Richie Faulkner joined the band in 2011, replacing K.K. Downing. Rob credits this refresh with reigniting the fires. By the time they recorded their most recent studio album, the newcomer’s influence was clear, with the band – despite their vintage – enjoying a new lease of life.
“Richie’s contribution was absolutely essential here. Going back to when he first joined the band, Glenn and I had looked at hundreds of potential players – and then we got a link to this guy from London and we just instantly knew this was our man. When it comes to writing, you need to have important players and because we’d always written as a trio – the two guitar players and myself – it was great that when Richie joined us, really spectacular things started to happen. We rediscovered ourselves. There was a sense of new energy and power – it became infectious. When it came to Firepower, the second album we’d made with Richie, we wanted to embrace all the classic Priest elements from over the years. With our production team it was the perfect format and it worked magnificently. Going from Rocka Rolla to Firepower shows you the determination, the tenacity of this band, the love we have for British heavy metal and the endurance that we have – we are never going to pack it in. The reaffirmation of everything we love about Judas Priest is embodied in that one track and in the album as a whole. From that same spirit we’ve got an abundance of material for the next record – it’s going to be very fierce and potent again.”