist Richie Faulkner believes that the Hall made a mistake by not recognizing the band and by giving short shrift to metal in general.

“I don’t speak for the rest of the band,” he told the Vindicator of Youngstown, Ohio. “This is my own opinion. But [induction into the Rock Hall] means a lot for some fans. Metal has always been the underdog. For a band like Priest to be nominated is great for metal and its fans, and it’s great to see those fans being appreciated. On the other hand, I think after 50 years of creating new music and touring the world, with our fan base, that’s more of an accolade than any award. Our fans are passionate."

He added that only two full-fledged metal bands, Black Sabbath and Metallica, are currently in the Hall of Fame, which caused him to ask, “If Priest is not inducted, what is the credibility of it?”

Faulkner's words echo those of frontman Rob Halford, who, on the day the inductees were announced, said during an interview on Phoenix radio, “Personally I would love it. As I’ve said before, I think we deserve it. We’ve put our 10,000 hours in and more, and beyond that we just feel that heavy metal music deserves more space on the shelf of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We were thrilled and honored to even be nominated.”

But he also read the rejection e-mail he received from Greg Harris, the President and CEO of the Hall. The letter rattled off the names of several artists who were nominated multiple times before getting in, and encouraged them to stop the building next time he's in Cleveland to see how their "six floors of exhibitions tell the remarkable history of rock and roll and how it changed the world. You're part of that story and we'd love to share it with you."

“So they basically sent you an invite,” host Paul "Neanderpaul" Marshall quipped. “You got a Groupon from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

Judas Priest's new album, Firepower, was released yesterday (March 9) along with a video for "Spectre." Their six-week tour of North America begins on Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and continues through May 1. You can see all the dates here.

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