Judas the Priest will play on their upcoming tour as a four-piece after guitarist and producer Andy Sneap was removed from their live lineup.
The legendary work of metal rescheduled the 2022 North American tour starting March 4 in Peoria, Illinois, with tickets available through Ticketmaster. Initially, a statement from the band suggested the separation was good, with Sneap leaving to concentrate on production – including working on Judas Priest’s next album.
Judas Priest said, “Hello maniacs! We’re chomping on the British Steel bit to get back on the world tour… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as a more powerful, relentless four -piece heavy metal band – with Glenn [Tipton] coming out on stage with us here and there as before. Many thanks to Andy for all you have done and continue to be on the production team for our new album… See you all headbangers! ”
Sneap issued a statement [via Blabbermouth] explain that the decision does not have to be mutual:
“Rob [Halford] He called me on Monday and said they wanted to continue as a four-piece, which I found even more frustrating after this time but I respected his decision because they clearly had a vision of how. they want it. It’s always a temporary situation, and like I said before, I always help the band in any way I can, and that also applies to going forward. I’ve been a big fan of the band since the early ’80s and it’s shocking to think of playing on stage with guys and frankly awesome at the beginning with such a short announcement. We’re moving forward with the new album next month and look forward to doing a killer follow-up to Power of fire.”
Sneap made Power of fire and initially joined Judas Priest to replace guitarist Glenn Tipton, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018 and now only performs with the band on stage on rare occasions. In Tipton’s place, Sneap – who cut his teeth as a founding member of British thrash band Sabbat – performed well alongside fellow axeman Richie Faulkner.
The news is even more surprising for a couple of reasons: The one that Priest is known for their twin guitar attacks, along with Tipton and former member KK Downing giving an iconic one-two blow in the decades before Faulkner replaced Downing. Another is that Faulkner recently underwent emergency life-saving heart surgery after his the aorta ruptures at the stage during the band’s gig at the Louder Than Life festival in September. The priest must be completely confident in his recovery so that he can be the lone guitarist in their tour lineup.
Faulkner’s health difficulties forced the band to postpone the rest of their fall U.S. tour to just a few outing performances, where the spring jaunt served as a new itinerary. Get tickets HERE.