K.K. Downing states that he was “the energy” during his last Judas Priest tour
Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing was recently interviewed by the Cobras & Fire Podcast and commented on bassist Ian Hill‘s comments that when Richie Faulkner joined the group, he brought a new energy to the band.
Downing stated (as indicated on Decibel Geek): “I’m not totally happy about what’s being said. Ian seems to be making it seem as if none of the fans are missing K.K. and Richie’s brought a new energy to the band. I’m going Ian, dude. On that last tour I was the energy. I slowed down because people weren’t keeping up with me….Rob’s reading his auto-cue. He’s slowed down. Glen’s going over there for a beer in between every song. I’m thinking Ian, get a grip with yourself mate. I mean you just replaced the energy with some energy.”
Wikipedia states the following in part about Downing‘s departure from Judas Priest (with slight edits): “There had been an on-going breakdown in working relationships between myself, elements of the band and management for some time.” Downing stated that there were at least “21 reasons” why he decided to quit but refused to go into specific detail about them. In a 2016 interview, Downing elaborated on his decision to leave Judas Priest, saying that he wasn’t happy with the band’s live performance and thought it could’ve been better. The band had since continued with Richie Faulkner as Downing‘s replacement.
Within the wake of Glenn Tipton‘s announcement of his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and his self-imposed retirement from touring in February 2018, Downing issued a statement saying that he was “shocked and stunned” that he wasn’t approached to rejoin Judas Priest and that he was “officially and legally still a member of Judas Priest“, despite not being present in the band. He then said that he now knows more clearly that he made the right choice to leave when he did and that his time in the band and value in terms of crafting the band’s legacy “was and is unappreciated by more than one member.” He reached out to the fans telling them that the decision to not approach him “was not a financial one.”
In March 2018, bassist Ian Hill responded to Downing‘s statement, explaining why he wasn’t approached to rejoin the band, “He retired seven years ago and he made it clear at the time that he didn’t wanna come back. So I’m surprised that he’s saying that he was surprised that he wasn’t asked. I think we all thought he probably would have been surprised if we had asked him. So I don’t know.” Rob Halford said that Downing made the decision to retire and was “emphatic about retiring and never coming back.””
Cobras & Fire Podcast‘s interview with K.K. Downing:
Cobras & Fire is proud to bring you legendary former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing. Talking with Bakko, K.K. talks about his soon to be released auto-biography Heavy Duty, Spinal Tap, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the Nostradamus record, leaving Judas Priest, the recent comments from former bandmates and so much more in this wide ranging interview.