Judas Priest is preparing to relaunch their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour in March, and the legendary British rockers have now revealed that they're planning to perform as a quartet rather than a five-piece outfit moving forward.
In a new Facebook message, the band says, "We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to World touring…celebrating 50 Years of Judas Priest as an even more powerful, relentless four piece Heavy Metal band."
In 2018, longtime Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton announced that he'd been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and would no longer be able to tour regularly with the group. The band's recent co-producer Andy Sneap was then tapped to take Tipton's place on the road, although Glenn has frequently made guest appearances at select concerts.
Now, Sneap is stepping away from the Judas Priest touring lineup, although the band notes that Tipton will be "coming out on stage with us here and there as before."
In the Facebook post, Priest thanks Sneap "for all you've done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album."
As previously reported, Judas Priest was forced to postpone most of its 2021 North American tour dates after guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an aortic aneurysm onstage during the band's set at the Louder than Life festival in Kentucky in September.
Thankfully, Faulkner announced in November that his recovery was going well, and he's expected to be back out with the band when the tour kicks off March 4 in Peoria, Illinois.
You can check out the band's full itinerary at JudasPriest.com.
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