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Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner: “I’m not gonna be playing KK Downing licks – it would be inappropriate and disrespectful to him and myself”

“The more you create, the more thought goes into the evolution of your own voice,” the guitarist says.

[L-R] Richie Faulkner and KK Downing

Credit: Getty Images

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Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner has spoken about the importance of creating his own voice in the band, saying it would be “disrespectful” to simply copy the style of his predecessor KK Downing.

The guitarist speaks in a new interview with Ernie Ball, where he discusses some of his musical influences as well as the evolution of his playing style since joining Judas Priest.

“Stylistically, it was always a conscious thing to honour what came before, but also, I was aware of being my own person,” Faulkner says. “They always were – both Ken [KK Downing] and Glenn [Tipton], and all the icons; they had their own thing. So, I came in sounding like Zakk Wylde, Michael Schenker, and Dave Murray rolled into a ball.”

“You get into a [high] profile band like this – the spotlight’s on you, so you can’t do that,” he adds. “You know, what are you gonna say? You’ve got the platform to carve your own voice, so what are you gonna say?”

“So, there was a part of me that respected what came before, but now I’ve gotta think about what I’m gonna say as well. And it’s a continuing journey till this day: the more you create, the more thought goes into the evolution of your own voice.”

Of the band’s forthcoming album, Faulkner says: “On the new record, I’m not gonna be playing KK Downing licks – it would be inappropriate and disrespectful to him and myself. After three records in, I should be creating my own voice by now.”

“It is a conscious thing, purely because it’s always been a challenge for me to have my own voice on the instrument. I’ve played in cover bands, so you copy, emulate… So, it’s always been a challenge to find [my voice], but one that’s, I think, a healthy challenge.”

Judas Priest’s new album Invincible Shield is due out 8 March next year.

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