Rob Halford is “content” with Judas Priest’s two-guitar lineup–but he loves what Iron Maiden does with three

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By Steve Newton

I interviewed Rob Halford a couple of weeks ago in advance of Judas Priest’s upcoming shows at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and we had a pretty nice chat. We go way back, to that time he called me up to promote the Defenders of the Faith tour in ’84.

At one point we started talking about former Priest guitarist, K.K. Downing, and I pondered whether there was any chance that Downing might return to the fold and turn the band into a three-guitar army like Iron Maiden.

That query drew a little chuckle from the “Metal God”–and a compliment to his fellow British headbangers.

“I love Maiden!,” he raved. “I’m a huge Maiden fan. Of course The Book of Souls has come out, and I love that record. I think it’s a fantastic achievement.

But we’re content with our two-guitar lineup,” he added. “You know, the cool thing about Priest in that respect, Steve, is that I believe that we were the first metal band to have two lead-guitar players in a group at the time that metal was creating itself.

“Most metal bands had the basic lineup of singer, bass, guitar, and drums,” he continued. “But we always felt that the extra dimensions that the two lead-guitar players could bring were exciting. So we’ve been very happy to achieve all the wonderful things that we have with the two twin-guitar attack.”

Hey–you won’t get any argument from me on that.

For more from Halford on today’s Judas Priest and its latest album Redeemer of Souls, stay tuned.

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