Judas Priest Bassist Says Band Has No Reason For Another Lineup Change
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
November 23, 2021
Judas Priest is probably through with lineup changes, according to bassist Ian Hill.
Hill, the band's only continuing founding member, said in a recent interview with 519 Magazine that the band's current touring lineup will likely be the one to perform its final show, whenever that may be.
"We're all realists," Hill said. "None of us are getting any younger, so there is an end in sight, although when, we don't know. I think everybody's happy with one another and with the current lineup, which is also almost as important as musical competence."
Priest's current touring lineup features frontman Rob Halford, drummer Scott Travis, guitarists Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap and Hill. Sneap, who produced Priest's Firepower album, joined the band as a touring guitarist in 2018 as Glenn Tipton's ability to travel was limited due to Parkinson's disease.
"You [can] get the best musicians in the world, but if you've got a bunch of idiots, you're not going to last very long," Hill continued. "We're all getting along with each other. We're all family, really. And we'll continue with this lineup for as long as we can."
Hill's comments may put to rest the chances of any substantial reunion with guitarist K.K. Downing. Downing had been at odds with the band since his "retirement" in 2011, but he only made his grievances public in 2018 when he briefly lobbied to return to the group ahead of its 50th anniversary. Downing eventually formed his own band — K.K.'s Priest — which just released its debut album.
The band's touring mortality has never been more evident than the last few years. Halford recently beat prostate cancer after a four-year battle and the band's fall U.S. tour was suspended in September after Faulkner suffered a freak cardiac event that nearly killed him onstage at the 'Louder Than Life' festival.
Faulkner, who underwent 10-and-a-half-hours of open heart surgery to repair his ruptured aorta on Sept. 26, said in an update last week that he's "feeling strong and positive" will the near-death experience behind him. He added that he's due to start "cardiac therapy" soon to complete his recovery.