How Much Longer Can JUDAS PRIEST Keep Touring And Recording? RICHIE FAULKNER Responds
February 12, 2024
In a new interview with Mexico's Summa Inferno, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner was asked how much longer he thinks the band can keep touring and recording. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, it's not for me to say really. Those guys were the originators of PRIEST metal and they're still doing it and it's up to them, really. If they ever feel like they don't wanna do it or they can't do it anymore, that's for them to decide.
"When I joined the band, it was only for one tour, and that was gonna be the farewell tour. So, obviously, I've had to think about what I'm gonna do after PRIEST from that time. For all I know, that was gonna be the only tour, [and] then I'd have to do something after that. So it's always been a part of my mindset. But as long as PRIEST are here and we all wanna do it together and they wanna do it and push on, then I'm here for it. I'm here to fly the flag for them however long they wanna do it."
Back in 2019, PRIEST bassist Ian Hill told Canada's "Thorn Of Rock" radio show that there were no plans for the band to retire anytime soon. "We've done it for 50 years, and it would just seem strange if we stopped," he said. "Having said that, we thoroughly enjoy what we're doing, which is a main motivation these days. And there's no reason to stop. As long as can put on quality performances and put out quality music, we'll keep on doing so. And as long as the fine people who are the PRIEST fans are happy with that, there's no reason for us to stop."
Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Singer Rob Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003. Original guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Faulkner.
Halford was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020 after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years. In July of that year, Rob underwent prostatectomy, an operation where the entire prostate gland is removed plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles. After more cancer was found in 2021, he went through radiation treatments and eventually got then all-clear. He also had an appendectomy after a tumor was discovered on his appendix.
Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during the band's performance at the Louder Than Life festival in September 2021. Faulkner was rushed to the UofL Health - Jewish Hospital where the cardiothoracic surgery team needed approximately 10 hours to complete a life-saving surgery.
Halford's cancer battle and Faulkner's acute cardiac aortic dissection are not the only health scares the members of PRIEST have had to deal with in recent years. Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease more than 15 years ago but announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of PRIEST's latest album, "Firepower". He was replaced by "Firepower" producer Andy Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT.
JUDAS PRIEST's next studio album, "Invincible Shield", will arrive on March 8 via Sony Music.
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