JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill spoke to The Aquarian Weekly about why he and his bandmates reneged on their decision to remove guitarist Andy Snape from their touring lineup. The U-turn came days later PRIESToriginal announcement, in which the group said it planned to resume operations “50 Heavy Metal Years” tour as “an even more powerful, ruthless four-piece heavy metal band.” snap later released a statement expressing disappointment at the decision, with fans understandably angry at the band’s choice to forgo its classic two-guitar attack sound. Some even called for the return of guitarist KK Downingwho participated PRIEST in 1970 and remained in the group until 2011.
“Then It Turned Out That” [PRIEST‘s longtime guitarist] Glenn Tipton couldn’t do it ‘firepower’ tour [in 2018]the first thing [singer] To rob [Halford] said was, ‘Well, we’ll continue as a foursome. We started as a foursome, so we can do it again'” Hill recalled. “I’m a pragmatist, I see positive things in most things, so at first I thought, ‘Yeah, it will work.’ Then, when you start to think, you think, “No. Really, all our success is due to the two guitars.”
“We have decided to Andy Snape involved in that tour [in 2018]† Ian continued. †Andy was the perfect choice. He had just produced ‘firepower’, so he knew all the new songs we were going to play. He was also a fan of the band, so he knew all the old stuff. He was the perfect choice. Then suddenly, To rob gets the idea to do the four part thing again. He called Andy up and told him. Andy thought it was fine. But then we thought: ‘Something has happened’ [fan] comments and if we do, now is probably not the time.’ So we made a quick U-turn and asked: Andy if he did it again. Thank goodness he said yes.”
on January 15, JUDAS PRIEST released a statement announcing that it is reversing its decision to tour as a foursome, explaining that the band members “have unanimously decided” to continue their live shows “unchanged” with Halford† Hill† snap† Richie Faulkner (guitar) and Travis Scott (drums).
Last month, Halford admitted to Billboard that PRIESTHis short-lived plan to embark on its 50th anniversary tour as a quartet was his idea. “Of course it exploded in my face, didn’t it?” he said. “To have done something like a quartet now just wouldn’t have been right, ridiculous, insane, crazy, off my rocker, have a cup of tea and relax. It’s a little bit of water under the bridge now. I think my heart was in the right place, but I’m not the first musician with a crazy idea.”
snapwho is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBATHstarted touring with PRIEST four years ago after tipton – who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease eight years ago after being affected by the condition at least half a decade earlier – announced in early 2018 that he would be undertaking touring activities in support of “firepower”†
Hill is the only surviving original member of PRIESTwhich was founded in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and tipton signed in 1974. To rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then returned to PRIEST in 2003. take down broke up with the band over a decade ago and was replaced by Faulkner†
In January, take down said in an interview that it was “very, very strange” for PRIEST to even think about the possibility of going out as a quartet. “I’m just like everyone else. I’m totally stunned,” he told the classic rock show “Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen.” “It was just so extreme and insulting in a way, I think, and offensive to… Glenn also. It was kind of a slap in the face, saying, ‘Okay, you two did it, but we think only one man can do what…’ It made us and everything we’ve done and made, saying it was all superfluous really, and didn’t really have the value that… I’m sure Glenn will agree with me that it is doing have a value.”
PRIESTThe current North American tour kicked off on March 4 at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois and will end on April 13 at the FirstOntario Center in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Support on the draw comes from QUEENSRŸCHE†
JUDAS PRIEST was forced to postpone about two dozen North American shows on his rescheduled 50th anniversary tour in late September after Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during an occurrence in the Louder than life festival. Ultimately, he underwent 10-hour life-saving surgery at the Rudd Heart and Lung Center of the UofL Health – Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.