Elegant Weapons is Richie Faulkner’s Fallback Plan for When Judas Priest Retires


For the last 12 years, Richie Faulkner has been one half of Judas Priest‘s guitar battery, sharing the stage with Glenn Tipton and then Andy Sneap. As K.K. Downing‘s replacement, he’s absolutely killed it, playing those parts with his own style while staying true to the original material. Yet at 43 years old, he’s the youngest member of Judas Priest and as such, he’s still got a lot of metal pumping in his veins — as long as his body allows, anyway.

While speaking with Jorge Botas of Portugal’s Metal Global (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), Faulkner fielded a question about the future of Judas Priest and how his Elegant Weapons project fits in to his plans. As it turns out, that’s his post-Judas Priest retirement contingency.

“Priest music is gonna be around a lot longer than we are. It’s legendary music. They’re genre-defining musicians and it’s a genre-defining band. It will be around for a long time. But none of us gets out of this alive. That’s just the reality of it. So if one day that call comes in and that’s the last tour or the last album, whatever it is… I mean, I joined the band on what was the farewell tour. Luckily it wasn’t, and we’re still here 12 years later. [It’s] fantastic. But at the time, I think I would have been silly not to consider what I was gonna do after the band, because of the circumstances of the tour. It was a farewell tour — it was [supposed to be] the last tour — so what am I gonna do after? So it’s always been in the back of my mind. And [Elegant Weapons] is a band that seems natural to me to continue with if that call ever came in.”

Though the band’s only recently released their debut album Horns For A Halo, Faulkner said he plans on there being more music, more albums, and more tours with Elegant Weapons, which features Uriah Heep’s Dave Rimmer on bass, Accept’s Christopher Williams on drums, and Rainbow’s Ronnie Romero on vocals.

In fact, Faulkner said the band is already plugging away at their sophomore album.

“We’ve already started. We’ve recorded drums for the second record. We got together in March, I think, of this year; I think it was March — I’m not sure. We got together in the studio and played together to record the drums, get the drums recorded. So it’s been started.

“I don’t know. Maybe next year. Back in the day, bands used to release a record every year, sometimes two in a year. I know we don’t do things under the same cycle anymore. But the ideas are there for the songs. We all were together, and we thought why not get at least the drums going. We got the drums and we got the guitars, and stuff like that, so why not start the process?

“It was important for me, really, when I started the band… It was a band that it wasn’t just a one-record type thing. It was a band that plays live and records — hopefully — multiple records and grows and evolves together moving into the future. So the next record is just a part of that sort of process, really.”

So there you have it. When that dark day comes that Judas Priest hangs it up, at least Faulkner will have an exit strategy that leads to more heavy metal.

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