JUDAS PRIEST's Richie Faulkner was the featured guest on BBC's "The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker" during the "Rock God" segment. Richie picked Jimi Hendrix and stated about his choice (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I still remember, as most of us do, the first time the sonic psychedelia leaped out from the grooves in the vinyl. My father was also a massive fan and was passing the torch to his young son.
"Watching Jimi's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival on a VHS tape was also otherworldly," he continued. "Exploding out of the shadows to a cover of Howlin' Wolf's 'Killing Floor', a pink feather boa draped around his neck and a black Stratocaster thrust forward, this young boy from London was hooked.
"Jimi never seemed to be brash or loud as a person and let his music do the talking.
"As a guitar player, I always look to Jimi for guidance and inspiration if I get lost writing a song or can't find the right fluster of notes," Richie added. "He always brings me back to the core of why I was inspired to be a guitar player in the first place.
"Jimi is my rock god, as he still inspires millions to this day."
Faulkner is currently promoting "Horns For A Halo", the debut album from ELEGANT WEAPONS, his new project also featuring singer Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW, MSG). The LP, which was released on May 26 via Nuclear Blast, was recorded with 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, which is rounded out by Dave Rimmer (URIAH HEEP) on bass and Christopher Williams (ACCEPT) on drums, will hit the road in Europe beginning in June and running through July. The trek will include performances with PANTERA, festival appearances and headlining shows.
Faulkner joined JUDAS PRIEST in 2011 as the replacement for the band's founding guitarist K.K. Downing.
In September 2021, Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during PRIEST's performance at the Louder Than Life festival, just a short distance from Rudd Heart and Lung Center at UofL Health - Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. It took the hospital's cardiothoracic surgery team, led by Dr. Siddharth Pahwa and also including Drs. Brian Ganzel and Mark Slaughter, approximately 10 hours to complete the surgery, an aortic valve and ascending aorta replacement with hemiarch replacement.
After Louder Than Life, JUDAS PRIEST postponed the remainder of the U.S. dates on its 50th-anniversary tour, dubbed "50 Heavy Metal Years". The shows were rescheduled for March and April 2022.
Last September, Faulkner revealed that he underwent a second heart surgery in early August 2022 to fix "a hole in the repair." He added: "There was a leak — I'd basically sprung a leak in there — and it was causing a sack to form around my heart. So they found it just before the European leg [of PRIEST's 2022 tour]."