After the untimely departure of longtime Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing, the band had to decide what their next move would be. With their Epitaph world tour around the corner, Judas Priest finally found a formidable replacement for Downing in the London based guitarist Richie Faulkner. Faulkner had been playing in Lauren Harris' band, and if the name sounds familiar, yes, Lauren Harris is the daughter of Iron Maiden's Steve Harris.

Artisan News recently caught up with Faulkner and asked him how the Epitaph tour was going. “The tour’s been going great,” reports Faulkner, “It couldn’t have gone any better really, the band’s on fire. I’d like to think I’ve injected a bit of energy back into them. Hopefully we'll just keep going.”

Of course, jumping into a legendary metal band like Judas Priest and filling the shoes of K.K. Downing has to be a little unnerving, wouldn’t you think? Faulkner described his good fortune with a lot of positivity, saying, “It was an incredible honor just to be considered, as you can imagine. Big shoes to fill but what can you do, there are challenges in life and that was one I knew I’d take.”

Priest heads to Asia to finish up the current leg of their Epitaph tour. After a short break, they’ll head over to Europe in April with dates through the end of May.

Watch Artisan News Interview Judas Priest Guitarist Richie Faulkner