Judas Priest, Pantera + Rainbow Members Form New Supergroup Elegant Weapons
There's some serious pedigree here with Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner and drummer Scott Travis joining Pantera bassist Rex Brown and Rainbow and MSG singer Ronnie Romero in the new band. And there's another Priest tie, as Andy Sneap has been working with band producing their spring 2023 full-length debut titled Horns for a Halo.
The group has signed to Nuclear Blast Records for their forthcoming album, and things are starting to fall into place for their arrival.
“It’s exciting to be part of a label like Nuclear Blast that has such a rich history and level of respect among fans and the music industry,” says Faulkner. “Monte Conner [Nuclear Blast VP A&R] knows Andy Sneap well, and Andy has always held Monte and label in very high regard. Monte has loved the record from the very early demo stages. It’s very valuable and important to me that the label I sign with understand and connect with the music. This record represents for me more of my DNA as a guitar player and a songwriter. Heavy, but moving slightly outside the realms of ‘heavy metal.’ Those roots are obvious, but I wanted to reach in a bit and see what else came out that wasn’t necessarily ‘expected.'”
Conner adds of his new signees, “I am such a huge fan of all the players involved, especially Richie. As a diehard Priest fan, I have enjoyed watching help breathe new life into the band and add to their incredible story and legacy. What an amazing player he is. People always focus on leads, and of course Richie is a master in that department, but I can listen to him play rhythm guitar all day long! His rhythm playing is just so tasteful and magical. I can’t wait for fans to hear this album and discover how multi-faceted he is.”
Speaking about how the band came together, Faulkner stated, “I’ve always wanted to make a record with Scott outside of Priest. Add to that Rex Brown’s unmistakable tone and attitude is something special. Having those guys as the rhythm section is a guitar players dream. The icing on the cake was Ronnie Romero. One of the new breed of instantly classic vocalists, Ronnie brought a character and a swagger to the songs that is instantly iconic, making these songs his own."
Faulkner describes the band calling it "a mix of Jimi Hendrix, Priest, Sabbath, solo Ozzy and Black Label Society – heavy, catchy, and with melody." He goes on to add, "[It's] sort of old school and modern at once if that makes any sense, and actually down-tuned a whole step. The Marshall Plexi basically does one thing, but you’ve got to crank it to 11 for it to have that distorted sound. It hasn’t got a lot of bells and whistles on it or different channels and effects. It basically does one thing and does it very well. But again down-tuning creates more of a modern sound, and by using the classic sound of the Marshall Plexi, you get that juxtaposition, that contrast. All told, there are a lot of guitar solos and the songs are on the heavier side. And even though there’s a lot of melody, it’s still going to shake your bones.”
Faulkner adds that there's only one mellow song on their record, a "sort of smoky, haunted, New Orleans kind of tune called 'Ghost of You,'" Other songs he's hyping ahead of the album release include "White Horse" and the Horns for a Halo title track that he calls "Tony Iommi crossed with Alice in Chains" that's about justifying bad things that have been done.
Remember the name - Elegant Weapons will be arriving in the spring of 2023.