Andy Sneap sticking with Judas Priest?

Andy Sneap’s role with Judas Priest might not have been a temporary gig. During an appearance on “Talking Bollocks,” the monthly metal podcast hosted by Acid Reign frontman Howard H. Smith, Sneap said that he will continue to play guitar for Judas Priestas long as they want me to.”

As everyone knows, long-time Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton was forced to retire from full-time touring activities due to his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. In a show of support, the bandmates opted to hire Sneap to fill in, having gotten to know him well as the producer of the group’s latest album, ‘Firepower.’ The personalities meshed right away, but looking into the future past the end of the current tour, Sneap said, “We have a rescheduled Ozzy [Osbourne] date, which is happening February-March 2020. As far as I know, that’s all happening.”

Tipton didn’t announce he was going to sit out touring activities in support of ‘Firepower’ until February 2018. The guitarist has performed on every Priest record since the band’s 1974 debut set, ‘Rocka Rolla.’ It’s been made quite clear that Tipton is not quitting the band. He simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live. Sneap said, “It’d be great if Glenn was up there doing it. But it’s just nice that he asked me to do it. As long as they want me to help out, I’ll help ’em out. That’s kind of the way I’m looking at it, really.”

Sneap’s ‘other’ job as a producer, keeps him very busy. He said, “I’m just looking at producing and mixing work. I’m meant to be mixing the new Testament album.”

Having spent most of the year on the road with Priest, Sneap said that returning to the studio has its challenges.I’d done the Priest record, I’d done the Accept record and I’d done the Saxon record all in the same year. I just did the Killswitch mix, and we had a band, Those Damn Crows, in the studio as well. But it’s difficult going from playing and doing something that’s taking me out of the studio for this amount of time to sort of getting my head back into a day job, so to speak. It’s a different approach.”

did, however, admit that there was a bright side: “I got to a point where and I was feeling very burnt out. And rather than just take time off, playing with Priest kept me in the public eye, and it kept me out there in the world playing music. It was ideal, really. So it’s good if I can fit a couple of albums in now before we do this Ozzy run. It’s a great chance just to get back into the studio now.”

According to Priest bassist Ian Hill, any decision about Sneap staying with the band will ultimately be made by all parties:
“Andy is first and foremost a producer. Whether he wants to go back and do that full time or not, it’ll be a mutual decision when the time comes. Andy will be more than welcome to stay. He’s done a tremendous job over the last year or so, really.”

Judas Priest will perform at next year’s edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place July 30, 2020 – August 1, 2020 in Wacken, Germany. The show will be part of the British heavy metal legends’ 50th-anniversary tour, which is expected to launch next spring/summer.


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