Prolific heavy metal band Judas Priest is preparing to embark on their rescheduled 2022 tour titled 50 Heavy Metal Years. The kickoff concert is set for March 4 in Peoria, Illinois, but not all touring Judas Priest musicians are going on tour.
The band recently announced that guitarist and producer Andy Sneap will not be playing on the 50 Heavy Metal Years tour.
“Hello Maniacs!” Judas Priest began in the announcement. “We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to World touring….celebrating 50 Years of Judas Priest as an even more powerful, relentless four piece Heavy Metal band – with Glenn coming out on stage with us here and there as before…..!! Big thanks to Andy for all you’ve done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album…. See you all soon headbangers!”
While this may not have come as a shock—the group has seen several lineup changes over the years—the news did come relatively abruptly. After a statement from Sneap himself, however, fans learned this parting also caught the guitarist off guard.
“Rob [Halford] called me last Monday and said they wanted to move on as a four-piece, which I find incredibly disappointing after this amount of time but I respect his decision as they obviously have a vision how they want this to play out,” Sneap said in a statement to Blabbermouth.
“This always was a temporary situation, and like I’ve said before, I’ll always help the band any way I can, and that applies going forward also. I’ve been a huge fan of the band since the early ’80s and it was mind-blowing to play onstage with the guys and quite frankly terrifying in the beginning at such short notice. We are moving forward with the new album next month and look forward to making a killer follow-up to Firepower,” he concluded.
Yet, despite this change, the show must go on. You can find tickets here.
Photo by Joe Lester / Legacy Recordings