K.K. Downing On 4-Piece Judas Priest In 2022: “It Was So Insulting”

K.K. Downing On 4-Piece Judas Priest In 2022: "It Was So Insulting"

In a new interview with Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen, former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing has shared his current feelings on the band’s late decision that they would play the upcoming shows as a 4-piece, which they have given up later and said the band will tour as a 5-piece.

K.K. Downing was the guitarist of the heavy metal genre pioneer Judas Priest from 1970 to 2011. Debuted in 1974 with the band’s debut album Rocka Rolla, Downing‘s latest album with the band was the band’s sixteenth studio album, Nostradamus. After he departed from the band, K.K. Downing has launched KK’s Priest with the former Judas Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owens in 2019.

On January 10, Priest had announced via its social media accounts that they would tour the next leg of its 50th-anniversary tour as a 4-piece, dismissing the touring guitarist Andy Sneap. After the announcement, Sneap had expressed his disappointment by the decision of the band, also thanking them for their mind-blowing opportunity.

Five days after the announcement, on January 15, Priest had updated its social channels to announce that they stepped back their decision to play as a 4-piece on the upcoming tour. At the time, Priest had explained the issue by saying that the band members of the band decided unanimously to continue their live shows unchanged with Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner, Ian HillScott Travis, and Andy Sneap.

Recently, the band’s former guitarist Downing opened up about his feelings on Judas Priest’s decision to play as a 4-piece. At first, Downing said he was one of those who bemused after the decision. He also added that it was extremely insulting.


“I’m like everybody else,” Downing said. “I’m totally bemused. It was just so extreme and insulting in a way, I guess, and insulting to Glenn as well. It was kind of a slap in the face, saying, ‘Okay, you two guys did it, but we think just one guy could do what…’

“It kind of made us and everything that we’ve done and created, saying it was all superfluous, really, and didn’t really have the value that… I’m sure Glenn will agree with me that it does have a value.”

Downing Adds It Was Very Strange For Judas Priest To Think ‘Playing As A 4-Piece’

K.K. Downing then continued to share his honest opinion on the band’s decision. Saying that it was awkward for him, Downing added that it was also very strange for Judas Priest to think about the possibility of playing as a 4-piece. It seemed Downing was one of those who was devastated about the announcement.

“[This is] very, very strange for [them] to even think about [the possibility of going out as a quartet],” Downing adds. “There must be, obviously, something behind the scenes that we don’t know.

“It’s kind of awkward for me, guys, because with myself and Glenn, that’s Judas Priest to me. I think I’ve got a license to say that, after spending a lifetime in the band.

“And the image and everything and all the shows and all the work and all the albums and everything, everything revolves around that.

“I mean, if you don’t see Glenn’s red pants on stage, it’s not Judas Priest, right? Okay, I created an image with the flying V, long blond hair, leather and studs — I created that.

“It’s easy to use the wheel, but inventing it is a different story.”

Back in Priest’s January 15 announcement, it seemed that the band had listened to its fans who wanted Sneap back to the band. They also expressed their excitement about its upcoming 50th-anniversary show and said they are looking forward to playing in front of Priest fans as soon as possible.

“Hello metal maniacs,” Priest sent via social media. “Given all that has recently evolved and transpired we have decided unanimously as a band to continue our live shows unchanged with Rob, Ian, Richie, Scott, Andy and Glenn joining us whenever he’s able…

“So see you all soon as we forge ahead celebrating 50 massive heavy metal years of Judas Priest together!

“Judas Priest, 15th January 2022.”

When Priest announced the decision to continue as a 4-piece, they described the band as more powerful 4-piece heavy metal band. Priest had also said its statement that Glenn Tipton was back the band to rock them on stage.

“Hello maniacs,” they said back on January 11.

“We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to world touring… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as an an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band – with Glenn coming out on stage with us here and there as before.

“Big thanks to Andy for all you’ve done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album…

“See you all soon headbangers!”

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