Rob Halford: Single-Guitar Judas Priest Plan ‘Blew Up in My Face’
Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has revealed that it was his idea to have Judas Priest tour as a four-piece for the first time since 1974.
“That all came from me, it didn’t come from the band,” Halford admitted to Billboard, noting that he thought the change would be appropriate for Judas Priest’s 50th anniversary celebration. “Of course, that blew up in my face, didn’t it? To have done something like a four-piece now would’ve been just not right, ridiculous, insane, crazy, off my rocker, have a cup of tea and relax. It’s kind of water under the bridge now. I think my heart was in the right place, but I’m not the first musician to have a crazy idea.”
Many fans were shocked when the quartet tour plan was announced in January, since Judas Priest have long been known for their dual-guitar attack. Also surprised, Andy Sneap, the group’s touring guitarist (and co-producer of the 2018 album, Firepower) who suddenly appeared to be out of a job.
"Rob [Halford] called me last Monday and said they wanted to move on as a four-piece, which I find incredibly disappointing after this amount of time, but I respect his decision, as they obviously have a vision how they want this to play out," the guitarist said at the time.
Backlash, however, caused that vision to change. Less than a week after it was announced, the four-piece plan was scrapped, with Sneap once again joining the band’s touring lineup.
That didn’t stop former Judas Priest member K. K. Downing from deriding the band, calling their quartet plans “insulting” and a “slap in the face.”
Judas Priest is set to hit the road beginning in March. The band was recently announced as a 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee.