“It’s evolved into its own thing”: Richie Faulkner gives his opinion on Polyphia and the next generation of metal guitarists

The Judas Priest guitarist discusses the modern players he admires.

Ritchie Faulkner and Tim Henson

Ritchie Faulkner of Judas Priest and Tim Henson of Polyphia. Credit: Nelson Anderson/Elena Di Vicenzo/Getty

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Richie Faulkner’s been keeping his eye on the next crop of metal talent and while he acknowledges that guitar music is “evolving”, he seems to think guitar music is in safe hands.

The Judas Priest guitarist speaks to Ultimate Guitar about the state of modern music, discussing the modern players he admires and where metal is going.

“It’s evolving,” he says. “You have the guys from Polyphia. I guess that’s metal, but it’s done in a different way. It’s evolved into its own thing. You’ve got some great players, right from the blues end of the scale you’ve got Joe Bonamassa and Jared James Nichols, and then you’ve got the Polyphia guys from the other end of the metal guitar playing chart. And everything in between.

“I think there’s room for everyone. There are a lot of good players out there with a lot of different styles under that heavy metal, hard rock, blues guitar banner. It keeps evolving the guitar. Someone picks up the guitar and plays something completely different.”

George Lynch, Zakk Wylde… I don’t think anyone works as hard as Zakk does to fly the flag for metal guitar and hard rock guitar. It’s pretty healthy and it’s still evolving. I think it’s based on the past and moving into the future, like it’s natural for it to do.”

Faulkner also goes into detail elsewhere the interview about modern guitarists. “I’ve just been listening to Simon McBride from Deep Purple,” he reveals. “He’s the guy that replaced Steve Morse. Phenomenal player. He’s got a great sound, great technique, and he’s different from [Ritchie] Blackmore and [Steve] Morse. He does his own thing. But it fits so well. He’s such a clean player. His technique is so good, but his sound fits into Purple, even though it’s different from the other two guys before him. I was listening to Simon last night and he’s a stunning player.”


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