New JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist Says He Did 'Not Really' Feel Any Pressure Replacing K.K. DOWNING

Geeks Of Doom recently conducted an interview with new JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Geeks Of Doom: Were you welcomed into the band?

Richie Faulkner: Absolutely. They've been nothing short of welcoming on every front, really on a personal level and a musical level as well. We arranged some of the songs live to put some extra guitar solos in there to showcase what I can do and you can't get more welcome than that. You know, changing arrangements for classic songs like that just to accommodate what you can do I think that's a great honor to be granted that opportunity.

Geeks Of Doom: That twin guitar sound of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton was integral to JUDAS PRIEST and to metal music.

Richie Faulkner: Absolutely.

Geeks of Doom: Did you feel any pressure to be replacing a part of that?

Richie Faulkner: Not really. I mean, as a fan of the band, I know what the fans expect. I knew what I had to do, as a player and as a fan of the band, the job I had to do, if you know what I mean. I've always been in twin-guitar bands, you know, [and] a fan of PRIEST and it was all the pieces matching up like a jigsaw puzzle. Like I said, the twin guitar in PRIEST as a fan and also the songs, they all sort of made sense. So it wasn't pressure in a sense, but it was just kind of a duty to do the best I could for the band and the fans, really.

Geeks Of Doom: What's the reaction from the JUDAS PRIEST fans been like?

Richie Faulkner: Well, great, really. I think they've been amazing welcoming a new guy to the family. I think initially there was some skepticism, which, that's natural, you know? That's going to occur when someone leaves after 40 years. People I think have a tendency to fear the worst, even though they should be trusting the band to pick the right guy, people tend to fear the worst. So we always knew that within the first week of getting out there on tour and showing people what we can do, they'd be on our side and they've been nothing short of amazing, really. They've been really welcoming. You accept, you understand the skepticism but two songs, three songs into the set, they've got their hands in the air, they're singing along, they've forgotten all that. They're just enjoying the show. So it's been great, really. The crowd reaction's been amazing.

Geeks Of Doom: That's fair enough. Have you ever spoken to K.K.?

Richie Faulkner: No, I haven't, no. I mean, I've heard various bits and pieces what he's posted on the web site, stuff like that and obviously what the band said. You know, they told me about the situation. I haven't actually spoken to him personally. I think that I'd like to meet him and talk to him, but I don't think it would be an important thing for me to talk about. I think that's the decision he's made and you have to respect that. I'd like to talk to him about other things maybe what he's doing now or guitars or something, you know? As I said, he made the decision and I think everyone's got to respect that. And I think there would be other things to talk about; he probably wouldn't want to talk about that either, you know what I mean? So [I would] probably talk to him about motorbikes and guitars and crap like that.

Read the entire interview from Geeks Of Doom.

Photo credit: Andrew Ogilvy

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