Judas Priest have reversed course on their recent decision to drop guitarist and producer Andy Sneap from their touring lineup. The legendary metal act announced Saturday (January 15th) that Sneap will indeed be with the band when it launches its North American tour in March (tickets available here).
Sneap joined the Priest live lineup when longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton stepped away from regular touring after revealing in 2018 that he is battling Parkinson’s disease.
On Monday (January 10th), Judas Priest announced that they would be proceeding without Sneap as part of their live band, but that he would still stay on to produce the group’s upcoming album. The band stated at the time, “Hello maniacs! We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to world touring… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as an 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 then issued his own statement, saying in part, “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.”
Five days later, the band has changed its mind, announcing that Sneap will remain with the band, with Tipton continuing to make occasional appearances onstage.
The new statement reads, “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!”
The reinstatement of Sneap means Priest will continue its longtime twin-guitar attack, with Faulkner recovered after undergoing emergency life-saving heart surgery after his aorta ruptured onstage during the band’s gig at the Louder Than Life festival in September. It was Faulkner’s medical emergency that had forced the band to postpone the remainder of their fall 2021 tour and reschedule the dates for 2022.
The tour kicks off March 4th and runs through April 13th. Pick up tickets via Ticketmaster.