Rob Halford Says Judas Priest’s Four-Piece Lineup Was His Idea
Many Judas Priest fans were aghast when the band announced they would be touring as a four-piece last month. However, Andy Sneap has since returned to his role in the group, and Rob Halford said the condensed lineup was actually his idea.
Priest were recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame once again, and Halford spoke with Billboard about the possibility of them finally getting in. During the chat, he explained that touring as a four-piece was his suggestion, though he realizes now why they received such a negative response to the news.
“That all came from me, it didn’t come from the band,” he disclosed. "Of course, that blew up in my face, didn’t it? To have done something like a four-piece now would’ve been just not right, ridiculous, insane, crazy, off my rocker, have a cup of tea and relax. It’s kind of water under the bridge now. I think my heart was in the right place, but I’m not the first musician to have a crazy idea.”
Priest released a statement in early January which stated that they would celebrate their 50th anniversary as an "even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band," thanked Sneap for the time he put in as their guitarist and added that he would be returning to his job as producer.
Sneap, in turn, released a statement of his own, revealing that Halford called him and said that they wanted to move forward as a four-piece. He found the news "incredibly disappointing," but respected the band's wishes.
A couple of days later, the band revoked their initial statement and noted that they would continue to tour with Sneap in the lineup.
"It was kind of a slap in the face, saying, 'Okay, you two guys did it, but we think just one guy could do what…' It kind of made us and everything that we've done and created, saying it was all superfluous, really, and didn't really have the value that," he added.