It would be foolish to pretend that the Queen is Just Like You And I, but it appears that Her Majesty does share certain concerns in common with music fans the world over. More specifically, Elizabeth Windsor would like to know exactly why heavy metal is played at such an obscene volume… and she has taken the opportunity to pose this question to one of Britain’s greatest ambassadors for the genre.
The Queen’s query came to light in a new (paywalled) interview with Judas Priest’s Rob Halford conducted by The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick. Halford, a proud royalist since the Queen visited his hometown of Walsall in 1957, writes about a 2005 meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in his forthcoming autobiography Confess, and reveals that he breached royal protocol by reaching out for a handshake. It was at this point, according to Judas Priest’s frontman, that the monarch posed an age-old question.
“Heavy metal,” she said. “Why does it have to be so loud?”
Understandably taken aback by the query, Halford recalls that the best answer he could offer when placed on the spot, was: “It’s so we can bang our heads, Your Majesty.”
Given 15 years to reflect, Halford now has a more considered answer.
“Maybe it needed to be that loud so you could hear it above the steam hammers, and the welders, and the coal mining, and the heavy industry when we were growing up,” he tells McCormick.
So if you’re reading Lizzy, now you know. And if you’re stuck for a good toilet read at Buck Palace, as we at like to call it, Mr Halford’s autobiography, Confess, is published by Headline on September 29.
Rob Halford: Confess (opens in new tab)
In his new autobiography Confess, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford charts his five decades in the music industry, with the book described as “a celebration of the fire and power of heavy metal.”