Jason Rockman of iHeartRadio Canada sat down and conducted an interview with Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner as well as bassist Ian Hill prior to the band’s March 25 concert in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The following excerpts were transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
On Faulkner‘s addition to Judas Priest following the departure of original guitarist K.K. Downing in 2011:
Ian: “Richie‘s taken to this like a duck to water. He’s a tremendous talent. I don’t like his head too big. [Laughs] But he has. He’s injected new life into the band — there’s no doubt about that. Fresh energy and enthusiasm that was a little bit lacking towards the end of the Ken era, and it was all going… I don’t know… usual, if you know what I mean. And Richie came in and really shook us up. [Laughs] And we thank you for that. [Laughs]”
On whether Richie ever looks back and goes, “Holy shit! I’m in Judas Priest“:
Richie: “Of course. I think the longer you’re in it, the more you kind of focus on now rather than… It becomes more and more real the longer you go into it, so it becomes more focused on where we are, what we do in the setlist or the record or what we’re doing now. So you get less and less time to kind of reflect on where you are and focus more on the job in hand. [But] of course [I have those moments as well]. It usually happens on stage. When sometimes you get a moment to step back and play maybe like an acoustic passage, if we’re doing that sort of song, and just step back and look around you and see what the hell is actually going on. And it is a sort of pinch-yourself moment. But then you get back into the focus of it again. And, again, it’s just an incredibly fortunate situation for me to even be considered in the first place.”
On Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford:
Richie: “Calling him a singer doesn’t do him justice. He’s a singer, he’s a lyricist, he’s a performer, he emotes, he connects — he’s the full package.”
Ian: “He’s singing better than he ever has — without a doubt. I mean, his voice has matured, it’s gotten more powerful as he’s gone on. I don’t know how he does it. If he’s got some recipe, he should market it.”
Judas Priest‘s new album, “Firepower” is out now.