K.K. Downing states Glenn Tipton was not interested in getting Rob Halford back in Judas Priest

K.K. Downing states Glenn Tipton was not interested in getting Rob Halford back in Judas Priest

KK’s Priest and former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing was recently interviewed by Louder‘s Executive Editor Merlin Alderslade for Metal Hammer.

Downing was asked whether he would consider playing with Judas Priest again after rejoining the band on stage for a few songs on the occasion of the group’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inauguration back on November 5, 2022.

The guitarist replied bluntly, “No” and then added: “Before I started KK’s Priest, I asked if they’d consider me stepping back into my rightful place, because at one point they announced they were going out as a four-piece. I was expecting to be back in the band when there was an opening, or at least to be asked. But Glenn and Ian [Hill, bassist] wrote through their lawyers saying a flat no, which made no sense, as I was there first. And Rob [Halford] left for 11 years so how does he have the right to say ‘I won’t consider you re-joining’ – I was instrumental in reinstating him into the band! Glenn wasn’t interested in having Rob back, he wanted to keep Ripper [Tim Owens, who replaced Rob Halford in Priest when the latter left in the 90s]. But I gave them one last chance, and I was like, ‘Are you sure? One day you might live to regret it.’ Let’s hope they don’t.”

Halford left Judas Priest back in 1991 after the group’s Painkiller tour. He remained under contract with Judas Priest until May 1992. Eleven years later, Judas Priest and Halford announced that they would be reuniting in July 2003. With respect to Downing‘s departure from the band, Wikipedia reports (with slight edits): “On 20 April 2011, it was announced that K.K. Downing had retired from the band and would not complete the Epitaph World Tour. Downing cited differences with the band and the management, and a breakdown in their relationship. Richie Faulkner, guitarist for Lauren Harris‘ band, was announced as his replacement for the Epitaph World Tour. Downing‘s retirement left bassist Ian Hill as the longest-serving member of the band.”

You can read other excerpts of the interview with K.K. Downing via Louder Sound‘s website and/or read more via the latest issue of Metal Hammer.