RICHIE FAULKNER On New JUDAS PRIEST Album - "It's Not Firepower 2; It's Got Its Own Legs"
March 31, 2022, a year ago
Guesting on Metal From The Inside, Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner discussed his recent healh scare, as well as the follow-up to the Firepower album, which is currently in the works.
Faulkner: "It's different to Firepower. You can hear where it's coming from. It's not even Firepower 2. It's hard to say anything these days without people getting... if I say it's like a continuation of Firepower, people think it's Firepower 2. It's got its own character, it's got its own legs, and we're looking forward to releasing it on to the world when it's done."
Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner is our special guest on BraveWords' Streaming For Vengeance this Saturday as he discusses restarting the band’s 50 Heavy Metal Years tour after COVID temporarily put the Metal Gods on hold. But in early January, Judas Priest were quick to announce that guitarist Andy Sneap was going to “step away to refocus on studio work, including upcoming Judas Priest material,” which meant all eyes were on Faulkner (and occasionally Glenn Tipton) to riff away at all the Priest classics. Alone. As they tour as a “relentless four piece heavy metal band." So the uproar could be heard around the globe and Priest ended up changing their mind as social media platforms cried out and Rob Halford told Billboard, “That blew up in my face, didn’t it?”
“Obviously we know about the kickback that came about from the fans,” Faulkner tells BraveWords in excerpt. “But there was a section of time there when that was what exactly was going to happen. That was the announcement that went out and it was my job to make it happen from a guitar point of view. We rethought that, but there was a time where that was exactly what was going to happen. I was thinking about how that was going to happen and how I was going to make that happen. And how it was going to be put into place. I had a few ideas about how that was going to happen. It was going to be a challenge of course. And obviously I don’t have four hands and there was going to be a different approach to it. Thank goodness there was that much concern. If there wasn’t that much passion from the fans it would’ve been a sad thing really. If there was a positive to take out of all that, it was it was that people cared so much about their band Judas Priest. We had no choice but to listen and it was a healthy thing to happen. Fair enough and all is well that ends well.
BraveWords: A rare example of social media having a positive purpose and a positive outcome.
Faulkner: “Exactly! You can’t help but listen to a movement that strong. And it was really fast. It’s funny, if it was 1975 or 1980, you wouldn’t have had that response. It would’ve just happened and we would’ve gone out on the road like that and it would’ve been a different outcome. In 2022 we have the luxury of having that connection with the fan base and we can have the fans tell us what they think and we act accordingly. So, it’s quite a blessing really."
BraveWords: In 1975, you’d be waiting months after the fact, as this glut a fan mail shows up and you start opening it and realize that you made the wrong decision.
Faulkner: “Absolutely. In 1975 it might’ve been one of those things where, the band would’ve made a decision and felt the consequences on the road. It’s just one of those things. Some bands didn’t stand the test of time for decisions that they made."
BraveWords: So let’s be frank here. You and Sneap are like two kids in a candy store. Do you fanboy about this opportunity of a lifetime to be able to play some of the greatest heavy-metal songs of all time.
Faulkner: “Yes, and it’s interesting that you say that, because we talk about it all the time. We talk about how we can improve it, what can we do next, what songs we can do. It’s no secret the Priest have always gone out with one set and they stuck with that set for the duration of the tour. Only for the last couple of years, we’ve changed the set around as we move through the tour, and with different countries we change the set. I don’t know if it’s purely because of me and Andy’s influence, but we do give them a little bit of an elbow suggesting different songs. Like ‘What about that song or what about this song’. We’re always discussing songs like ‘Island Of Domination’ or ‘Tyrant’. And sometimes we have these discussions with the rest of the band and sometimes they find their way into the set. As fans and because we were on the outside for so long and now we are on the inside, we do have a different opinion and a different viewpoint. And we do talk about it quite a lot about what we can do differently. We are both really proud to be up there. It’s a huge honour to be up there playing and we have lots of enthusiasm playing with a band that is celebrating 50 years, one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time.”
Faulkner also chats with us about recording the new studio album and his thoughts on the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and if he cares if Priest get the nod?
For more information about Streaming For Vengeance, visit this location.
Upcoming Judas Priest dates are listed below.
31 - MGM National Harbor - Washington, DC
2 - Foxwoods Casino Arena - Mashantucket, CT
4 - Paul E. Tsongas Arena - Lowell, MA
7 - Halifax Scotiabank Centre - Halifax, Nova Scotia
10 - Videotron Center - Quebec City, Quebec
11 - Place Bell - Montreal, Quebec
13 - FirstOntario Centre - Hamilton, Ontario