JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner was interviewed by Sweetwater editorial director Mitch Gallagher during "Making Hard Rock Look Easy", a three-day recording master class which was held October 20-22 at Sweetwater's campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for JUDAS PRIEST's follow-up to 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" album, Richie said: "I just flew straight back out of the U.K., straight to Sweetwater. We've just been in the studio for a couple of months putting songs together. We haven't started the recording process yet, but we're recording demos; we're recording songs that work without the production to save them, if you know what I mean. But the core value… We're putting down some grassroots ideas and fleshing them out for the next PRIEST record. So we're gonna go into the studio to start recording in January. So it should be out sometime next year. But we're not touring next year. So we're gonna be touring, hopefully, in 2018."
Faulkner also revealed that he is putting together a touring "guitar event" which will hit the road in 2017. He explained: "I saw this thing about Stradivarius violins. And you know they've created some of the most beautiful music the world's ever known, but what's happening is people are buying them as an investment and putting them in a bank vault. And the same is starting to happen with vintage guitars, and no one's hearing… When Jimmy Page played the '59 Les Paul, that's not being experienced anymore. So the idea is loosely based around that — getting these guitars out of bank vaults, putting them in a scenario where people can experience them, people can hear them."
He continued: "I keep talking about the tribe that we're all a part of. We're all guitar nuts, we're all music nuts, and whether you're a drummer or a guitar player or whatever, the guitar is an integral part of music for the last fifty, sixty years. So it's getting those guitars out of retirement and into where I believe they should be. It's all about that. So it's all about uniting the tribe, getting the people together. We're calling it 'Cult Of Guitar', 'cause that's what we're a part of — it's a cult of guitar. We're nuts; we're all nuts, we're nerds. [We're] inviting some friends down, getting their guitars out, talking about why they play them, why it's got one volume knob, why it's got this, why it's got that, why they choose to play it, who turned them on to guitar, and then having a big old jam at the end, with some friends coming down."
Faulkner spoke in more detail about the inspiration for the "Cult Of Guitar" tour, saying: "Part of it is, obviously, there are these idyllic instruments that we all listen to, and we all know, when you put on your record player, 'That's a '59,' or, 'That's a '63 Strat,' or whatever. But there's also, right across the gamut, it's all in your fingers. You don't have to have one of these [guitars]. This is what we all grew up on, but you can have an Epiphone, or you can have Brian May's Red Special, it's all in the fingers. So it goes right from these revered instruments right to… You can take something away from it and go and do your own thing on a guitar that you create, if you want, or it cost a couple of hundred bucks, whatever it is. It's not about that, at the end of the day; it's about you and what statement you wanna make on the guitar. And again, it's a coming together of the clan that I'm a part of and why we're all doing this. So it should be an exciting thing."
"Redeemer Of Souls" was released in July 2014. The follow-up to 2008's double-disc concept album "Nostradamus" was billed as a return to JUDAS PRIEST's heavy-metal roots.