Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton recently revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which will prevent him from fully taking part in their upcoming tour in support of the band's new Firepower album. Singer Rob Halford has now explained how the decision has weighed on the band and what Tipton's new role will be.

“There’s been a lot of emotion today with the announcement," he told Kerrang! "But we’re very happy for Glenn, that he’s been able to make a decision that’s good for him and where he’s at right now. Glenn’s thing was that this was all about the band. It was the band, the band, the band. And we said, ‘No, it’s about what’s best for you,’ and he said, ‘No, I want what’s best for the band.’ Which just goes to show you where his heart is at.”

Tipton's parts will be performed onstage by Andy Sneap, who co-produced Firepower and also has played in the metal bands Sabbat and Hell. But Judas Priest have been quick to point out that Tipton, who joined the band in time to record their 1974 debut, Rocka Rolla, has not retired, and may show up to sit in for a song or two when he can when their tour begins on March 13.

“The most important thing is that Glenn is still in Judas Priest,” Halford stressed. “It’s just that his role is going to be different. He can’t tour, but it’s going to be great for fans when he comes out every now and then to do 'Breaking the Law' or 'Living After Midnight.' The love that we’ve had already has been amazing, and I know when he walks onstage whenever we do that, it’s going to be something special.”


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