Veteran Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill said it's "entirely up to" guitarist Andy Sneap if he remains with the group beyond their ongoing tour for Firepower, the musician speaking to the matter of Glenn Tipton's live replacement on an episode of Talking Metal. Tipton, the longtime Judas Priest guitarist who last year revealed a diagnosis with Parkinson's, stopped performing live with band around that time.

Hill claimed it's still up in the air if Sneap signs on for future touring. In an answer transcribed by Blabbermouth, he outlined the fill-in member and Firepower co-producer's responsibilities outside the act. Hear it below.

"It is something to be discussed, really," the bass player weighed of Sneap's continued presence in Judas Priest. "Andy is now, these days, first and foremost a producer. Whether he wants to go back and do that full time or not, it'll be a mutual decision when the time comes."

Hill continued, "Andy will be more than welcome to stay. He's done a tremendous job over the last year or so, really. He's done a great job stepping in for Glenn. It would have been very difficult if he hadn't been there, on such short notice, because we didn't realize that Glenn couldn't handle the intensity of touring anymore until… We were only about three weeks away from starting the tour [laughs] and Andy stepped in and did a great job. He pulled a real rabbit out of the hat in learning a complete setlist of songs in such a short period of time. He pulled it off anyway. And as time's gone on, obviously, his stage presence, he got more comfortable with that, and he's performing great now. So when the time comes… We'll give it to the end of this run and then see what everybody wants to do. As I say, he'll be more than welcome to carry on with us if that's his plan."

All the same, while he underscored the guitarist's volition in the decision, Hill surmised that Sneap is probably hard at work finishing off various production projects before the band's 2019 North American tour resumes next month.

"He put some work aside to do this," he added, "and obviously, he's anxious to get back and finish that off. He's probably doing some of that now as we speak, in this short break that we've got. Like I say, if he wants to continue, that's entirely up to him, really."

The band's members have previously broached the topic of Sneap staying on. Last year, Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford similarly sidestepped any hard and fast answers of the the guitarist remaining with the group. Still, he championed the producer and musician's creative talents, as well as his malleability in becoming a part of the band.

"We're just very happy to have Andy with us," the singer said. "Glenn's happy to have Andy doing his parts on stage for him. Andy's carved out his own little kind of way of expressing himself, he plays the songs really well, and the fans have accepted him for doing something very generous. So it's a feel-good story, definitely."

See Judas Priest's upcoming tour dates with Uriah Heep below.

Judas Priest 2019 North American Tour Dates

May 03 - Hollywood, Fla. @ Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
May 06 - Nashville, Tenn. @ Nashville Municipal Auditorium
May 08 - Atlanta, Ga. @ Fox Theatre
May 09 - Biloxi, Miss. @ Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
May 12 - Washington, D.C. @ The Anthem
May 14 - Huntington, N.Y. @ The Paramount
May 15 - Huntington, N.Y. @ The Paramount
May 16 - Uncasville, Ct. @ Mohegan Sun Arena
May 18 - Albany, N.Y. @ Palace Theatre
May 19 - Albany, N.Y. @ Palace Theatre
May 22 - Milwaukee, Wis. @ Riverside Theater
May 23 - Milwaukee, Wis. @ Riverside Theater
May 25 - Rosemont, Ill. @ Rosemont Theatre
May 28 - Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater
May 29 - Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater
May 31 - Dallas, Texas @ The Bomb Factory
Jun. 01 - Little Rock, Ark. @ First Security Amphitheater
Jun. 03 - St. Louis, Mo. @ Stifel Theatre
Jun. 05 - Colorado Springs, Colo. @ Broadmoor World Arena
Jun. 08 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan @ SaskTel Centre
Jun. 10 - Lethbridge, Alberta @ ENMAX Centre
Jun. 11 - Edmonton, Alberta @ Rogers Place
Jun. 13 - Dawson Creek, British Columbia @ Encana Events Centre
Jun. 14 - Prince George, British Columbia @ CN Centre
Jun. 16 - Kelowna, British Columbia @ Prospera Place
Jun. 17 - Abbotsford, British Columbia @ Abbotsford Centre
Jun. 19 - Airway Heights, Wash. @ Northern Quest Resort and Casino
Jun. 21 - Kent, Wash. @ Accesso Showare Center
Jun. 22 - Portland, Ore. @ Moda Theatre of the Clouds
Jun. 24 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Warfield Theatre
Jun. 25 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Warfield Theatre
Jun. 27 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ Microsoft Theater
Jun. 28 - Ontario, Canada @ Citizens Business Bank Arena
Jun. 29 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel

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