Judas Priest welcome Andy Sneap back into the fold

On Monday, January 10th, metal band Judas Priest announced their intentions to tour without guitarist Andy Sneap. Sneap was still purportedly involved with the band from a technical point of view.

In a statement from the time, the band wrote: “Hello maniacs! We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to world touring… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as an even more powerful, relentless four-piece heavy metal band – with Glenn [Tipton] coming out on stage with us here and there as before. Big thanks to Andy for all you’ve done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album.”

Sneap countered, “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 band have decided to undo this, and have welcomed Sneap back onboard. In an updated statement, the band explain: “Hello metal maniacs…given all that has recently evolved and transpired we have decided unanimously as a band to continue our live shows unchanged with Rob, Ian [Hill], Richie [Faulkner], Scott [Travis], Andy, and Glenn joining us whenever he’s able…so see you all soon as we forge ahead celebrating 50 massive heavy metal years of Judas Priest together!”

Judas Priest are renowned for their guitar duels, and twin attack sounds. Rather than follow the “rhythm-lead” format, Judas Priest were one of the first bands to utilise two lead guitarists, a template used by heavy metal acts Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Slayer and Megadeth.

Sneap filled in for Glenn Tipton in 2018, when the official Judas Priest member was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As it stands, bassist Ian Hill is the only person to have performed with every configuration of Judas Priest. The band’s other mainstay, K. K. Downing, quit the band in 2011 and was replaced by Richie Faulkner. American vocalist Tim Owens filled in on vocals in 1997, when Rob Halford took a sabbatical from the outfit.

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