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Glenn Tipton Thought Judas Priest Were ‘Finished’ After K.K. Downing Left

Glenn Tipton
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Judas Priest‘s new ‘Redeemer of Souls‘ album has been greeted with strong reviews and healthy sales — but at one point, guitarist Glenn Tipton couldn’t see the band recording ever again.

Tipton looked back on that dark chapter in Priest history during a recent interview with Metalholic, revealing that after co-founding guitarist K.K. Downing left the band in 2011, he assumed they’d be hanging it up. “At that time, I really, truly thought the band were finished,” he recalled. “We were poised to do a farewell tour and, of course, Ken decided he’d had enough of that. I respect his decision. It must have been a big decision to make. I think we’ve all been through that phase. We’ve been around for 35, 40 years.”

The opposite ended up happening, in large part because the band found a capable replacement in Richie Faulkner — a stroke of luck that he referred to as “a small miracle.” Added Tipton, “The guy is such a great guitar player and he blended in so well first onstage. And then, of course, he’s worked so hard and contributed so much to the album that it’s just a miracle.”

In fact, argued Tipton, Faulkner’s presence breathed new life into Priest’s creative dynamic — and brought an end to their plans to quit touring. “He just gave everybody a keep up the backside, really. And that’s what happened. We went from literally meaning it was our last tour to ‘There’s such great songs on this album, it’s a shame we can’t get out and play them’ … I’m glad we’re doing it. I feel that it would be great to get on stage and play these new numbers as well as the old classics.”

Next: Top 10 Judas Priest Songs

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