JUDAS PRIEST's RICHIE FAULKNER Says 'Firepower' Is 'A Forward-Thinking Album'
February 20, 2018
Lords Of Metal recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Lords Of Metal: When did you start with the actual preparation and song writing for [the] new [JUDAS PRIEST] album, "Firepower", and what was the game plan that you had?
Richie: "Some of the melodies and some of the ideas for 'Firepower' were written a long time ago already as I always write both on the road and at home. I continuously record melodies, riffs and choruses, and I also did that right after finishing 'Redeemer Of Souls', so some of the ideas already started back then. After having had some downtime after the 'Redeemer' tour, we entered the studio to start putting our ideas together. That's when the character of the album takes shape and the vibe of the record is established. Of course, you never know what you're going to end up with, but the more we progressed through the writing stages, we realized that these songs were shaping up to be great and progressed in comparison with 'Redeemer Of Souls'. It's a new thing, it's a forward-thinking album and it was pretty apparent that we had something that was firing on all cylinders."
Lords Of Metal: How is it for you to work with the other guys that are from another generation? Does this bring new influences and hunger in the band, as the general comment is that your entrance has really invigorated PRIEST?
Richie: "Maybe it does, but from a guitar player's point of view, you could say that we're from the same generation as we both love Jimi Hendrix, CREAM and such acts. I started with these and then progressed to [BLACK] SABBATH, PRIEST, UFO, [IRON] MAIDEN and later on also bands like METALLICA. Maybe there were different influences in there, but it all came from the same blueprint. Of course, when I started listening to PRIEST as a teenager, that influence went in there as well and if you analyze why it worked so well as it did it's probably because all those influences were part of my musical make-up. So when we started playing, performing and writing for PRIEST, not only did I know the importance of the band and what it meant to people, but I also knew how to create those songs and how to convey emotion with heavy metal music. It was a very natural and organic process, because I've grown up with them."
Lords Of Metal: The production of the album was done by Tom Allom and Andy Sneap. So why did you choose for this combination and what do you think about the actual end result sound-wise yourself?
Richie: "We were kicking around producer names at the beginning of the process, and that was one of the things that we wanted to do differently compared to 'Redeemer Of Souls'. One of the things that we could refine was the production, and when we were talking about producers, different names came up, like Tom Allom, as he had already worked with the band on some of the classic albums, and Andy Sneap, being a more modern metal producer of which we really liked the sound. So when we were discussing these two names, someone came up with the idea to combine forces and let them both do the production job. It was one of those lightbulb moments, because it was never been done before with PRIEST, but it just worked out great. It could have gone horribly wrong, with clashing egos and things like that, but it was a great marriage of a classic producer and a more modern producer. They were really instrumental in getting the sound and the energy right for 'Firepower', and I think that they did a fantastic job."
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