K.K. DOWNING: 'I Only Ever Wanted To Be In JUDAS PRIEST'

July 18, 2021

Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing spoke to Finland's Kaaos TV about the fact that he never pursued outside musical opportunities while he was a member of the band for over four decades. "[PRIEST] was my whole life," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I only ever wanted to be in JUDAS PRIEST. I was the loyal [member of] PRIEST. I didn't leave the band, like Glenn [Tipton, guitar] and Rob [Halford, vocals] did, and record with other musicians and make LPs with other musicians and have my own webshop and sell my own t-shirts; I never did that. I was fully committed to JUDAS PRIEST. Because if I had strong musical ideas, [I wanted them to be used in JUDAS PRIEST]. So, if Rob and Glenn felt they had strong musical ideas, they should have been given to JUDAS PRIEST. That's what I think. If the ideas weren't strong, then I don't know why they would want to release albums with ideas that they felt weren't strong. The material I've just produced on the new [KK'S PRIEST] record could happily have gone to JUDAS PRIEST. But Rob wanted his strong material for himself. That's why I'm saying over all of the years in the history of JUDAS PRIEST, I was the loyal one. I didn't give strong material to myself."

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

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.

Downing is currently promoting "Sermons Of The Sinner", the upcoming debut album from KK'S PRIEST, his new band with ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens, along with guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE),bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).

"Sermons Of The Sinner" will be released on August 20 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. The LP's first single, "Hellfire Thunderbolt", came out in May, followed by the title track last month.

Downing's autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", was released in September 2018 via Da Capo Press.

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