Richie Faulkner Reveals Unexpected Guitar and Amp Choice on Judas Priest’s Last Album

Metal guitar master Richie Faulkner, famous for his use of Gibson and Epiphone guitars, particularly Flying V models, revealed a somewhat unconventional choice of an instrument and an amplifier on Judas Priest’s latest album “Firepower.” Faulkner, who’s currently promoting his supergroup Elegant Weapons and their debut album “Horns for a Halo,” sat down for an interview with Ultimate Guitar where he was asked about whether he’s a “Gibson guy” and if there are any Stratocasters in his collection, he replied:

“Yeah, I’ve got a few things around the house, but I think that what I play as a working guitar player, shall we say, like we were just saying, the guitar on the record is a Gibson Flying V. So the guitars that I end up using are Gibsons.

“They’re my guitars of choice. That’s the guitar that I put my name on if you know what I mean, they’re the guitars that I turned to.

Richie Faulkner live

But it turns out that Richie’s first guitar was a Strat copy so he’s familiar with what such instruments can do. He continued:

“The first guitar I got was a Strat copy, and the reason I turned to Gibson… I didn’t know anything about humbuckers, or single coils, or anything like that at the time, but I gravitated towards Gibson because that was the sound that was enabling me to play the songs that I wanted to play. That was the sound that was in my head.

“When I started playing cover songs in bands, that was the guitar, that was the tool, that enabled me to play those songs properly. It was the right weight and it felt right and the sound from the humbuckers was right. You know, all those things, and I’ve been a Gibson man ever since. So yeah, that’s the guitar I put my name to, literally, with the signature guitar.”

Richie Faulkner Instagram solo

Now, since it’s always interesting to know if a particular rock god used an unexpected guitar on a studio recording, Faulkner was asked whether he ever used a Stratocaster with Judas Priest in the studio. Although he said that he didn’t, it turns out that Faulkner had some unconventional choices for the band’s 2018 album “Firepower.” He said:

“You know what? I didn’t use a Stratocaster. I used a Telecaster on all of the clean guitars on ‘Firepower’. It was a Japanese Telecaster through a Roland JC-120 and that was what I used for all of the clean guitars on ‘Firepower.‘”

While recalling how he got this Telecaster, Faulkner also recalled an unusual piece of gear that was, at one point, the main focus of guitar fans online:

“I picked up that Telecaster and do you remember, there was a pedal called the Miku pedal. I think Miku was a Japanese anime character and she has a distinctive voice. So when you play notes through the pedal, it sort of speaks in this character’s voice. It’s ridiculous, but it’s hilarious.

Rig Rundown - Judas Priest

“So I found one of these pedals in a store in Amsterdam, and I needed a guitar to test it out with. So they had this beautiful black Telecaster Custom, with a Bigsby-type tremolo on it and I used that to play this pedal. Long story short, I bought both of them because the Telecaster was beautiful, and the pedal was ridiculous, and I bought it. But that was the guitar that I ended up playing all my clean sounds on the ‘Firepower’ record.”

As Faulkner added, the band did consider using an actual Stratocaster for some clean tones. However, according to him, the aforementioned Telecaster felt like a much better choice. He added:

“We actually tried the Stratocaster, you know, they’re renowned for having a great, clean tone, but it wasn’t as good as the Tele, so that’s what I used.

Riff Lords: Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest

However, it was a different story for his supergroup Elegant Weapons. Faulkner explained:

“But as far as Stratocasters in the studio, that was actually the other guitar that played on the ‘Horns for a Halo’ record, but the song didn’t make the record. So that’s the only other time I’ve used it and it didn’t make it… Maybe that was the reason why it didn’t make.

Nonetheless, Richie still admits that he’s very fond of Stratocasters. After all, one of his biggest heroes played one:

“I don’t know, I’m a huge fan of Strats. I mean, Hendrix played a Strat and that was the guitar I wanted when I first started playing. I think they bring the character of the player out as well, a Stratocaster. But as I said, it’s just not the guitar that I need when I’m playing the stuff that I want to play.”


Apart from Faulkner, the Elegant Weapons supergroup also features Rainbow vocalist Ronnie Romero, drummer Christopher Williams of Accept, and Uriah Heep bassist Dave Rimmer. This metal quartet will soon be releasing their debut album, the aforementioned “Horns for a Halo,” and they have two singles out so far. But interestingly enough, the album saw them with a different lineup, with Judas Priest’s Scott Travis on the drums and Pantera bassist Rex Brown.

Photo: S. Bollmann (Judas Priest With Full Force 2018 05)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.