KK Downing Says Judas Priest Told Him ‘The Door Is Permanently Closed’ After He Left

During his recent interview with My Planet Rocks, former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing recalled his experiences after he had left Judas Priest and he revealed that the band didn’t let him go back even though he was one of the founding members.

KK Downing’s departure from Judas Priest was announced in 2011 and he gave the reason behind his departure by saying ‘an on-going breakdown in working relationships between myself, elements of the band and management for some time.’ However, Downing didn’t reveal the actual reason why he quitted the band for years.

KK Downing later stated that he left the band because of creative differences and a decrease in the musical quality of the band due to Glenn Tipton’s drinking problem in one of his previous interviews. He also said that he was forcibly retired even though he wanted to go back to Judas Priest for a farewell tour. The band announced his retirement without letting him know before the tour.

In a recent interview, Downing remembered the time when he first left Judas Priest by saying that there were too many lawyers and legal difficulties which he has been through for years. Apparently, later he was rejected by the band when wanted to rejoin as its founding member. He stated that this led him found his band called KK’s Priest to remain connected to the legacy after the doors were permanently closed.

Downing talked about his rejection saying:

“When the band first instigated lawyers some years ago in respect of the business affairs I was involved in, I said ‘let’s not do that for God’s sake. It’s costly, it’s time-consuming. I’ll come down, we’ll sit around the table and discuss everything.’ And the answer was ‘no.’

So, it’s just been a nightmare since then, ongoing. Which is a shame really, I mean Rob Halford left the band for 14 years and I was instrumental in reintroducing him into the band!

The fact of the matter is if I did genuinely retire like they told the world, why wasn’t I able to come out of retirement when there are options? That was the truth that they were saying.”

He went on:

“I’ve written to the guys, and they said the door is permanently closed. They’re happy with the way that they are… under the circumstances I wanna move forward as KK’s Priest. I will be bringing everything I’ve ever done and achieved and who I am, the way I sound, the way I write. I’ve always been a Priest so if there’s a Priest now in Judas Priest that I’ve never met but they’re playing my songs and earning money from it, well I’ve got the right to be a Priest as well. I wanna go forward, create great music, great concerts for the fans and metal is very much alive and well in KK and KK’s Priest.”

According to Downing’s own words, he tried to reach and communicate with the members of Judas Priest after he quit the band but no one was willing to talk to him in person. He also stated that Judas Priest closed all the doors about the reunion when he wanted to be part of the band once again.