In a recent interview with Guitar World, Judas Priest‘s Richie Faulkner explained that his heart scare came out of nowhere.

Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during the band’s live performance on September 26, 2021, at the Louder Than Life Festival. After he collapsed backstage, he was rushed to the hospital and underwent open-heart surgery that lasted over 10 hours.

After his successful open-heart surgery, Faulkner needed time to rest and get back on his feet. Therefore Judas Priest decided to postpone the rest of their tour to let him recover so he could get back on stage again. Because he didn’t have a prior history of heart problems, the guitarist didn’t know he had suffered a severe incident on stage that day.

Richie Faulkner stated that he couldn’t tell he had a heart problem as he hadn’t experienced any signs. He added that although back pain is considered a sign of a heart problem, he was dismissive of that because his back has been hurting since he was 35. Faulkner found out his blood pressure was a little high in England, but the doctor wasn’t worried. However, a year later, he collapsed backstage during the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky.

Richie Faulkner’s thoughts about any signs of his heart condition:

Not that I could tell. People with heart problems sometimes have backaches, but I’m 42, and I’ve been running around onstage forever. So my back has been hurting every day since I was about 35.

In February 2020, I had a physical in England, and the doctor checked my blood pressure and said it was a little high. Still, she said it was okay, and there was nothing to worry about. The Kentucky show was in September the following year, and there was never any indication of any problem before I got halfway through ‘Painkiller.'”

Richie Faulkner recovered and built strength to get back on stage to perform for their fans. Judas Priest is still on their ’50 Heavy Metal Years Tour’ that they had to reschedule due to Covid and Faulkner’s heart scare.