Former JUDAS PRIEST Drummer Launches LES BINKS' PRIESTHOOD
April 24, 2018
Former JUDAS PRIEST drummer Les Binks has launched a new band called LES BINKS' PRIESTHOOD. The group, which was put together specifically to play the material from Les's era with JUDAS PRIEST, also features guitarists Simon J. Pinto and Gus Mark, bassist Paul Smith and vocalist Adam Shepherd.
Binks played drums on PRIEST's "Stained Class", "Hell Bent For Leather" (released as "Killing Machine" in the United Kingdom) and "Unleashed In The East" albums.
In a recent interview with K.K. Downing's Steel Millweb site, Binks stated about his decision to start LES BINKS' PRIESTHOOD: "I've been working with these musicians individually in various settings over the past few years in live performances and often had audiences ask for PRIEST songs because of my association with band. So I decided to put my own band together specifically to play the material from my era with JUDAS PRIEST and, naturally, I called upon their services to help me achieve that."
Les continued: "I wanted to focus on the material from four albums, beginning with 'Sin After Sin'. Although I didn't play on it, I was recruited to tour and perform the songs live to promote the record in the U.K., U.S.A. and Japan. My first studio album, 'Stained Class', which saw me contribute to the writing with 'Beyond The Realms Of Death', my second studio album, 'Killing Machine', re-titled 'Hell Bent For Leather' in the States, and 'Unleashed In The East', the live-in-Japan album. Initially, it was just for a one-off gig at the 'Legends Of Rock' event held in Great Yarmouth each March, but we seemed to have created a lot of interest in the band and have been encouraged to play more dates, festivals, etc."
Binks admitted that he "had to sit down" with all four PRIEST albums he played on before he got into rehearsals with PRIESTHOOD to "decide which songs to do and re-learn the drum parts all over again. Some of them have weird odd timings, like the mid-sections in 'Sinner', then there's the epic 'Genocide' and 'Victim Of Changes'," he said. "Took a while, but eventually it all came back and the show was ready to rock again."
He added: "I deliberately didn't want to perform material I wasn't involved with beyond my period in the band as there are many tribute bands doing that and I didn't want to be labelled that way, but, of course, Eddie, who runs the 'Legends Of Rock' event, specifically requested some later stuff, so to keep the peace, we threw in 'Breaking The Law', 'Living After Midnight' and 'You've Got Another Thing Comin'."
According to Les, it was "easy" to choose the musicians for the PRIESTHOOD band "as I knew these guys were more than capable of doing the songs justice. I am very lucky to have these guys onboard," he said. "They're doing a fantastic job."
Ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing reconnected with Binks last summer for the first time in nearly four decades. Downing later described the experience of meeting his former bandmate as "great" and called Les "one of the greatest drummers in the world and a good friend and a great guy."
After the release of "Unleashed In The East", Binks exited PRIEST and was replaced by ex-TRAPEZE member Dave Holland. Les later told Downing's official web site that the making of the live album "caused a rift between me and [PRIEST's] manager and ultimately led to my decision to leave the band. I just didn't see the point in continuing to work with a band whose manager didn't want me to receive any payment for that live album. A completely ludicrous scenario. It's a classic heavy metal live album which I believe eventually went platinum and he didn't want me to receive a penny for it. Crazy fucker!!! But that's what happens if a band allows someone like that to manage them — they lose members. So exit drummer number four."
As previously reported, Binks, Downing and ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens are featured on DEVILSTAR's cover of the PRIEST classic "Beyond The Realms Of Death", which will be available on streaming and digital platforms on June 1. It is the first release from the all-star hard rock and heavy metal group led by producer/guitarist Paul Crook (ANTHRAX, SEBASTIAN BACH, MEAT LOAF) and executive producer John Madera.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).