K.K. Downing considers himself and Tony Iommi as the “two [best] metal riff mongers” ever
Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing was recently interviewed by Eon Music and spoke about his songwriting contributions to Judas Priest and if he can pinpoint the guitar riffs that he contributed.
Downing stated: “Well, I’d have to go album by album I think, and try to remember. But I consider that myself and Tony Iommi are the two metal riff mongers that have ever been produced. I mean, not to take anything away from Glenn, but Glenn was always a bit more commercial than me. So, you should be able to listen to my riffs, really if you think about it; if you listen to ‘Judas Rising’, for example of or if you listen to ‘Victim of Changes’. It’s difficult for me to try and encapsulate. A lot of the stuff on ‘Nostradamus’ was me, but not just the heavy stuff; a lot of the melodic stuff as well.
If we go back to ‘Rocka Rolla’, ‘Run of the Mill’, that was there before Glenn was there, but that’s what really heavy guys used to come up with; these big emotional ballads. That would take you to another place and then when you come back with the heavy stuff again, it’s rekindled. An album had to have all of the ingredients, just like a good movie needs drama but excitement as well, all of it. That’s the way bands did it; Deep Purple did something like ‘Child in Time’, and then they’d bust into something like ‘Speed King’, and it was wonderful. It’s great to have that contrast.”
You can read the rest of the interview with K.K. Downing at Eon Music.