Andy Sneap has said he’s disappointed by Judas Priest’s decision to continue as a four-piece, after being informed by Rob Halford he will not be rejoining the band to continue their 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour.
It was confirmed yesterday that Judas Priest will recommence their run of 50th anniversary live shows without their second electric guitar player, who was originally recruited in 2018 to fill in for the Firepower tour.
Sneap, who co-produced that album, issued a statement to Blabbermouth (opens in new tab) that said, while he's disappointed with the overall decision, it’s one he respects.
“Rob called me last Monday and said they wanted to move on as a four-piece,” Sneap commented, “which I find incredibly disappointing after this amount of time.
“But I respect his decision as they obviously have a vision how they want this to play out,” he added. "This always was a temporary situation, and like I've said before, I'll always help the band any way I can, and that applies going forward also.”
As per Judas Priest’s original statement, Sneap will leave the lineup in order to refocus on his production duties, and will return to the studio with the band in order to create a “killer” new record.
“I've been a huge fan of the band since the early '80s and it was mind-blowing to play onstage with the guys and quite frankly terrifying in the beginning at such short notice,” Sneap said. “We are moving forward with the new album next month and look forward to making a killer follow-up to Firepower.”
Despite starting the 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour as a quintet, the show – delayed due to Richie Faulkner’s medical emergency – will get back on the road this March as a streamlined four-piece for the first time since 1974.
In their statement, Judas Priest said they were “chomping at the bit” to return to touring, and voiced their excitement at continuing as “an even more powerful, relentless four-piece heavy metal band”.
They later confirmed that Tipton, who stepped back from performing in 2018 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's, will be making sporadic cameos across the tour.
Faulkner is also set to continue his role as lead guitarist after recovering from an aortic aneurysm he suffered onstage last year.
To find out more, visit Judas Priest’s website (opens in new tab).