For someone who wanted to leave the limelight, K.K. Downing’s not going away. The former Judas Priest guitarist has spoken again about his exit from the band, and says there are reasons for his departure that will never be made known.
“This is the first year that I haven’t been out there with the band for a lot of years…more years than I can care to remember,” he started. “It’s coming up to about 40, I think, so… It’s been a long, good career.”
K.K. continued, “I’ve been very fortunate, really, to have been able to have achieved all of my goals. And it’s a great life, actually, going through life doing the thing that you always wanted to do as a youngster. I think that’s one of the fantastic rewards and also, obviously, meeting a lot of people.
“It was a set of circumstances that led me to not go out [with Judas Priest] this year,” Downing continues. “I was kind of geared up for it, but there was a multitude of reasons. It pretty much came down to an unsettlement on my part with working relationships.
“It’s like anything else. If anybody out there is thinking it’s hard to live with one woman, they should try to live with four guys and hold it together. [Laughs] It gets to be like that, but obviously, with certain things, I just wasn’t completely happy with the way things were, with the way it was, [and I just felt like] it was probably best if I stepped down, and I did.”
When asked if he feels happier now that he made the decision to quit the band, Downing said he wishes “things could have been different, so I could have continued. Obviously, ’cause of the passion [I had for the band]. In the [late] Sixties, I was very instrumental in creating Judas Priest, and it was a hard bullet to bite. But I thought that if this is gonna be the way that it’s gonna be, then perhaps it’s time to step down.
“It was a massive consideration,” he added. “Obviously, the fans, who I love, and many of them have become very good friends. But I just hoped that they would appreciate that I couldn’t continue with the way that I felt inside for reasons which I’ll… I mean, certain reasons I will never, ever disclose.”