Richie Faulkner: ”Judas Priest came from a place of progressive blues. The seeds of metal were sewn through the blues – that's the true heritage of heavy metal”

Guitarist Richie Faulkner of the band Judas Priest performs onstage at Toyota Arena on November 07, 2022 in Ontario, California.
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

When Richie Faulkner stepped in for legendary metal shredder K.K. Downing in 2011, he couldn't have possibly known what was in store for him. And he certainly couldn't have imagined that 12 years later, he'd still be holding down the fort as one of Judas Priest's two lead guitarists.

“When I first joined Priest, they were at a point in their career where it would be their last tour,” Faulkner tells Guitar World. “And I remember having a conversation with Glenn Tipton when I joined the band about the fact that Judas Priest weren't going to be around in 20 years [Laughs]. Fortunately, that was 12 years ago, and Priest is still rockin' and rollin'. But when I replaced K.K Downing, that wasn't the plan. And since then, it's always been on my mind that I'm going to have to do something after Priest.”

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.