Tony Harnell Says He’s Glad He Didn’t Join Judas Priest

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TNT singer Tony Harnell recently joined Appetite For Distortion for an interview and admitted that he is glad about not joining Judas Priest.

After the tour for the album ‘Painkiller’ in 1991, Rob Halford left Judas Priest to work on a solo project. He had wanted to do this for a long time, but a studio executive told him that he would need to resign from Judas Priest before making such a move. Halford then stated this interest, but it was misunderstood as his desire to quit the Priest.

Following his departure, Halford formed a street-style thrash metal band named Fight. Moreover, Judas Priest began searching for a singer to replace Halford, and they ended up recruiting Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens in 1996. The Priest then released two live double albums and two studio albums titled ‘Jugulator’ and ‘Demolition’ with Owens.

In a recent interview with Appetite For Distortion podcast, TNT singer and former Skid Row frontman Tony Harnell revealed that Judas Priest considered him a replacement for Rob Halford after his departure. He then said he got pretty excited after his manager told him about this opportunity, and it was a massive dream of his.

However, Harnell claimed that replacing Halford in the Priest would mean more pressure and more challenges, so he is glad he didn’t join the band. He then implied he had been a fan of the Priest since childhood, and people’s unfavorable reactions would break his heart. According to Harnell, although he might perform the songs well, he wasn’t ‘Halford’ for the fans.

During the conversation, Tony Harnell said the following:

“I was considered at one point when Rob Halford left. My manager told me I was being considered for Judas Priest, and that would have been a huge dream for me because I knew the songs so well. Looking back on it, I’m almost glad I didn’t get the gig because it was hard to be in the role.

It’s been even more pressure and even harder, I think, for me to have filled that role. Considering the childhood history I have with Judas Priest, it could have broken my heart depending on people’s reactions. It doesn’t matter how good you do the material. It’s, ‘You’re not the guy.'”

You can watch the rest of the interview below.