JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist: I Want To Retire Before People Start Saying I Should Have Retired

Steve Newton of Straight.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Glenn Tipton of British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On JUDAS PRIEST's "farewell" tour:

Tipton: "It's not the end of the band. We are gonna do at least one more album, and if the right string of dates were offered to us for the right reasons, we would consider them. But we're just not gonna schlep around the whole planet again, that's our thinking."

On the departure of original JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing:

Tipton: "We were all surprised. We were shocked. We didn't do anything for three months in case he changed his mind, but he was adamant. And it was almost the end of the band. If we hadn't have found [new JUDAS PRIEST guitarist] Richie [Faulkner], I don't think we'd be out here now."

On how JUDAS PRIEST found Faulkner:

Tipton: "We actually tried to get in touch with him for a week, and he didn't return our emails. He thought that it was a joke; he thought it was spam and he kept deleting it. So we had to try another way to get in touch with him, and then he realized that it was the real thing."

"K.K. was such a big part of the band that we just thought he wouldn't be replaceable, but Richie captures the essence of everything that he needs to do. And he puts his own spin on things, too. You have to see it to believe it, really."

On "The Chosen Few", JUDAS PRIEST's newly released compilation which contains songs that were selected by some of the biggest names of the hard rock/heavy metal world:

Tipton: "Everybody's got their own favourite PRIEST songs for different reasons. It could be a point in your life that was a low point where a PRIEST song helps you get through, or it could be a happy point in your life when you just enjoy PRIEST music. Or it could remind you of your college days. I've sort of given up being surprised by people's choices."

On JUDAS PRIEST's current tour:

Tipton: "It's a normal PRIEST extravaganza, with lasers, lights, bikes, flamesyou name it, we've got it. The music's always been most important, but we like to punctuate it with a lot of showmanship, if you like."

On how much longer JUDAS PRIEST can continue:

Tipton: "I'm still goin' strong, but, you know, I don't know how much life I've got left in me in terms of putting leather and studs on and going out there and thrashing out heavy metal. I want to retire before people start saying that I should have retired I think that's the best way to put it."

Read more from Straight.com.

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