Earlier this week, Judas Priest announced the departure of guitarist Andy Sneap from their live lineup. This meant the band would be touring as a four-piece comprising singer Rob Halford, bass player Ian Hill, guitarist Richie Faulkner and drummer Scott Travis.
Sneap joined Judas Priest’s touring lineup after lead guitarist Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018. But the Priest put out a statement early in the week announcing their intention to tour “as an even more powerful, relentless four piece Heavy Metal band.”
The band also said Tipton would be “coming out on stage with us here and there” and thanked Sneap “for all you’ve done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album.”
Sneap explained the circumstances behind his departure in a statement submitted to Blabbermouth: “Rob 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.”
However, Halford and co. have evidently done an about face, confirming Sneap’s reinstatement in a social media post: “Given all that has recently evolved and transpired we have decided unanimously as a band to continue our live shows unchanged with Rob, Ian, Richie, Scott, Andy and Glenn joining us whenever he’s able.”
The band’s upcoming 50 Heavy Metal Years tour begins in March and includes dozens of shows in North America, Eastern and Western Europe and the UK.