Judas Priest reverse decision to remove guitarist Andy Sneap from touring line-up

"We have decided unanimously as a band to continue our live shows unchanged"

Judas Priest have reintroduced Andy Sneap to their touring line-up, just five days after announcing the guitarist would not be joining them on the road.

Sneap, who co-produced the band’s latest album ‘Firepower’, joined Priest’s live set-up after their longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton announced he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018.

However, last week, the band issued a statement to announce that ahead of their upcoming North American tour they would be returning as “an even more powerful, relentless four-piece heavy metal band”, signalling Sneap’s departure.

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Sneap later released a separate statement, explaining that the band’s decision to remove him was “incredibly disappointing”.

“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 [of] how they want this to play out,” he wrote.

“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.”

Now, making a U-turn five days after the initial announcement, Judas Priest have confirmed they will continue touring as a five-piece with Sneap remaining as touring guitarist and Tipton making appearances when he can.

“Hello metal maniacs…given all that has recently evolved and transpired we have decided unanimously as a band to continue our live shows unchanged with Rob, Ian (Hill, bass), Richie (Faulkner, guitar), Scott (Travis, drums), Andy and Glenn joining us whenever he’s able…so see you all soon as we forge ahead celebrating 50 massive heavy metal years of Judas Priest together!”

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Back in December, frontman Halford shared a photograph of him reuniting with Tipton over the festive period. “Merry metal motivational,” Halford captioned the image, which saw the pair posing in front of a Christmas tree.

Halford recently celebrated 36 years of sobriety, and he shared how he’s managed to evade the urge to relapse in a new interview.

“I think about it all the time,” the frontman told Spain’s Mariskal Rock. “It’s an addiction. When I’m watching the Phoenix Cardinals play on TV the other day, there’s constantly adverts for beer and for alcohol and stuff. And I know it’s there. And it’s a temptation. So you have to have all of the mental tools ready to get you through that instance. ‘Cause it’s all about instances.”

“And I live one day at a time,” he continued. “I’ve lived one day at a time for 35 years now. And that’s all that matters. It’s the moment. You live in the moment – not yesterday, not tomorrow; it’s now. And you have to be ready for when that little beer devil comes on your shoulder and goes, ‘Come on, Rob. Have a little drink of beer.’ ‘Fuck off.’ [Laughs] Because I don’t wanna feel that way again, man.”

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