In a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, STEEL PANTHER drummer Stix Zadinia was asked who he thinks most deserves to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He responded (hear audio below): "To me, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, if you're not going to have IRON MAIDEN in it, you're making bad choices. So I think IRON MAIDEN — how can they not be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? [And] JUDAS PRIEST?
"When you talk about rock and roll, and you have hip-hop artists in there, and you don't have heavy metal artists in there… I mean, how do you not include JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?" he continued. "It's mind-blowing. So, you've got PEARL JAM in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but you don't have JUDAS PRIEST, who started in the '70s and is still going? That is shameful. And I'm not taking anything away from PEARL JAM, but the fact that PRIEST and MAIDEN and what they've done for the genre of music that they're in, and they get passed over… How do you justify that? How do you go, 'You know what? No.' Who says no? It's a joke to me, and it feels like a popularity contest… I guess it's a sore spot for me, because there's so many bands that I think deserve to be in before other bands that are in.
"Yeah, an artist like Joan Jett — a trailblazer, right? Been doing it forever. And then put her career up against JUDAS PRIEST or IRON MAIDEN. And I don't understand what the difference is — why one gets in, and why one doesn't get in. It doesn't make sense to me. But I digress.
"It would be an honor, I think, for any and every band to get asked to be inducted, but I don't know what the process is, and to me, [for PRIEST] to be nominated and passed over, that's mind-blowing to me," Stix concluded.
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that group's first year of eligibility.
Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other "criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll," which is, of course, open to interpretation.
Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.
DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn't get inducted until 2016.
PRIEST was on the ballot for Rock Hall induction this year, but failed to receive enough votes to make the class of 2020.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, PRIEST was previously on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list.
PRIEST singer Rob Halford said that he "would love" to see his band inducted into the Rock Hall. "I think we deserve it," he said. "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 at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame."
Last year, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris said that he didn't care that his band has yet to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame despite the fact that it has been eligible since 2004.
"I don't mind that we're not in things like that," he told Rolling Stone. "I don't think about things like that. It's very nice if people give you awards or accolades, but we didn't get into the business for that sort of thing. I'm certainly not going to lose sleep if we don't get any sort of award, not just that one, any award. I don't think we deserve to have this or that necessarily. With what we do, whatever comes of it is great. Whatever doesn't come of it is great, too."
MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson made headlines in 2018 when he referred to the Rock Hall as "an utter and complete load of bollocks" during a spoken-word gig in Australia, insisting that the Cleveland-based institution is "run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn't know rock and roll if it hit them in the face."