Judas Priest U-turn sees guitarist Andy Sneap reinstated to touring line-up

Rob Halford and Andy Sneap onstage
(Image credit: Dave Simpson/Getty Images)

Just five days after informing the world that they will return to the road as “an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band”, minus Andy Sneap, co-producer of 2018’s Firepower album as their touring guitarist, Judas Priest have reversed their decision. 

After the original news of his exit from the ranks was made public, Machine Head/Killswitch Engage producer Sneap admitted that he regarded the group’s decision as “incredibly disappointing”, revealing that he had received the news from Priest vocalist Rob Halford in a phone call just one week earlier: “I respect his decision as they obviously have a vision how they want this to play out,” Sneap graciously added. 

No, it seems, that vision has been tweaked.

A new statement from the metal gods, released on January 15, reads: "Hello metal maniacs… given all that has recently evolved and transpired we have decided unanimously as a band to continue our live shows unchanged with Rob, Ian [Hill, bass], Richie [Faulkner, guitar], Scott [Travis, drums], Andy and Glenn [Tipton, guitar] joining us whenever he's able...so see you all soon as we forge ahead celebrating 50 massive heavy metal years of Judas Priest together!"

Priest are due to resume touring on March 4, when they'll relaunch their US tour in Peoria, Illinois, having been 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.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. 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. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.