RushOnRock recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

RushOnRock: This tour has been billed as a farewell tour. Are you treating it as such?

Tipton: It’s obviously difficult to say never again. We’ve played a few shows already on the world tour and the fans have been incredible. It’s just been fantastic. I’m stood there every night thinking, “Can I give this up?” But this is definitely our last world tour. Doing these things takes a chunk out of your life. And we need to give the younger bands a chance! We’re not doing another major world tour so this is the farewell world tour. But we have a new album that we’ve written and we need to find the time to finish that off. We need to get back into the studio to wrap it up and already time is very limited this side of Christmas.

RushOnRock: For so many years K.K. Downing has been your wingman. How are you adjusting to life without him by your side?

Tipton: It’s been weird. But K.K. decided to retire and we have to respect his decision. He told us last December but we didn’t say anything and gave him some time — probably hoping he’d change his mind. But he didn’t. He’s had some problems with his wrist and I think he looked at another world tour and didn’t think he could pull it off again. It’s a daunting prospect for all of us. Ken must have thought seriously about his decision and we wondered if he would change his mind.

RushOnRock: You could have plumped for a big name replacement but you put your faith in [Richie Faulkner] — a homegrown hero. Was that the idea?

Tipton: In the end the fact that he’s British was important to the band. And all credit to him he’s come in and been brilliant. We know there’s a lot of guys who would have loved to have played on the final PRIEST world tour. And we’re talking about a lot of experienced and well-known guys. But we just didn’t think it was right to go down that road. It’s nice that Rich is British because we’re a very British band. And he’s enjoyed his time with us from the word go. He’s got so much confidence — he said, “Bring it on.” I said to him at the start, “If there are any tricky parts and you need me to show you how to play them, then I’m here.” After an hour or two, he was showing me stuff!

Read the entire interview from RushOnRock.