JUDAS PRIEST's SCOTT TRAVIS: 'I'm Glad That K.K. DOWNING Finally Decided To Get Back In The Music Business And Create New Music'

March 3, 2024

In a new interview with Pedro Alonso Diez of Spain's Metal Journal, JUDAS PRIEST drummer Scott Travis was asked if the door is "completely closed" on guitarist K.K. Downing's possible return to the band. Scott responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I don't think anyone can ever say never or something's closed forever, but K.K. has his own band now [KK'S PRIEST], doesn't he? So I wonder how his bandmembers would feel to hear these rumors all the time, because I'm sure they're very happy to be part of his band and be out there playing. So, we'll see. I don't know."

Asked if he follows K.K.'s activities with KK'S PRIEST and whether he has heard any of the band's music, Scott said: "I've just seen the stuff that he posts on social media. I've not listened to the whole record start to finish, but I follow the drummer on his social media and I think he follows me, so I respect what he's doing.

"I think it's great that they're out there, period, by the way," Travis continued. "I think it's great that K.K. has resurfaced and he wasn't just trying to grab something from the past that he created, because he left [JUDAS PRIEST], so he must have left the band for a reason. And he was out of the band for a long time. In other words, when JUDAS PRIEST made the decision to go from basically a five-piece band to a four-piece [in January 2022], we quickly realized it was a mistake and we changed it, and K.K. didn't do that. He left the band and was gone for years and years, and then decided he ought to be back or something, but that was just his opinion. So, time has moved on, but I'm glad that he finally decided to get back in the music business and create new music. So that's really cool."

On the subject of whether JUDAS PRIEST was bothered by the fact that K.K. decided to call his band KK'S PRIEST, Scott said: "No, not at all. I mean, he has a right to the name and to play the songs that he co-wrote. So, no."

PRIEST was reunited with Downing and drummer Les Binks for a performance at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in November 2022 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

The JUDAS PRIEST members who got inducted include current members Rob Halford (vocals),Ian Hill (bass),Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Travis, along with former members Downing, Binks and late drummer Dave Holland.

Halford, Hill, Tipton and Travis were joined by Binks, Downing and current guitarist Richie Faulkner for a three-song medley consisting of "You've Got Another Thing Comin'", "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight".

Back in June 2021, Downing told Sakis Fragos of Rock Hard Greece that PRIEST and the band's management weren't happy with the fact that he used the KK'S PRIEST name for his new group.

"Their lawyers sent a letter to my record company making threats of legal action if I went forward with KK'S PRIEST," K.K. revealed. "But for the moment, nothing happened. I think they made the threat but decided not to follow through with the threat. But they made the threat to try to stop me making the band."

Downing left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance. He was replaced by Faulkner, nearly three decades his junior.

In 2019, Downing said that he reached out to JUDAS PRIEST about taking part in the band's 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 Glenn Tipton's decision to retire from touring.

KK'S PRIEST features former JUDAS PRIEST members Downing and Tim "Ripper" Owens (vocals),alongside guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE),bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).

KK'S PRIEST will embark on its first-ever U.S. headlining tour next week. The trek will kick off on March 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and will feature support from L.A. GUNS and BURNING WITCHES. The tour will be the first of at least a two-leg USA run of shows, planned to continue later in 2024.

KK'S PRIEST's sophomore album, "The Sinner Rides Again", came out in September 2023 via the Austrian label Napalm Records.

KK'S PRIEST after JUDAS PRIEST turned down his offer to rejoin the band for their 50th-anniversary tour. It followed a couple of celebrated stage appearances, first with former MANOWAR guitarist Ross The Boss in the summer of 2019, then with a one-off lineup that included former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson and Binks later that year.

KK'S PRIEST released its debut album, "Sermons Of The Sinner", in October 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.

Downing spent four months writing and recording "Sermons Of The Sinner" and, along with new ideas, he even resurrected a few archived riffs from the 1980s.

Scott Travis photo credit: James Hodges / K.K. Downing photo credit: Mind Art Visual

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