Richie Faulkner on Replacing K.K. Downing: 'I Was Confident I Could Do the Job'

Judas Priest axeman talks about fitting in with the metal gods, saying that he "did have a point to prove."

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Despite having big shoes to fill, it looks like it's been a smooth ride for Richie Faulkner in Judas Priest so far. He was taking over the place of metal legend K.K. Downing, but still managed to become one of the most accepted replacements whet it comes to fans' reactions.

The 33-year-old axeman recently spoke about the entire experience, admitting that there was a point he wanted to prove, without allowing himself to become nervous at any point. In his own words, he was confident he could do the job.

"I didn't let myself become nervous," Faulkner kicked off in a recent Guitar World interview. "I was excited and I was confident I could do the job. I was respectful of the position I was taking on the stage. Sometimes if you let nerves into the equation they can trip you up. I knew there was no point in being nervous."

The guitarist then talked about the fans' reactions, saying, "I did have a point to prove to the fans - that I was capable of being there. I think that was a healthy position to be in. Because the fans are so loyal and passionate and they paid their money to come down to the show, they gave me a chance, and I can only thank them for that. Within about a minute, they had their hands in the air singing along with me. It was a great testament to the fans."

Faulkner also addressed the confusion regarding the story of band's latest "Epitaph" tour being their final one. As previously pointed out, "Epitaph" was the group's final world tour, but not the final tour in general, seeing that the band does plan on continuing with concert treks on somewhat of a smaller scale.

"I think there was confusion about the 'Epitaph' tour," Faulkner said. "Literally it was the last world tour but it wasn't the last tour. The band will be out again. We'll just take it as it goes right now."

Finally, the guitarist took some time to discuss the new Priest record, saying that "it is all written." Basically, he confirmed frontman Rob Halford's previous statements regarding the iconic five-piece returning to their roots and the "groove of metal."

"There is one in the works. It is all written," commented Faulkner. "Rob, Glenn and I wrote for two months last year. It's being tracked at the moment. I can't really say much more than that at this point. It is sounding great, very 'Judas Priest.' We are happy with the way it is turning out."

In other Priest news, the group's new live release "Epitaph" drops today (May 28) via Legacy Recordings, consisting of at least one song from each of the group's classic albums. We recently sat down with Halford and thoroughly discussed the live record, apart from several other topics. You can check out the full interview at the following link.

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14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Quality guitarist, it's definitely not easy to keep on pair with Tipton's playing.
    As much as I respect guitarists who don't have to do any extra movement to look cool on the stage but I'm very happy to see some fresh energy out there! Glenn and Rob alone wouldn't make much of a show as we can see here..
    Diamond Dave
    great player, and the icing on the cake is that he is a dead ringer for KK anyway! will never truly replace the great man though \m/
    I was a little skeptical when KK left (gutted btw) and this "new chap" was replacing him but I don't think they could have found anyone better. He has a lot of talent and stage presence and I, as a long time Priest fan, have no qualms about him being in KKs spot.
    the sound is very good on the video, tight and clear but still raw, a must get album
    He was the right one to find, he even looks like KK but younger hahaha. Saw them during epitaph world tour and he was rock solid.
    anyone else kind of annoyed by all of the random fills he keeps doing? I don't remember kk doing that. Good player all the same though.
    They sound great on this video! What's up with the scream at the end of this video though? Sounded like it was triggered.