In a brand new with VintageRock.com, former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing was asked if writing his autobiography, “Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest”, provided him with a sense of closure concerning his time in the band. “Yeah, I think so,” he replied. “I guess it’s the same with any long-term relationship — whether it’s a husband or wife, or father or son or whatever — you spend enough time together, and idiosyncrasies show up. I guess there was no particular right or wrong — some people have more tolerance than others, and it takes a bloody miracle really to stay together for 40 years. Someone has to give. And it has to be give-and-take. But inevitably, it becomes a bit of an imbalance, and I like to think that democracy is always the best policy. And there wasn’t enough of it there, I don’t think. But it kind of happened — Rob [Halford, vocals] and Glenn [Tipton, guitar] went off and did their lengthy solo careers, and that became a bit disruptive. I didn’t even mention that in the book. But Rob actually released two albums and did his own tour in the exact year before I left. And then when they said, ‘K.K., we want you to start writing for a five-track EP,’ I went, ‘Fucking no way in hell! Rob has just released two albums in the last year, and we are only releasing an EP? Something is not right.’ Enough was enough, really, and I bailed out there. And, like I said in the book, I tried to put it as diplomatically as I could. But, in a nutshell, enough was enough, really. And that was it.”
Regarding his current relationship with his former bandmates, Downing said: “I can’t say it’s overly sweet at the moment. Nothing lasts forever. I started in the late ’60s, so certainly guys from that time, we’re not going to be around forever. Obviously, we’re losing a lot of good friends along the way. It is the way it is. For my own part, there is always a better way, and I always believe that democracy is the epitome of the way forward for everyone. That’s all that needs to happen. But it’s a case of someone always wants a bigger share of the pie or whatever it is. It is what it is.”
Asked if he would consider playing with PRIEST again at some point, Downing said: “There was an opportunity not long back, and that was passed on. So, another year goes by. I’m going to be 67 this October. At the moment, I’m in good healthy shape and fit. I really don’t know, I guess. Before, I wasn’t asked, but if I would have been asked, it probably would have been depending on how I was asked, really, and how it was going to be going forward. And that would still be the same in the future. At the moment, I understand that guys are out there and just started a leg with DEEP PURPLE in the States, and they’re doing well — they have achieved some good things with a new record. I can’t really foresee that there would be another opening, so I guess it would be all too late. But if something did happen, I would have to see how the land lays at that particular point.”
“Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest”,will be released on September 18 via Da Capo Press. The book was co-written by the Scottish author and journalist Mark Eglinton, whose previous collaborations include “Official Truth, 101 Proof” with Rex Brown of PANTERA and “Confessions Of A Heretic” with BEHEMOTH‘s Adam “Nergal” Darski.
K.K. announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, who was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris.
Earlier this year, Downing released a statement in which he said that he was “shocked and stunned” that he wasn’t approached to rejoin JUDAS PRIEST following Glenn Tipton‘s announcement that he would no longer be touring with the band due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease.