Chad Bowar of About.com Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.About.com Heavy Metal: What has the reality of being in JUDAS PRIEST been like compared to what your initial thoughts and expectations were going in? Faulkner: You never quite know what to expect going into any situation. You have an idea or expectations. It's been pretty close. I always expected JUDAS PRIEST to be a proper old-school family unit in the sense that they're a band and it's a band of brothers. I always had the expectation that it wasn't a dictatorship, or it wasn't one guy ruling it. It wasn't that sort of situation. That was my expectation. Going into it, it just surpassed my expectations. It's such a family unit. It's really creative. It's that situation where everyone's opinion is valued and asked for. It benefits the whole group. I think that really superseded and surpassed my expectations. Obviously, all the traveling and the seeing different places around the world, you're meeting new people and all that sort of stuff. It's just been everything you would ever dream it to be and then some. About.com Heavy Metal: How long was the songwriting process for [the new JUDAS PRIEST album] "Redeemer Of Souls" before you guys finally went into the studio to lay everything down? Faulkner: It was stretched out over a couple of years. I think Glenn (Tipton, guitar) and Rob (Halford, vocals) had a couple of ideas kicking around at the start of 2011 before I joined the band. They had about three ideas roughly panned out. Then I came into the band. We embarked on the "Epitaph" tour. I was writing riffs and ideas and melodies on the road, which I don't think I've ever done before. Even then, ideas were being created. Me, Rob and Glenn then went into the studio in early 2012 for a month and pulled all those ideas in a heavy metal cauldron, put stuff together. Then we went out again to Asia and Europe and finished off the "Epitaph" tour, came back and did some more writing, and then commenced recording in 2013. I think if you condense the writing together, for my part anyway, it was probably two months worth of writing. Actually, we just kept coming out with material, and we got to a point where we said we've got to stop and start putting the stuff down properly because otherwise, we're just going to keep writing forever and we'll never get it done. We got to a point where we said that's enough. We had 19 songs. Let's get them all down. We left one off. It wasn't quite what we wanted it to be. We just put the other 18 songs down and we released those on the "Redeemer Of Souls" release, About.com Heavy Metal: Now that it's out into the world, and the reviews seems to be almost universally positive, what's your reaction to that? Faulkner: I'm incredibly proud personally. I think I could speak for everyone in the band. We worked hard at it, proved the conceptions of it, the writing process, the recording. We've been promoting it. We've been involved in the whole machine of the whole press side of things. We're very proud of it. I think it's hard to promote something you're not proud about. We're so proud about it, so we're out there pushing it out into the metal world, into the world in general. It's just been incredible affirmation. We're getting good reviews. It's number six on the Billboard chart. It's great to see these great reviews, and exceeding expectations and all that sort of lovely stuff. It's not what you set out to do. You set out to do what you feel is right. Just to get that affirmation from everyone around the globe, it's just an incredibly proud moment. I couldn't be happier. Read the entire interview at About.com Heavy Metal.