Former HALFORD guitarist Patrick Lachman, who quit the group last year to form a new project with members of PANTERA, has spoken out about the news that JUDAS PRIEST have reunited with Rob Halford for a new album and tour in 2004, saying that "I realized very early on that a reunion would happen, so it was always in the back of my mind."
Speaking to the JUDAS PRIEST fan site www.judas-priest.com, Lachman said, "To be honest I'm happy [for Rob]. I think [the reunion with PRIEST] is the best thing that could have happened to Rob at this point in his career. I got involved with [HALFORD] because I was a PRIEST fan."
When asked if the rumors of a possible PRIEST reunion with Halford had any effect on the band HALFORD while Patrick was playing with them, Lachman said, "Not on stage! Off stage however, it always felt like it had an expiration date on it, we just didn't know when it was. The facts were always kept from us. Management made us feel expendable and replaceable and tried to keep some kind of distance between Rob and the band. Just look at the constant lineup changes. I assume all that was due to the fact that a reunion was in the planning stage from the beginning. The quote from CNN was, 'Rob and the other JUDAS PRIEST members are so happy this is all a go, the management team member said. 'We've worked so hard over the last four years to make this happen.'
"Four years, huh? I guess that says it all. Rob was always great to us though. We're still friends and we still keep in touch.
Commenting on his reasons for leaving HALFORD, Patrick said, "That was my first and last experience as a hired band member. I've always been about being in equal creative control with everyone, which was not the case in HALFORD. With so many people outside the band trying to get involved, throwing in their ideas and influence on HALFORD, I took it as far as I was allowed creatively. It never felt comfortable in that environment. I realized a full year ago when there was no tour to support [the last HALFORD album] 'Crucible' that the band had gone as far as it could go with the way business was run in that camp. It was obvious to me things were coming to a halt, so I made plans for my career just as Rob did. I'm fucking ecstatic about my new band [provisionally dubbed NEW FOUND POWER], and the Metal God has finally come home."