Richie-Faulkner by Anne Erickson

Judas Priest are taking their killer live show on the road this fall with a North American tour that wraps up just before Thanksgiving. Head to one of the shows, and you’ll spot guitarist Richie Faulkner slinging one of his prized Les Pauls or Flying Vs.

“Gibson is part of who I am as a player,” Faulkner told me backstage at Louder than Life festival, a few minutes before Judas Priest’s headlining set. “It's been synonymous with rock 'n' roll and blues and wherever you can imagine.”

Faulkner joined Judas Priest following K.K. Downing’s departure in 2011, and he had a major role in writing and recording the band’s latest full-length, 2014’s Redeemer of Souls.

During his early days, Faulkner started out playing in London bars and clubs. He quickly gravitated towards Les Pauls.

It was heavy and had different parts and a different radius and all that sort of stuff,” Faulkner said. “It was the case of that it was what I needed for what I wanted to do. We were playing Priest, Sabbath, Maiden and Hendrix in these bands, and it just seemed to be the versatility that I needed and the weight, so here we are. I have three Les Pauls out and three Vs at the moment. I'm a huge Gibson fan.”

Check back for our full interview with Faulkner later this month.

Photo by Anne Erickson