Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Ken "K.K." Downing was recently interviewed by "The Classic Metal Show". You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked about some of the recent back-and-forth comments that have been made by him and some of his former bandmates about his exit from PRIEST, Downing said: "Yeah, I think lots of things that are being said, really, have kind of gotten under my skin a little bit. The thing is, I'd like to point this out… If anyone goes on the Internet, let's say, and goes to Blabbermouth or somewhere else and sees a photograph of me with a headline comment, it's not me ringing in and saying, 'Hey, Blabbermouth, print this, because I wanna say this.' It's just those guys picking up on an interview that I'm doing or picking up something from my own web site — they just pick up on things and make a headline, which causes a reaction from the other side, and that's the way the media works."
He continued: "I haven't done anything since I quit the band, except that I did a make a release for my own Facebook and web site, obviously to fans that stayed with me and supported me. It's quite simply that — an innocent comment was made in something that I released on my own Facebook, and the other guys in the band picked up on it and sort of went to town on it. I'm thinking, 'Woah! This is strange.' And I don't quite get it, what all the defensiveness was about, really."
Downing, who left the band in 2011, said that he doesn't have anything against his replacement, Richie Faulkner, even though he previously called the guitarist a "clone."
"I've seen Richie play — he's obviously a very good player," K.K. said. "So I was disappointed that those guys seemed to have picked a lookalike with Richie — with the long blonde hair, with clothes like mine, guitars like mine, and all of that. I kind of had an understanding of that, and I suppose, in a way, it's a compliment, really. But I thought, in all fairness to Richie, to go out there and have this opportunity as himself and as his own person, I thought, would have been better for him."
K.K. does seem to have taken issue, however, with Richie discussing publicly the reasons for Downing's exit from PRIEST. "I think it's off the mark, really, for Richie to make comments about me; he's playing my songs and my riffs and all that, and it's a great opportunity for him," K.K. said. "And I think he'd be best to leave it there, really, until we eventually get to have a meet and a chat and maybe we can have a beer together and it's all good. Because I don't want this to continue the way that it is. I would like to go forward, whatever's happened."
Downing, who is promoting his just-released autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", insists that everyone who reads his book will see that he has "maintained that level of respect" for his former bandmates. "There's a lot of things in the book that I think fans will… There's something to laugh about, something to cry about — there's hopefully some interesting things that are completely innocent," he said. "Just tales of on the road and tales of the unexpected and things like that I think people will find… hopefully it's quite an entertaining read. And that's it, really."
As for the reasons for him releasing his autobiography at this point in his life, Downing said: "I guess the thing is, 'cause time is not exactly on our side. We're all moving up there now in age. And in fact, we're already there. [Laughs] So if you don't put it all together and put it into words now, next year you might never get a chance. You never know what the future holds."
"Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest" was 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.