It’s been a few years since K.K. Downing parted ways with Judas Priest but as a founding member of the legendary British band, the questions about Priest keep coming up nowadays. During an interview on a recent edition of “The Five Count” radio show in Mankato, Minnesota, Downing elaborated more in depth regarding what happened back in 2011. The interview transcribed by Blabbermouth.net states the following:
“I think it was a lot of things, in all honesty — an awful lot of things. I think that we’d had… Well, I’d been going since the late ’60s — a good forty years — and I came offstage in November 2010 in Japan pretty exhausted and tired. That was just before Christmas. And it was, basically, I’d been home not really long ,and the management called up and said how soon could I start writing for an EP, I think it was, that they wanted to do. How soon could I start writing after Christmas? And I just wasn’t totally in agreement with the idea, to be honest — not after we just made the epic ‘Nostradamus’. We just had a long, long world tour, after forty years, and I just thought that… ‘[I’m] not too sure about that.’ And I just started to think about myself and my life and everything. And I didn’t think a hundred percent of what we were doing, every night up on stage, was what I really thought the fans were expecting. And it was about another thirty reasons other than that, really — lots and lots of other reasons; some small, some not so small. And collectively, putting everything together, I thought that I wasn’t totally in a happy place, so I thought it was time to make way, really. And that’s what I did. But it’s been good to see the seasons change in my home country, for once, and to spend a bit more time with my family. My dear mom is quite… She’s well into her eighties now. So there’s lots of good… Some business, some health, some social… lots of reasons, really. But I’m still here. I do something pretty much… I do something every day to do with music, whatever it is; I’m always pretty active doing things. It’s in my blood. And that’s it, really. And we’ll see what happens next, as they say.”
Downing also discussed about the possibility to become musically active once again or if he will officially retire:
“I really don’t know. I think I’m gonna get this year out of the way here and finish up pretty much what I’m doing here, and I’ll see what happens; I’ll see how I am, mentally and physically. I think that, actually, today I am a better player than I was yesterday or five years ago when I left the band, because I’ve had a chance to relax a little bit and take in and absorb stuff that I’ve learned and practice, as opposed to learning something and zipping off somewhere and having to do this, that and the other. So, yeah, I still learn and practice, and one day there’ll be a show somewhere. But we’ll have to see. As they say, never try to promote history, because has a habit of promoting you, if it wants to.”
As one of the architects of heavy metal, Downing’s earned the right to do whatever he wants to. While it was initially a little odd to imagine Priest without him, Richie Faulkner has done an admirable job of filling his slot. Here’s hoping he makes his way back to music. Indeed, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.