By Andrew Catania
An axeman with a command on the pen and chords alike, Richie Faulkner has brilliantly consumed this dual virtuosity to pave his way ahead in a short span of time.
Born in London on January 1st, 1980, Richard Ian Faulkner, aka Richie Faulkner, was naturally drawn to music since a very young age. His inborn music-philia compelled him to learn the intricacies of different genres as well as equipment aside from his schooling and formal education. Having tested his fingers on a variety of instruments, Richie Faulkner eventually came to terms with the guitar. Now that the playing flair of his fingers was focused on the chords, there was no looking back for Richie Faulkner. Since then, Richie has embarked on a never-ending journey to rock and ace his forte and leave his mark on the heavy metal and had rock genres.
Richie Faulkner formally debuted and started his professional music career by joining Dirty Deeds in 2001 at the young age of 21. Playing as the lead guitarist for the band and also helping with the lyrics and vocals, the band released an album titled ‘Blown’ in 2002. Later next year, Richie ventured into a joint feat with bassist Tony Newton and co-founded Voodoo Six, a British rhythmic heavy metal band, in 2003.
After a couple of underground performances and side appearances, it took around 3 years for Voodoo Six to release their first album titled ‘Feed My Soul’ in 2006. After that, the restless Richie bid farewell to his brainchild and partnered with Lauren Harris, an acclaimed British rock singer and the daughter of Steve Harris of Iron Maidens.
The Richie-Lauren collaboration released Lauren’s debut album titled ‘Calm Before the Sun’ in 2008. Meanwhile, Richie expanded his domain of partnerships and associations and signed with Ace Mafia and Parramon. This added two more releases to his portfolio, including ‘Vicious Circle’ with Ace Mafia, and ‘Dead People’ with Parramon, in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
By this time, Richie had gained a sound recognition in the music sphere. His spark lit up Judas Priest, the 2nd best band of all time, reigniting its fiery thrill after they offered Richie to join the band as the lead guitarist, replacing K. K. Downing in the process. Richie embraced the opportunity, something that was actually more of a challenge and could have turned out either way. However, after long and regular jamming hours, Richie finally had to face the limelight at the band’s platform on American Idol in 2011, facing millions of national and global audiences.
The electric performance enthralled the masses, endorsing Judas Priest’s choice of taking Richie on board. The immense success of Judas Priest’s next album, ‘Redeemer of Souls’, in 2014 and ‘Battle Cry Live’ in 2016 brought a global prominence to Richie’s name.
Aside from his permanent and full-time association with Judas Priest, Richie Faulkner has composed music for Christopher Lee’s ‘Charlemagne: The Omens of Death’ and has made a special appearance in Primitai’s ‘Rise Again’ in 2013.
The man of immense talent, Richie Faulkner would surely have made it big even without Judas Priest. But the association turned out to be symbiotic as Richie instilled a fresh breath of air in the stagnated Judas Priest while the band provided him a clear shortcut to the global limelight.