All parties involved are obviously very happy about the way things have turned out since Richie Faulkner took over for K.K. Downing in Judas Priest, but if the fates had turned in a different direction, Faulkner might have ended up playing with a different set of British metal vets.

During Faulkner's recent interview with Gigs and Festivals, it was pointed out that he served as the guitarist for singer Lauren Harris, who opened for Iron Maiden on their A Matter of Life and Death tour — and just happens to be the daughter of Maiden bassist Steve Harris. Asked whether he was on an unofficial list to be called up in case anything changed in the Maiden lineup, Faulkner looked back on a conversation with the elder Harris.

"I worked with Steve and Lauren, and he was one of the first ones that I told when I got the Priest gig," Faulkner recalled. "I said I've been approached by another band, and he was over the moon when I told him it was Priest. He's one of these guys who's really supportive, and he said, 'I would have had you in my band. If anything would have happened to any of my guys, you were the guy that was going to do it.'"

Describing Harris as "a great guy" as well as "an idol and a teacher," Faulkner said, "He wished me all the best and sent me on my way. We saw him at [the] Download [music festival] a couple of months ago. He loves the music; he loves the vibe and he's a genuine fan of all things heavy. It was great to get his endorsement right from the beginning."

Priest recently wrapped a North American tour, and now head to Europe for another leg of their most recent album, Redeemer of Souls. According to singer Rob Halford, sessions for the next record could be underway very soon.

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