Download lineup pleases Metal God Halford

Rob Halford couldn’t be happier that Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath will headline the 2016 Download festival.

The Metal God graced the Main Stage at Donington this year with Judas Priest – but said the bill needed more in the way of British heavy metal.

He believes that will be remedied when Sabbath take the Main Stage on Saturday, June 11, and Maiden close the event the following night.

Halford tells Metal Hammer: “It’s absolutely brilliant. I’m hoping to catch that if I can. I wonder if my two pence had something to do with that?

”As much as I love the American side of metal and rock, I thought it was a bit lacking on the British side of things last year. That’s been put right now. I wish we could have been on the bill too – it would have been absolutely massive to have three big British metal bands.

”But I’m absolutely stoked that Maiden and Sabbath are doing it, and I hope to grab an earful and an eyeful if I’m around at the time.”

Halford also reveals he’s been keeping himself busy with a new-found addiction to social media. “I’ve recently become a crack addict with my Instagram, with my solo stuff at RobHalfordLegacy,” he says. ”Every time it pings I have to check who’s joined or commented.

”It’s a lot of fun. We’ve got this instant metal piranha frenzy going on now, with fans getting on social media, and that’s the same with Metal Hammer too. I’ve got you guys loaded up on my iPhone, and every day I try to keep up to speed with everything.”

Priest will return to the studio next year to record the follow-up to 2014’s Redeemer Of Souls. They begin a European tour next month. The full Halford interview appears in the next issue of Metal Hammer magazine, on sale in November.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.