Ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, who left JUDAS PRIEST a decade ago, spoke about his former group in a brand new interview with Greece’s Rockpages.gr. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “JUDAS PRIEST is different to me, because I’m not in it. To me, it finished when I wasn’t there. That’s for me. And the band is a different band now. It’s successful, and that’s great. But I’m sure lots of people remember the band, the traditional PRIEST, as it was when we were really on fire, storming across the world.”
Downing, who was replaced in PRIEST by Richie Faulkner, nearly three decades his junior, also commented on the fact that PRIEST chose “Firepower” album producer Andy Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT, to fill in for longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton when Tipton retired from touring due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
“I think Richie playing Glenn‘s solos from ‘Firepower’ album is… I don’t know why Andy isn’t playing those parts,” Downing said. “I just think the two guitar trade-off… And I miss solos. Obviously, on this album [Editor’s note: Referring to ‘Sermons Of The Sinner’, the debut LP from his new band KK’S PRIEST], there’s an abundance of guitar playing, solos and stuff, and I like that. And, of course, I get to play more on this album.
“I should have played more in PRIEST,” he continued. “I should have put my foot down and said, ‘Glenn, I need to play more solos, because I can.’ So, now I can, which is great. And I see, obviously, Richie playing my solos and Glenn‘s solos. I know that Andy was a rhythm player in his own band before then [referring to HELL], which I liked that band. I know Kevin [Bower] was the lead player in [HELL], but he sustained an injury, unfortunately. But I liked that band. I thought they were really cool.”
Downing left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance.
In 2019, Downing said that he reached out to JUDAS PRIEST about taking part in the band’s upcoming 50th-anniversary tour but that their response was that they were not interested in including him in the celebrations.
In 2018, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST. The first was described as “a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music,” while the second was “angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties.”
Downing later said that he believed the second letter was “a key reason” he wasn’t invited to rejoin PRIEST after Tipton‘s decision to retire from touring.
Last year, Downing announced the formation of KK’S PRIEST, in which he is joined by former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim “Ripper” Owens, guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE), bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).
“Sermons Of The Sinner” will be released on October 1 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. The LP’s first single, “Hellfire Thunderbolt”, came out in May. The title track followed in June.