A little less than two hours prior Judas Priest’s performance (HERE you can read our concert report; in Slovenian language) on Slovenian metal festival MetalDays I had an honour to speak with the band’s guitarist Richie Faulkner.
ROCKER.SI: At first welcome in Slovenia. Since you will be performing in historically and geographically rich Tolmin first question seems appropriate: Did you manage to visit any of its sights?
RICHIE FAULKNER: Since we are staying Trieste we did not have much time – we arrived today. During our two hour ride we were really amazed by the beauty of your country. Next time we have to be accommodated closer.
ROCKER.SI : In March you released your recent studio album Firepower (HERE you can read our review; in Slovenian language) which did and is still doing very well and has been also very well received by both, fans and reviewers. Are you satisfied with the results?
RICHIE FAULKNER: Absolutely. Like with my first Judas Priest album [Redeemer of Souls (2014)] we only had one intention: To give 1000 percent.
According to the results we made it. USA, Brazil or Europe … Everywhere we ago people love Firepower. It seems like the record really connected our fans.
ROCKER.SI: According to data online you had recorded around 25 songs for the album from which you selected 14. Can you reveal us any of unused titles?
RICHIE FAULKNER: Correct. During the sessions we recorded around 25 songs that were left in different stages. Some are 25 percent done, some 75 percent and so on. We are talking about ideas that could appear on new album if we will record one. It is the usual writing and recording practice. Some songs have very strong identities and some do not.
Since we are talking about working titles I can name two: “Trial by Fire” and “Songs of Thunder”.
ROCKER.SI: What are your favourite tracks off the new album? I guess the choice is not easy?
RICHIE FAULKNER: You are right. Since I have been with them from the very beginning, it is not an easy job. I love “Rising from Ruins”, “Traitors Gate”, “Necromancer” and “Firepower”. I also dig “Sea of Red” because of its sentimental value, “Spectre” and “Lone Wolf”.
ROCKER.SI: Which of the new songs would you like to perform live?
RICHIE FAULKNER: That’s a good question. The tour started with “Firepower”, “Lightning Strike” and “Evil Never Dies”. During this leg we have changed the latter with “Rising from Ruins”. No one knows what the future holds. Since we have just released a video for “No Surrender” I guess that you will be hearing it soon.
Concerning my wishes I would like to play also “Traitors Gate”, “Necromancer” and “Spectre”. It would also have been interesting to play “Sea of Red”.
ROCKER.SI: Do you have any special rituals before hitting the stage?
RICHIE FAULKNER: Not really. Me, Scott [Travis] and Andy [Sneap] are having so called “warming up room” where we perform various tracks that could appear on the set list. Sometimes we are also visited by Rob [Halford] and Ian [Hill]. Last time we played “Hot Rockin'”, “The Sentinel” and “Delivering the Goods”.
ROCKER.SI: Since Mr. Tipton is having health issues next two questions seem appropriate: Will Andy Sneap become a permanent member of Judas Priest? Do you plan to record new album with him?
RICHIE FAULKNER: The plans have not been made yet and Glenn is also still in a bend. Decision of any kind will be made unanimously.
Concerning Andy’s role I can only say that he will be the first person whom we will contact if band will record once again. His and Tom’s [Allom] roles on Firepower were really incredible.
ROCKER.SI: In 2011 you have replaced K. K. Downing. What was the most important thing that you have learnt during this time?
RICHIE FAULKNER: I have learnt many, many things. If I have to name the main thing I would say that I always give 1000 percent, that I always do my best. The same can be also said for the other members. If they are not 1000 percent behind something they do not do it.
ROCKER.SI: Do you plan to make any special concerts with K. K. Downing in the future?
RICHIE FAULKNER: Not that I am aware of. I mean K. K. made it clear when he had left the band. If I am correct, he was not in a touch with the band ever since.
ROCKER.SI: Since Judas Priest are known as a very private band Downing’s announcement that he will be issuing his autobiography in September has not gone unnoticed. Can we expect the same thing from any other Judas Priest members?
RICHIE FAULKNER: Yes, we try to keep our internal conflicts out of the public, therefore I also understood why the announcement has raised so much dust.
Concerning the other members I cannot say anything. But it is clear that they have more than enough stories to tell.
ROCKER.SI: Do you have any closing thoughts?
RICHIE FAULKNER: It is an honour to be here. About MetalDays we have always heard only the best things. I hope that we will be back sooner than in 27 years (laughs).
TUKAJ lahko dostopate do slovenske različice intervjuja.