K.K. Downing recently released a statement saying he was “shocked and stunned” that he wasn’t approached about rejoining Judas Priest after Glenn Tipton stepped away from touring due to his struggles with Parkinson’s disease. Now, Rob Halford has taken issue with one part of the statement, which he saw as an insinuation that producer Andy Sneap, who will be taking over for Tipton on tour, performed Tipton’s parts on the band’s new album “Firepower“ (out March 9).
Halford said the following [transcribed by Blabbermouth]:
“Let me just say that the great joy of Judas Priest is that we’ve never gone into this kind of arena of a public dispute. And it’s so easy to fall into that trap in social media today. How many people have you seen in sports, for example, that have made a rash comment on Twitter, just on the heat of the moment, emotionally.
You know, we’re all human, we’ve all got feelings, and we have a tendency to blurt out the first thing that is on our minds, and rightly or wrongly, things can kind of come back and chase you afterwards in a negative way.
So, with regards to everything that was made in [K.K.‘s] statement today, a lot of it, to me, is completely superfluous. But the one point that I would like to clarify and have on record is this insinuation that Andy Sneap was covering Glenn‘s guitar parts on ‘Firepower‘, and I can categorically state that that is a thousand percent false.
Because I was with Glenn for all of his guitar work, and he worked really, really hard. Imagine this guy in the tenth year of Parkinson’s. I’ve never seen anybody so brave in the fact that every song was a challenge for him to make it work, but he did — consistently, day after day. It was just a very powerful thing to experience firsthand. And this just goes to show you about the amazing stories that surround invididuals around the world that are dealing with Parkinson’s in their life.
So, thank you for that opportunity, Kenny. I just wanted to touch on that one issue, because out of everything that was laid out in that statement, that one hit me personally. And so now I’ve been able to clarify that and make sure that everybody out in the world listening to the show, on the Internet and elsewhere, understands that everything that you hear from Glenn on ‘Firepower‘ is the amazing Glenn Tipton. Oh yeah!”
Downing has since offered a clarification:
just to clarify that my complimenting Andy Sneap as I did was no more than I would have said about any other guitar playing producers that have also contributed much more than expected to our past albums. Great talent such as Chris Tsangarides (R.I.P) and Roy Z both not only produced – but also contributed song ideas, riffs and licks, lyric ideas etc.
Consequently, albums like Painkiller and Angel of Retribution would not have been the same without them. Even George Martin, I believe, provided much more for the Beatles than just the role of a normal producer. An extra musician in the studio, like the aforementioned talented producers, really does bring a great benefit.