Will KK'S PRIEST Play Shows In The U.S. Next Year? 'We Definitely Want To', Says TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS
October 30, 2023
In a new interview with Rapture Radio, Tim "Ripper" Owens was asked about the possibility of a KK'S PRIEST U.S. tour in the not-too-distant future. The 56-year-old singer responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, we definitely want to. I know we're looking at that. If obviously we do it, it's gonna be — I don't think we'd be able to even do it earlier than mid-next year, but you never know. The agent TKO [The Kirby Organization] is looking at all of that.
"Listen, it's expensive to tour," he explained. "We've got eight [to] ten crew members and we want the screens behind us and we have ramps when the stage is big enough to use these ramps and the light show. It's a pretty big deal, so it's very, very expensive to tour, period, for all these bands. You see bands canceling European tours left and [right]. ANTHRAX has canceled two of them, because everything's went up — all the prices: the buses, the fuel the flights, the visas, everything. And there's a lot of people touring. But our main goal is to tour. Next year, I know it's all coming together. And I wanna know if we're gonna tour too, because I need to plan my year as well, because I make a living doing music. So I can't sit around and wait for KK'S PRIEST to tour. I'm gonna have to book my own [shows].
"I leave Monday for South America for a solo tour," Owens added. "And people were, like, 'Well, I thought you were in KK'S PRIEST.' I'm, like, 'Well, I've gotta pay the bills.' You've gotta pay the bills. I would love KK'S PRIEST to just tour all year long."
Joining Owens and fellow former JUDAS PRIEST member K.K. Downing (guitar) in KK'S PRIEST are guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE),bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).
KK'S PRIEST made its live debut on July 6 at Downing's KK's Steel Mill in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.
KK'S PRIEST kicked off a five-date "Priests, Killers & Witches" U.K. tour on October 7 at O2 Institute in Birmingham. Special guest on all dates was former IRON MAIDEN vocalist Paul Di'Anno who performed a full set of classics straight from the first two MAIDEN records, and opening up the bill was BURNING WITCHES.
KK'S PRIEST released its sophomore album, "The Sinner Rides Again", in September via the Austrian label Napalm Records.
"The Sinner Rides Again" contains nine tracks produced and written by Downing and mixed/mastered by Jacob Hansen.
KK'S PRIEST's debut album, "Sermons Of The Sinner", was released 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.
K.K. formed 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 former PRIEST drummer Les Binks later that year.
Downing was reunited with JUDAS PRIEST for a performance at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony last November at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
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 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.
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 and recorded two studio albums with the band — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before PRIEST reunited with Rob Halford in 2003.
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