K.K. Downing opens door to Judas Priest reunion

… but there’d have to be very tempting reason

By David Sands
April 1, 2016

K.K. Downing has indicated he’s willing to join forces again with Judas Priest. But, that said, it’s a conditional offer. In a recent BlastEcho article, the metal guitarist admitted he’s interested in doing a reunion, but if it’s tied to truly epic turn of events–something like a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance or a titans of metal tour.

Downing co-founded Priest in 1970 and played in the band alongside fellow axe-slinger Glenn Tipton, who joined in ’74, for decades. His blues-inflected riffs helped cement their reputation as one of the most respected metal outfits of all time.

After a tenure of more than 40 years, The guitar player left his longtime group in 2011. At first, he was rather tight-lipped about his departure but eventually confessed playing with Priest had lost its lustre for him.

In a BlastEcho interview, however, Downing recently revealed that he wouldn’t mind getting back with his former bandmates if the conditions were right. Specifically, he mentioned that a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction or a stadium tour with other metal legends like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden would get him back on stage with Priest again.

“It would be something I would have to be part of,” he said. “Only because I’d like to see the greatest heavy-metal tour happen because it’s never happened. And it’s never gonna happen. Unfortunately, that chapter of history won’t be there forever, which is kind of sad.”

While a Hall of Fame induction remains a possibility, a tour with Sabbath seems unlikely, as members of that band are currently performing what they say is their farewell tour.

Another reunion obstacle is Richie Faulkner, who’s now filling Downing’s old position in Judas Priest, something the guitarist himself brought up during his BlastEcho interview.

“Obviously they have Richie there,” he said. “Maiden has done the three-guitar player [thing], but I don’t think there’s room for an extra guitar player in Priest. Priest has always been a two-guitar band so I can’t see that working. We’ll have to see what happens next.”