JUDAS PRIEST's RICHIE FAULKNER: 'I'm Not A Great Leader'
July 22, 2023
In a new interview with Vikram Chandrasekar of Tales From The Road, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner was asked what he has learned about himself while working on "Horns For A Halo", the debut album from his ELEGANT WEAPONS project. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "That's a good question. I don't know, really. I'm not a great leader, put it that way. Obviously, I've spearheaded this band and I've put it together, but it doesn't come naturally. It's something I have to work at — for better or worse. And sometimes I think we realize what we're not good at and what we can improve on, and that's great. There's lots of things like that where you find out a lot about… Sometimes there's three or four of you pulling together. In this situation, it was a bit different. You have to write all the stuff, or you have to delegate to people that are better than you; that's another thing. Like the lyrics, for example. I'm not a big lyric guy. So instead of maybe having a subpar lyrical content, I would offer it out to people to write better lyrics than I can. So it's trying to get the better end product, even if it wasn't me doing it, if that makes sense — so delegating to people that are better [at doing something than I am]. Yeah, putting together a good team. Maybe because I'm feeling that I'm not a great leader, I need other people with me to make me sound better. [Laughs] You know what I mean? But it's definitely a learning experience."
"Horns For A Halo" was released on May 26 via Nuclear Blast. The LP was recorded with singer Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW, MSG),bassist Rex Brown (PANTERA, DOWN) and drummer Scott Travis (JUDAS PRIEST) and was helmed by acclaimed British producer Andy Sneap, who has previously worked with JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT, EXODUS and MEGADETH, among many others.
ELEGANT WEAPONS's current touring lineup consists of Faulkner, Romero, Dave Rimmer (URIAH HEEP) on bass and Christopher Williams (ACCEPT) on drums.
ELEGANT WEAPONS recently played its first-ever live shows in Europe. The trek included performances with PANTERA, festival appearances and headlining concerts.
Regarding the ELEGANT WEAPONS band name, Faulkner previously said: "In almost any endeavor, the craftsman needs the right tools for the job. For a musician, those tools are things like their instruments, their voices and the emotions that the right combination of all those can bring to the surface. You can also consider it a reference to the instruments we play, because they're almost antiquities now. So yes, it references our instruments and also this kind of music, where we're carrying on the tradition of the greats like SABBATH and DIO but also bands the guys are connected to, like RAINBOW, PANTERA and PRIEST."
Last month, Richie told Jorge Botas of Portugal's Metal Global that he plans on focusing on ELEGANT WEAPONS full-time once PRIEST has officially called it a day.
"PRIEST music is gonna be around a lot longer than we are," he said. "It's legendary music. They're genre-defining musicians and it's a genre-defining band. It will be around for a long time. But none of us gets out of this alive. That's just the reality of it. So if one day that call comes in and that's the last tour or the last album, whatever it is… I mean, I joined the band on what was the farewell tour. Luckily it wasn't, and we're still here 12 years later. [It's] fantastic. But at the time, I think I would have been silly not to consider what I was gonna do after the band, because of the circumstances of the tour. It was a farewell tour — it was [supposed to be] the last tour — so what am I gonna do after? So it's always been in the back of my mind. And this is a band that seems natural to me to continue with if that call ever came in."
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