Have you ever had the chance to interview a rock star? I can now cross that off my bucket list. I had the pleasure of Interviewing Richie Faulkner; lead guitarist of the one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all times: Judas Priest, as they tour North America and Canada landing at Bethel Woods on Sunday, September 2.
I wasn’t sure what to expect before the interview started, I am sure that my questions would be pretty similar to what other interviewers were asking but I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it was to talk to him, how personable and down-to-earth he was and what a great conversationalist. I felt my nerves slip away and it was like I was talking with an old friend.
Born Jan 1, 1980 and raised in London, birthplace of heavy metal, Richie began playing the piano at the age of 6 but while he was getting lessons at his instructor’s house he found himself looking to the corner of the room where a set of drums and an electric guitar sat. He realized he would rather be playing the guitar than the piano so he stopped playing the piano and picked up the guitar and knew this is what he was supposed to be doing. During these younger years Faulkner’s father introduced him to the music of Jimi Hendrix, and he was not only mesmerized by Hendrix talent but also by the visual production that was part of Hendrix showmanship, this would become one of the main influences on Faulkner and his style. During these years, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, UFO and Iron Maiden were a staple in Faulkner’s play list and would spend hours and hours picking up the needle and replaying the music over and over teaching himself how to play by ear and credits this long process with really learning the music and becoming a better musician by understanding the music. Faulkner spent his teen years playing with local bands at bars and pubs covering the very music he spent so much time listening to.
Faulkner lived in London until 2011, when he joined Judas Priest and has spent his time touring the World and writing music. Priest’s latest album; Firepower is Faulkner’s 2nd with the band and also happens to be the highest US Charting record for Priest. Faulkner credits fans with the responsibility of putting them there and is very grateful for the amount of love and support they have from fans of all generations, showing what a great affirmation of the power of heavy metal in 2018.
Priest’s North American tour will wrap up at the end of September and Faulkner says he is ready for a little time off to spend with family and loved ones back in the UK. When touring he is completely immersed in the music and work and spends time working out and making sure he stays fit to be able to give the performances the fans expect from a Priest Concert. After the short time off, Priest will finish up this tour in South America and Japan by the end of the year. UK fans do not worry though, next year Priest is planning a European tour starting in the UK. Faulkner stating that the birthplace of heavy metal will receive a good dose of Priest’s attention.
Judas Priest will be playing with Deep Purple at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; home of the original Woodstock, on Sept 2, 2018. Faulkner is looking forward to exploring the actual Woodstock site; its history and taking a tour, which ironically brings him full circle with Hendrix, one of his major influences and one of the major acts at the original Woodstock.
If you are interested in seeing Judas Priest, visit www.BethelWoodsCenter.org, The Bethel Woods Box Office, www.Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1.800.745.3000.
Article by Michelle Erbach, Photographer.
Learn more about Michelle at MichelleLeePhotographer.com.