JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner spoke to Guitar World magazine about the status of his previously announced solo project. He said: "I'd like to do it more as a band thing. I wouldn't want it to be called RICHIE FAULKNER'S RAINBOW. I worked on a project with a few people during the pandemic and we're in talks at the moment with labels. I don't want to give too much away, but when the pandemic hit I thought maybe it's time to get a batch of songs and get them into shape and put them out.”
Asked if it will be a metal album, Richie said: "It's always hard to talk about your stuff without crawling up your own ass. I think it's heavy, but it's not as 'metal.' It's a bit more bluesy. You can hear that it's coming from a guitarist in PRIEST, but it's enough of a departure to sound like something outside of the band. There's some [Jimi] Hendrix references in there and stuff that's a bit more groove-oriented."
Faulkner previously talked about his solo project in February during an appearance on the "In The Trenches With Ryan Roxie" video podcast. He explained at the time: "I haven't really spoken much about it publicly, but there is something I've kind of been [putting] together during the COVID period. I mean, I know we're still going through it but there's been a lot of downtime. So I've used that time to kind of get some songs I've been working on, get them together, polish them up, get some people together that I respect in the music business and record some stuff. And I haven't spoken a lot about it. It's in the process of being finalized, and we're looking for deals and stuff. We're looking for deals at the moment, we're looking for record labels, so I don't wanna get too far ahead of myself."
Asked if the album will feature guest musicians or it will be presented as a complete solo effort, Richie said: "Well, I've always been into the band. It's never been like RICHIE FAULKNER'S RAINBOW or anything like that. I've always been into the band — with the band name and the four or five guys or girls in it rather than a solo project. But also, when I joined PRIEST, I didn't wanna sort of get the gig and then, straight away, 'Oh, now listen to my solo thing.' PRIEST, they welcomed me in, they gave me a voice, they gave me an opinion, and I felt like this was my band. They've made me a part of it and I gave back a thousand percent. So I didn't wanna sort of then do my own thing and abuse that opportunity, if you know what I mean. But 10 or 11 years in, I feel that fans know that I'm not gonna abuse that opportunity. I've given 10, 11, almost 12 years [to PRIEST] now, so I felt, with the pandemic as well, with a bit of downtime, maybe put some stuff into that."
As for the musical direction of his solo album, Faulkner said: "As far as stylistically, it's always hard to tell, really. You just do what you do. You can hear where the roots are, from PRIEST, but I think it's different enough to be its own monster. And then hopefully someone else interprets it in their own way and hears something completely different to what I hear, hopefully."
Faulkner joined PRIEST in 2011 as the replacement for original guitarist K.K. Downing.
Richie was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris.
Faulkner and his girlfriend Mariah Lynch, daughter of former DOKKEN guitarist George Lynch, welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Daisy Mae, in July 2020.
Last September, Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during PRIEST's performance at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky. Faulkner was rushed to the UofL Health - Jewish Hospital where the cardiothoracic surgery team needed approximately 10 hours to complete a life-saving surgery.