The metal world was stunned when Judas Priest announced plans to embark on a farewell tour, only to be equally shocked by K.K. Downing’s departure from the group. It definitely seemed unimaginable to see the Metal Gods calling it a day, especially without Downing. Yet if you read recent interviews with members of Priest, you begin to get the idea that the band isn’t calling it quits at all, despite continuing to call their upcoming Epitaph world tour their “last.”
When asked by Germany’s Metal Hammer magazine whether this is indeed Priest’s farewell tour, bassist Ian Hill said the following:
“I don’t think these will be our last-ever performances. But there will be no more two-year tours after this. However, we still have a lot of touring ahead of us, and if anyone asks us — why shouldn’t we continue playing?”
This follows similar statements recently made by drummer Scott Travis and guitarist Glenn Tipton, where both explain that the band isn’t necessarily “finished” but also is done doing major touring. So it’s become pretty clear that Priest will still be recording after this tour. But what’s confusing us is the fact that the Epitaph world tour is still being dubbed Priest’s “farewell tour.” Doesn’t a farewell tour imply that a band is calling it quits for good (even if it’s just from the road) by the end of that tour? I mean, we knew that the Epitaph tour was going to extend to at least two years, but you’d think that dubbing it as their “farewell” tour would mean no more performances from Priest after the end of that tour…right?
This could further explain Downing’s departure and/or why the band brought in guitarist Richie Faulkner as a new “full-time member” rather than just getting a session player for the remaining gigs. Regardless, this is somewhat good news in that the Metal Gods will pretty much still be around for a while, just not on stage as often.
We’ll keep you posted if more develops. For now, you can check out leaked pictures of what appears to be stills of Faulkner taken from Priest’s first photoshopped group picture with their new member after the jump.