JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford says that he cherishes being called a "Metal God" by the band's fans and he wants to make sure that no one else can take the title away from him — which is why he applied for a trademark in 2009 protecting the moniker.
During a May 20 appearance on the long-running BBC talk show BBC's television show "Later... With Jools Holland", Halford explained his decision to go the legal route in securing the rights to the "Metal God" phrase. "I would never put myself on that pedestal," he said. "That's the title the fans started to give me after the famous 'British Steel' album, where we had 'Breaking The Law' and 'Living After Midnight'.'" Nevertheless, he added, "It's something I really cherish, and I don't want anybody else to be the Metal God but me."
In a 2007 interview with Classic Rock Revisited, Halford was asked if he feels humility when all his peers come up to him and call him the "Metal God." "I still feel uncomfortable, quite frankly," he replied. "I suppose it is just the British reserve. You get a bit embarrassed. It is wonderful to be recognized like that, particularly from fans, but you are just like, 'Okay, thank you. Can we talk about something else now?' People go, 'You changed my life,' or 'You saved my life.' That is a big thing for somebody to say. You realize then how passionate the fans are about what you do. Certain songs may have had a dramatic impact on their life."
Halford in 2009 launched Metal God Apparel, his signature brand of t-shirts.
"Metal God" was the working title of what eventually became "Rock Star", the movie starring Mark Wahlberg as a salesman-turned-rock star in which Wahlberg's character was styled after Tim "Ripper" Owens, who fronted a JUDAS PRIEST cover band before being tapped to become the new lead singer of the actual group.
The title "Metal God" was axed in favor of "Rock Star" to take the film out of the restrictive heavy metal niche and into a wider, more accessible rock genre, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said. Contrary to published reports, the spokesperson said, the switch was not spurred by a complaint from Halford.