JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner has told Ultimate Guitar in a new interview that Glenn Tipton "will very much be involved" in the making of the band's next studio album.
The 71-year-old guitarist announced his retirement from touring in February 2018 after revealing his unfortunate diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. He passed on the torch to the producer of the "Firepower" LP, Andy Sneap.
Asked if there are still plans for Tipton to take part in the songwriting process for PRIEST next disc, Faulkner said: "Absolutely, yeah. Glenn has some physical challenges with Parkinson's, as we all know, but as far as ideas and creativity, Glenn is still very much a behemoth in terms of what he creates and what he thinks and how he sees music and riffs and melodies. He's a really unique musician/guitar player/songwriter. And I think it's one of the contributing factors to why JUDAS PRIEST has always been one of the forbearers, one of those unique players in heavy metal. They've always had their own voice. There are lots of reasons for that, but one of the big reasons, in my opinion, is Glenn Tipton's way of writing and phrasing and note choices. And he's still very much in control of all that stuff. Also, in the studio, it's a bit of a more relaxed environment in terms of time constraints. For example, Glenn had to pull back from touring. When you play live in front of 10,000 people, you've got to play it once and you've got to play it correctly. If there are challenges with that in the studio, there is a bit more leniency — you can play it again, you can go over that take and take the better take. Time is very much on your side in the studio. So Glenn is very much involved in the creative process and he will very much be involved in the creation of the next record, no doubt."
Tipton was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disorder five years ago, after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier. The guitarist, who has performed on every PRIEST record since the band's 1974 debut set, "Rocka Rolla", is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live.
Glenn has appeared onstage with PRIEST many times following his retirement, always performing the same fan-favorite tracks "Metal Gods", "Breaking The Law" and "Livin' After Midnight".
PRIEST's current touring lineup consists of Halford, guitarists Sneap and Faulkner, drummer Scott Travis and founding member and bassist Ian Hill.
JUDAS PRIEST is currently touring the U.S. with fellow classic heavy rockers URIAH HEEP. The 32-date trek kicked off on May 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and will wrap on June 29 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Mark Weiss