Metal: Judas Priest lose guitarist and Nucleust recruit new drummer
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Metal: Judas Priest lose guitarist and Nucleust recruit new drummer

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As some of our metal greats bow out in their 70s, we also see newer bands switching members or exploring new projects as they seek to broaden their musical horizons or refine what they want their band to be. For instance, by now you’ve no doubt heard the news that Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton has had to step down from active duty in the band due to an ongoing battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Tipton was diagnosed around ten years ago but has kept it from the public until now, though he does play on the new record, Firepower.

It’s a monster of a record – probably even better than their last, Redeemer of Souls. Tipton will be replaced on the road by Firepower co-producer Andy Sneap. Judas Priest have gone on the record to say that Tipton did play on the album, while being evasive about whether Sneap contributed any guitar work. Either way, when the band hits the road they’ll be without either of their iconic long-time guitarists. Luckily Richie Faulkner, who joined Judas Priest in 2011, brings a huge amount of charisma and shred-power to the band, and the thought of him forming a guitar duo with the no-slouch-either Sneap is pretty exciting. Tipton will appear for a few songs whenever he feels up to it.

Parkinson’s has been in the rock/metal news a fair bit recently: complications from Parkinson’s sadly claimed Mr. Big drummer Pat Torpey’s life a few weeks ago. The band had been performing with a stand-in drummer, Matt Starr, but Torpey had been accompanying them on the road to sing backing vocals and play as much as his condition would allow. The recently-announced co-headlining tour with Extreme must have been in the works while Torpey was still with us and it’s going ahead, with the band promising to honour his memory. This tour will be the first time Extreme and Mr. Big have toured together, Extreme’s first time here since 1993, and Mr. Big’s first ever Australian tour. I caught Extreme at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California in January and I gotta say, it was one of the best rock shows I’ve ever seen. You can see them at The Forum on Wednesday June 6.

A few weeks ago, I reported that Perth metal gods Nucleust were on the lookout for a new drummer after their long-time drummer decided to step down for other pursuits. Nucleust are thrilled to welcome Giuliano Macri to the fold. The band has snapped up 20-year-old drummer Macri, who comes via ambient black metal project, Staos. “We were absolutely blown away by Giuliani’s technical skills during his audition and have seen many similarities in his taste and approach towards music compare to what we like in Nucleust,” the band says.