In a new interview with the Herald-Whig newspaper, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner again discussed the band’s recent announcement that they would be embarking on the next leg of their 50-year tour as a four-piece. Asked if this was just a way for the rest of the band to mock him as a newcomer again, Richie said:
“Yeah, about a week later we cancelled that announcement and went back to a five-man lineup. But at first I got that impression. It was something along the lines of, ‘I’ve got a problem now; maybe they’re just testing me, so to speak.’ But the fans expressed their opinion on it, and we listened. We’d be crazy not to take that into consideration, really. So we solved that problem, and we’re coming back as a five-man lineup. Basically, we’re going to go back to normal. It’s going to be that five-man lineup, that two-guitar attack that PRIEST is known and loved for. So it’s all good.
PRIEST were part of our culture, really. In terms of my heavy metal music consciousness, I always knew who JUDAS PRIEST were. I knew the songs “Another Thing Coming” and “Breaking The Law.” It would have been interesting, of course, in a four-piece lineup, like [BLACK] SABBATH or OZZY [OSBOURNE] or a few other bands. But I think the fan voice is very important, like I said, and we listened. You have to pay attention to the fans. They’re the lifeblood of this band, and any band that gives concerts and puts out music. They’re part of what keeps any band alive. So I think you have to respect that and acknowledge it.