JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist: ‘We Wouldn’t Continue If We Didn’t Feel A Fire Burning Inside Us’

Joe Bosso of MusicRadar.com recently conducted an interview with guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner of British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MusicRadar.com: So Glenn, you’re stopping touring to make records. That’s kind of a radical approach these days.

Glenn Tipton: “Yes, I suppose so. Well, you know, we’re not as young as we once were — that certainly has to be considered. Really, to me, the great thing is to have more time on our hands. We’ll do at least one more album, if not two. We’ve already done some writing with Richie, and we’re looking forward to making a record with him. There’s a lot of options open to us.”

MusicRadar.com: Richie, does this feel weird to you? You’ve just joined a band that’s doing its last tour.

Richie Faulkner: “But there will be a future, that’s the main thing. There will be more music. I still can’t believe this is all happening to me. It was a huge honor to even be considered to play with JUDAS PRIEST. To be with them on stage every night is unreal.”

MusicRadar.com: Glenn, when K.K. [former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth “K.K.” Downing] left the band, was it a horribly painful time for everybody?

Tipton: “It wasn’t easy. Ken e-mailed us last November that touring was a problem for him because of some wrist difficulties he was having. He’d obviously thought about it quite a bit. It was a shock to all of us. For a while, we thought it might be the end of the band. We didn’t even try to look for another guitar player for three months, just in case Ken changed his mind. But he was set that he was leaving. There wasn’t any bad blood or anything — we totally understood his attitude. I’m sure the decision to leave was hard for him, and we respected that. Still, it left us wondering what to do. We’d already announced the farewell tour, so we had a conference call with everybody in the band to try to figure things out. The general feeling was that the fans wanted to hear Priest one last time, so if we could find the guy, a new guitar player, then we would do the tour. And before you new it, we found Richie. It was amazing! He fit in immediately. He committed himself fully, and he made the decision for us to go back out on tour a very easy one. Now we can do what we want to do, which is play PRIEST music to all of our fans around the world.”

MusicRadar.com: Glenn, JUDAS PRIEST have been pioneers in the world of heavy metal. Do you think you can still be innovators, or is it inherently a young person’s game?

Tipton: “I think we have a lot to offer. We wouldn’t even continue if we didn’t feel a fire burning inside us. That’s the truth. Every time we start a new album, I’m excited to see what happens. You can’t always guarantee that everything is going to be magic, but right now, with the touring going so well and the fans loving us, we feel we’re in a good place. We have momentum and energy — and that equals creativity.”

Read the entire interview from MusicRadar.com.