Richie Faulkner Explains Judas Priest’s ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’ Philosophy

It’s been about two and a half years since Richie Faulkner underwent emergency heart surgery. However, the Judas Priest guitarist has shared that completing the band’s new album, ‘Invincible Shield,’ played a big role in his recovery.

In an interview with Total Guitar Faulkner mentioned that the part of the healing process was getting back to making new music. He added to explain the band’s ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ philosophy:

“We’re proud metal fans and this music is like an invincible shield. We all go through challenges. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Glenn [Tipton, guitarist]’s had his struggles, I’ve had things, Rob’s been through it as well, but we live to fight another day!”

Faulkner’s Health Issues

Judas Priest postponed their tours and shows many times due to health-related reasons.

During the Louder Than Life festival on September 26, 2021, the Judas Priest guitarist experienced an acute cardiac aortic dissection on stage. He later revealed on their official website that he had an aortic aneurysm. The rocker went through a ten-hour open-heart surgery, and the doctors had to replace five parts of his chest with mechanical pieces to pull him through.

He later mentioned that the incident was completely unexpected since he had no history of heart, cholesterol, or artery issues. He also encouraged fans to get regular check-ups.

Faulkner Is Grateful To The Surgeons

Faulkner had had only a song left in the show’s entire set. Fortunately, the guitarist was only a few minutes away from the hospital at the time of the incident. He described what felt like a heart attack during an interview with UofL Health:

“Here was like an exploding in the chest area. And as the song went on, I started to feel a bit lightheaded. And I thought it was a heart attack. Anything around that kind of area, I’m thinking, ‘Well, what else could it be?’ And at the end of the song, I pick the guitar up with one hand, and I lift it up in the air. And this time I took the guitar off and I tried to lift it and I just couldn’t. And they took me to the hospital, which was fortunately three or four minutes away.”

He then shared his gratitude to the surgeons that saved his life:

“They saved my life. They made it possible for me to come home and hold my daughter again and cut the lawn and play guitar and do all the normal things that I can do. So I’m forever grateful to them.”

Now, he continues to keep rocking on stage with seemingly no problems.

If you still haven’t, you can hear ‘Invincible Shield’ below.