Andy Sneap Says He’ll Stay in Judas Priest “As Long as They Want Me to Help Out”
Andy Sneap, the former Sabbat guitarist who is best known as one of the most highly sought-after metal producers and mixers in the world, has been filling in humbly and admirably as the live guitarist for Judas Priest ever since Glenn Tipton’s Parkinson’s Disease became too much to handle last year (Tipton still wrote and recorded on the band’s universally lauded 2018 album, Firepower).
Just how long will Sneap’s tenure in the band last? Even he isn’t sure, but he’s willing to keep on keeping on as long as the rest of the guys need him, though he admits it’s been difficult to juggle the commitment with his work in the studio.
In a recent chat with Talking Bollocks, here’s what he said about his gratitude for the opportunity and his approach to the future:
“It’d be great if Glenn was up there doing it. That’s the thing that really… it’s always in the back of my mind; it really is. But it’s just nice that he asked me to do it. As long as they want me to help out, I’ll help ’em out. That’s kind of the way I’m looking at it, really.”
Sneap goes on to say he’ll be performing with the band on their early 2020 dates with Ozzy Osbourne which were rescheduled as a result of Ozzy’s health woes, and that he’s about to finish mixing Testament’s next album. On balancing life in the studio with his newfound gig on the stage, he offered:
“I just did the Killswitch mix before this last run. And we had a band for Earache, Those Damn Crowns, that [producer] Colin [Richardson] was doing in the studio as well. So the studio has been up and running a bit.
“But it’s difficult going from playing and doing something that’s taking me out of the studio for this amount of time to sort of getting my head back into a dayjob, so to speak. It’s enjoyable, but it’s a different approach, really. So, I think it’ll be good, because I got to a point where I’d done the Priest record, I’d done the Accept record and I’d done the Saxon record all in the same year, and I was feeling very — what’s the best way of putting it? Not burnt out, but just a little uninspired in a way. Just ’cause it was all back to back, and you’re not getting any breathing space or time to stand away from it.
“So this coming up when it did, it was a good opportunity just to recharge the batteries, really. And rather than just take time off, it kept me in the public eye, and it kept me out there in the world playing music. It was ideal, really. So it’s good if I can fit a couple of albums in now before we do this Ozzy run. It’s a great chance just to get back into the studio now.”
Playing to tens of thousands of fans with JUDAS FUCKING PRIEST has got to an insane head trip and a dream come true, but Sneap sounds like he’s handling it quite well and enjoying the ride. Fans have accepted him with open arms, too, so I’d expect to see him anchoring stage right for plenty of time to come.