Richie Faulkner, who was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris, was asked in a brand new interview with GigsAndFestivals.com if he was "on the subs bench for IRON MAIDEN" prior to joining JUDAS PRIEST as the replacement for K.K. Downing. He responded: "Yeah, you never know! I worked with Steve and Lauren, and [Steve] was one of the first ones that I told when I got the PRIEST gig. I said I've been approached by another band, and he was over the moon when I told him it was PRIEST. He's one of these guys who's really supportive, and he said: 'I would have had you in my band. If anything would have happened to any of my guys, you were the guy that was going to do it.'"
Faulkner continued: "[Steve is] a great guy, and like the guys in PRIEST, he's an idol and he's a teacher. He wished me all the best and sent me on my way. We saw him at Download [festival] a couple of months ago. He loves the music; he loves the vibe, and he's a genuine fan of all things heavy. So, it was great to get his endorsement right from the beginning."
JUDAS PRIEST's latest album, "Redeemer Of Souls", marks the band's first release with Faulkner, who was also previously a member of the Steve Harris=approved U.K. band DIRTY DEEDS.
Asked by Premier Guitar if he was concerned how the new band dynamic with Faulkner would impact the writing process for "Redeemer Of Souls", JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton said: "We hadn't worked with Richie before on a writing level, so the first couple of things he presented to us were quite crucial. It was amazing, because everything Richie came up with was just so PRIEST, and it evolved from that point on. For the first time ever, we actually wrote on the road. Richie would go down in the afternoon, set up his recording rig, and kick stuff out. When we had time off, we sat down and started piecing everything together. What we normally do is write our own ideas — including Rob's [Halford] lyrics and vocals — pool them, and before you know it, it takes shape into songs."