Though longtime Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton mostly stepped away from touring after announcing his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis, the musician still remains very much a part of the band’s plans for their next album. Touring guitarist and producer Andy Sneap revealed as much during an appearance on Robb Flynn‘s No Fuckin’ Regrets podcast (heard below).

Priest are currently between records, but have started working toward the Firepower follow-up. According to Sneap, Tipton has been involved with the record. “[He is] still very much part of Judas Priest,” said Sneap, adding that he’s “involved with the songwriting.”

“Even if we have to piece bits together, he’s still gonna be a major part of it,” he added. “It’s just the physical aspect of him going up there and doing it. And especially with what’s happening now in the world, it’s just not something you can consider at the moment.”

Sneap opened up about Tipton’s health, stating, “It’s tough, because Glenn’s a good friend now, after working with him for a few years … but seeing what the guy is going through, and he’s so determined. I’ll see him sat in the studio, and he’ll be struggling, if I’m honest, but he’s so determined. And it must be so frustrating for him, someone who’s lived his whole life for Judas Priest — 50 years. It’s a rotten thing to actually happen to anyone, but to happen to a guitarist of his caliber…”

Singer Rob Halford, currently making the rounds in support of his autobiography Confess, recently told Full Metal Jackie of the approach for the band’s next album, “It’s very important to look back at your past experiences. That is what we do in bands. We look at where we’ve gone and what we’ve said. We’re always kind of reevaluating where are and what we’re working on now and I think the world already knows that Priest has started to follow up to Firepower and it’s starting to come together and sounding incredible. So this whole focus of living in the moment but also getting ready for what’s coming next is what drives us and so that’s where we are with Priest right now.”

Hear Judas Priest’s Andy Sneap on the No Fuckin’ Regrets Podcast With Robb Flynn

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