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Richie Faulkner
Faulkner performing with Judas Priest in 2015
Faulkner performing with Judas Priest in 2015
Background information
Birth nameRichard Ian Faulkner
Born (1980-01-01) 1 January 1980 (age 43)
London, England
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active2001–present

Richard Ian Faulkner (born 1 January 1980) [1] is an English musician best known as one of the lead guitarists for the heavy metal band Judas Priest since 2011, replacing original member K. K. Downing. Faulkner has also performed with Lauren Harris, Christopher Lee, Voodoo Six, Deeds, and Ace Mafia.


Early life and career

Faulkner was born in London, [1] and lived in Stockholm, Sweden, where he worked as a sausage seller between 1995 and 2000, [2] and learned to speak Swedish while living in the country. [3]

His inspiration to pick up a guitar was watching recordings of Jimi Hendrix's concerts at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970. [4] Faulkner got his first guitar when he was around 7 or 8 years old. [5] His father played guitar and was a fan of Hendrix and bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and used to show him a few chords. [5] The first song he learned to play on guitar was The Troggs' 1966 single " Wild Thing". [4] When Faulkner was about 13 years old, he connected with the owner of a local music shop who played in a cover band, covering material from Iron Maiden to Thin Lizzy to UFO. He asked Faulkner to play a couple of songs with him at some gigs, which was his introduction to the world of gigging. [5]

In the early stages of his career, Faulkner played in bands such as Deeds, [1] Voodoo Six (which he co-founded with bassist Tony Newton), [1] Ace Mafia, [1] Parramon, [1] and Lauren Harris' band. [1] His first signed band was Deeds, and their album, 2002's Blown, was produced by Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris. [5] With Faulkner on guitar, the Lauren Harris band was the opening act on Iron Maiden's Somewhere Back in Time World Tour in 2008. [6] Steve Harris told Faulkner that if anything would have happened to any of his bandmates, he would have chosen Faulkner as a replacement. [6]

Faulkner has also arranged music for actor Christopher Lee's heavy metal album, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death. Lee's team sent Faulkner some songs that were very orchestral and symphony-based and asked him to arrange them into metal songs. Both Lee and his team gave Faulkner a free creative reign for any ideas he felt the songs needed. [7] The album was released on 27 May 2013, Lee's 91st birthday. [8]

Judas Priest

On 20 April 2011, Faulkner was appointed as the successor of guitarist K. K. Downing in heavy metal band Judas Priest. [9] A mutual friend, guitarist Pete Friesen, recommended him to the band. Friesen and Faulkner had played together in a cover band in London called Metalworks, which coincidentally is also the title of a Judas Priest compilation released in 1993. [10] They called him on a wrong phone number, so they sent him two emails. Faulkner thought they were junk mail, so he deleted them. The band began to track him down and eventually got his real phone number. When Faulkner got a call from the band's management, he thought it was a joke. He went to Glenn Tipton's house the next day to meet him and Rob Halford was present as well. They had a discussion and Faulkner played a few pieces for them. They sent him a few tracks because they wanted to hear what he would play on those tracks on the solos, and they went from there. Faulkner returned about a week later and they offered him the gig. He kept it a secret for a month until the official announcement. [11]

Faulkner's first performance with Judas Priest occurred on 25 May 2011 on the TV show American Idol, where the band performed " Living After Midnight" and " Breaking the Law" with James Durbin. [12] Faulkner's first album with Judas Priest was Redeemer of Souls, released in 2014. [13]

Vocalist Rob Halford and guitarist Glenn Tipton have credited Faulkner with saving Judas Priest. [14] Halford said in a 2015 interview; "Let's face it, to some extent Richie saved Judas Priest, because if we hadn't have found him at the crucial time that we were looking for a guitar player, things could have turned out quite differently." [15]

In 2015, Faulker was awarded the Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award by the readers of British magazine Metal Hammer at their annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. [16]

On 9 March 2018, Judas Priest released their second album with Faulkner, Firepower, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming the band's highest charting album. [17]

Personal life

Faulkner is in a relationship with Mariah Lynch, the daughter of guitarist George Lynch. The couple's first child, a daughter, was born on 8 July 2020. [18]

On 27 September 2021, Judas Priest had to postpone their "50 Heavy Metal Years Tour" in the United States due to Faulkner undergoing major emergency heart surgery. The band announced on social media that they will look to reschedule the tour following updates from Faulkner's doctors. [19] In a statement shared on Judas Priest's official website on 5 October 2021, Faulkner explained that when the band was performing " Painkiller" at the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky on 26 September 2021, his aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into his chest cavity. Faulkner's doctor told him he had an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection, which is often fatal. Faulkner was taken to a nearby hospital, the Rudd Heart & Lung Center (which is only 4 miles away from the venue), and quickly went into what turned out to be a 10 ½ hour emergency open heart surgery where five parts of his chest were replaced with mechanical components. Faulkner said that this was totally unexpected for him since he had no history of a bad heart, no clogged arteries nor high cholesterol, and then urged the fans to get themselves checked. [20]


Faulkner has cited bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, UFO, [5] Rainbow, [5] and Metallica as his early musical influences, [21] as well as guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Brian May, David Gilmour, [22] Eddie Van Halen, Dave Murray, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, Kirk Hammett, [22] and Michael Schenker as major influences on his guitar playing. [23]


Faulkner playing his signature Epiphone Flying V guitar during a Judas Priest concert at With Full Force Summer Open Air Festival in Germany on 15 June 2018.

Faulkner is known for his use of Gibson and Epiphone Flying V model guitars, [24] equipped with his signature EMG 57/66 active pickups. [25] His first Gibson was an Epiphone Flying V with locking trem. [7] Faulkner has also used a Gibson Les Paul Custom with EMG 81/85 active pickups. [24]

In March 2018, Epiphone released Faulkner's signature Flying V guitar. [26] [27]

  • Engl Powerball II [30]
  • ENGL cabs with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers [30]
Strings and picks
  • Ernie Ball Power Slinky strings (.011-.048) [30]
  • Dunlop strings (.011-.050) [30]
  • InTuneGP picks (2 mm) [30]


Year Album details Band / Artist Notes
2002 Blown
  • Released: 4 September 2002
  • Label: EMI
2006 Feed My Soul
  • Released: 21 August 2006 [31]
  • Label: White Knuckle/Filthy Lucre Records
Voodoo Six
2008 Calm Before the Storm
  • Released: 10 June 2008 [32]
  • Label: Demolition DR2 Records
Lauren Harris
2009 Vicious Circle
  • Released: 9 December 2009
  • Independently released
Ace Mafia EP
2013 Epitaph
  • Released: 28 May 2013
  • Label: Legacy
Judas Priest DVD
2014 Redeemer of Souls
2016 Battle Cry
  • Released: 25 March 2016
  • Label: Epic
Live Album / DVD
2018 Firepower
  • Released: 9 March 2018
  • Label: Epic
Guest appearances
Year Album details Band / Artist Notes
2010 Dead People
  • Released: 21 November 2010
  • Label: Rockline Records
2011 For All We Know
  • Released: 25 April 2011
  • Label: Self-released
For All We Know Lead guitar on track 2;
"Busy Being Somebody Else"
2013 Charlemagne: The Omens of Death
  • Released: 27 May 2013
  • Label: Charlemagne Productions Ltd.
Christopher Lee Arranger 7 of 10 tracks
Rise Again
  • Released: 14 October 2013
  • Label: Green China Records
Primitai Guitar on track 2;
"Scream When You See Us" [33]
2014 Renegades
  • Released: 16 May 2014
  • Label:
Monument Lead guitar on track 8;
"Rock The Night" [34]
2016 Electric Conjuring
  • Released: 1 June 2016
  • Label: Evil Steel Records
Iron Spell Lead guitar on track 6;
2018 Ace Mafia
  • Released: 15 September 2018
Ace Mafia EP [35]
2022 Exile
  • Released: 28 October 2022
  • Label: Weapons MFG
Demon Hunter Lead guitar and solo on track 10;

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2015 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award Won [16]
Loudwire Music Awards Guitarist of the Year Nominated [36]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Catania, Andrew (3 February 2017). "Richie Faulkner: From Dirty Deeds to Judas Priest". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Judas Priest-stjärnan: Jag jobbade som korvgubbe – i Sverige". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner speaks Swedish and worked as a sausage seller in Sweden". Wayback Machine. 9 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest: Why I Play Guitar". YouTube. 19 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Richie Faulkner talks about his Rock Scene". YouTube. 26 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Richie Faulkner Was Potential Iron Maiden Replacement". Loudwire. 12 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b Hodgson, Peter (7 November 2012). "Guitar Talk with Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner". Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Christopher Lee Readies Heavy Metal Album for 91st Birthday". Rolling Stone. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  9. ^ Collis, Clark (20 April 2011). "Guitarist K.K. Downing quits Judas Priest after 40 years". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  10. ^ Weiderhorn, Jon (15 February 2012). "Interview: Guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner Discuss Judas Priest After K.K. Downing". Guitar World.
  11. ^ "Hit The Lights: Richie Faulkner: 'I'm Not There To Replace A Forty-Year Career'". Ultimate Guitar. 18 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Judas Priest Performs "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking The Law" On American Idol Finale". Metal Underground. 26 May 2011. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Judas Priest announce first studio album since 2008". The Guardian. 28 April 2014. Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Judas Priest - Glenn Tipton Says Richie Faulkner Saved the Band from Demise". YouTube. 1 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Rob Halford Credits Richie Faulkner With Saving Judas Priest". Ultimate Classic Rock. 22 October 2015.
  16. ^ a b "2015 Metal Hammer 'Golden Gods Awards' Winners Revealed". 15 June 2015.
  17. ^ Caulfield, Keith (18 March 2018). "Judas Priest Earns Highest Charting Album Ever on Billboard 200 With 'Firepower'". Billboard.
  18. ^ "JUDAS PRIEST's RICHIE FAULKNER Welcomes First Child With GEORGE LYNCH's Daughter". 17 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Richie Faulkner in a "stable" condition after undergoing major emergency heart surgery". Guitar World. 28 September 2021.
  20. ^ "Update on Richie Faulkner". 5 October 2021.
  21. ^ Bryant, Walter (28 August 2014). "The Music Zoo Interviews Richie Faulkner Of Judas Priest". The Music Zoo.
  22. ^ a b Steffens, Charlie (21 August 2014). "They Are Rightly The Metal Gods: Gnarly Charlie's Exclusive Interview With Guitarist Richie Faulkner of JUDAS PRIEST". KNAC.
  23. ^ "Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest Talks Zakk Wylde, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Schenker and more!". YouTube. 11 July 2018.
  24. ^ a b "Richie Faulkner". Equip Board.
  25. ^ "Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest Signature EMG 57/66 at The Music Zoo". YouTube. 9 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Epiphone Richie Faulkner Flying V". Thomann.
  27. ^ "Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest Signature Epiphone Flying V at The Music Zoo". YouTube. 9 April 2018.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h "Gear List".
  29. ^ "Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner - GEAR MASTERS Ep. 199". YouTube. 1 May 2018.
  30. ^ a b c d e Charupakorn, Joe (19 June 2014). "Judas Priest: Unleash the Beast". Premier Guitar.
  31. ^ "Feed My Soul – Voodoo Six". All Music.
  32. ^ Samman, Tonia (24 June 2008). "The Daily Rind Catches Up With Lauren Harris During the Calm Before The Storm". The Daily Rind. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  33. ^ "JUDAS PRIEST's RICHIE FAULKNER Guests On New PRIMITAI Single". Blabbermouth. 4 September 2013.
  34. ^ "Monument – Renegades". Metal Invader. 11 July 2014.
  35. ^ "ACE MAFIA feat. Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest) Announce 'Ace Mafia' EP Release For September". Rock'N'Growl. 17 August 2018.
  36. ^ "4th Annual Loudwire Music Awards: Complete Winners List". Loudwire. 3 February 2015.

External links