Interview with Ross Halfin

by Anna Denejkina

The Ultimate Metallica – Photographs by Ross Halfin

Written for The Music Network 

Originally published on November 10, 2010


“I always thought I would be a professional photographer… Being young and stupid I thought I was better than everyone else.” – A prologue from the now legendary rock photographer Ross Halfin, who is today on the eve of his debut Australian exhibition – The Ultimate Metallica.
“I think we’re a lot older and a little wiser,” commented Halfin on his Load/Reload hiatus with the band. “I quite enjoy shooting them now more than earlier on. It’s harder to get them to do anything, but once it happens it’s always constructive.”

An exhibition spanning a twenty-five year history, Ross Halfin has captured “every drop of sweat, every molecule of saliva, every out-of-place nose hair” as stated by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich in his foreword to Halfin’s new photographic book, incidentally launching during his Australian showing from November 10-20 in Paddington’s Blender Gallery.

“I wanted a book that every fan of Metallica would like and want to look at again and again,” said Halfin, who decided to let a friend pick each image that eventually made the cut for ‘The Ultimate Metallica’ book.

“I didn’t pick any of the pictures for the book.” He said. “I let a good friend of mine -Noriaki Watanabe – go through my whole file and pick what he thought people would like to see. He’s a Metallica fan and I thought it would be good to do it from a fans perspective rather than mine.”

Shooting Metallica from their chaotic beginnings to their current status as one of the most dominant metal bands in the world, Ross described his favourite photograph of the outfit as an image taken back stage at a festival in Lisbon. “What you don’t see is we were surrounded by about two hundred people.” He commented. “I like the fact that they focused on me and ignored the mayhem around them. A simple picture but one that works.”