Judas Priest producer and now former guitar player Andy Sneap opened up about the band’s recent announcement in which they revealed Sneap’s departure as a guitarist. According to him, the decision was disappointing despite the fact that his role in the band was always temporary.

Longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton announced in early 2018 that he was going to sit out touring activities in support of their eighteenth studio album, ‘Firepower,’ which was released on March 9, 2018.

The main reason behind this decision was the Parkinson’s disease he was diagnosed with eight years ago. Andy Sneap who co-produced the 2018 album began touring with Judas Priest as their guitar player.

Since then, Sneap had been working with them as a band member in addition to his role in the production team. However, the band recently announced that they will be continuing as a four-piece, without Sneap in the band.

They thanked Andy Sneap for all his work and stated that he will be a part of the production team for their upcoming album.

Judas Priest’s announcement follows:

“Hello, maniacs! We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to world touring… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as an even more powerful, relentless four-piece heavy metal band – with Glenn coming out on stage with us here and there as before. Big thanks to Andy for all you’ve done and continue to be on the production team for our new album… See you all soon headbangers!”

Following this unexpected announcement, Andy Sneap opened up about his departure from the band as their guitarist in a statement via BlabberMouth. Apparently, frontman Rob Halford called him just a week ago to inform him about the band’s decision.

According to Sneap, the decision was very disappointing, but he respects their choice since his tenure as a guitar player was always temporary. The musician and producer also said that he’ll be supporting the band in every way he can for the future of their career.

About his departure as a guitarist, Sneap said:

“Rob called me last Monday and said they wanted to move on as a four-piece, which I find incredibly disappointing after this amount of time but I respect his decision as they obviously have a vision of how they want this to play out. This always was a temporary situation, and as I’ve said before, I’ll always help the band any way I can, and that applies going forward also.

I’ve been a huge fan of the band since the early ’80s and it was mind-blowing to play onstage with the guys and quite frankly terrifying in the beginning at such short notice. We are moving forward with the new album next month and look forward to making a killer follow-up to ‘Firepower.'”

It seems like Andy Sneap didn’t initially like the idea of not being a member of Judas Priest on stage. However, he has been a huge fan of the band for a very long time which is one of the biggest reasons why he’s also okay with being on the production team only.