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Judas Priest to tour as quartet as Andy Sneap refocuses on his production work

Judas Priest
(Image credit: Press)

Judas Priest have announced that they will return to the road as “an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band” as touring guitarist Andy Sneap, who co-produced the band’s 2018 album Firepower alongside Tom Allom, steps away to refocus on his much-acclaimed studio work.

The British metal gods have also declared that guitarist Glenn Tipton, who was forced to step back from intensive touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018, will be “coming out on stage with us here and there as before.”

Priest were forced off the road in September, after guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection onstage during the band’s set at the Louder Than Life festival in Kentucky. The English guitarist spent 10 hours undergoing emergency heart surgery before being discharged from a Louisville hospital. Back to full health, Faulkner will assume guitar duties once more when Priest resume touring on March 4, when they'll relaunch their US tour in Peoria, Illinois. 

The band’s statement reads:

“Hello maniacs!
 
We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to world touring… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as an an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band - with Glenn coming out on stage with us here and there as before. Big thanks to Andy for all you’ve done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album… See you all soon headbangers!”

Priest will play a lengthy European tour following the completion of their North American tour commitments.

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder and Metal Hammer. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.