Could K.K. Downing Rejoin Judas Priest After Festival Appearance?
Former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss said he had an “ulterior motive” in bringing ex Judas Priest guitar player K.K. Downing onstage with him at the Bloodstock festival in the U.K. next month.
Ross and Downing will perform an hour-long set that’s expected to include at least four Priest songs. The show marks the first large-scale appearance Downing has made since he left Judas Priest acrimoniously in 2011 and then replaced by Richie Faulkner.
“I don't know anything about what went down between K.K. and the band, and I hope one day it could be solved,” Ross told The Metal Voice in a new interview. “It's my ulterior motive to bring K.K. Downing out and get him playing again and maybe back to where he belongs in Judas Priest.”
He added that he didn’t know any details of what had caused the split, and that it wasn’t his business in any case. “It's sad that shit happens like that, especially when things are so good,” he explained. “I love all the Judas Priest members – I love Richie, I love Andy [Sneap], I love Scott [Travis], Rob [Halford] – I love the band, I love their music and I wish them all the best.”
You can listen to the full interview below.
Ross said he hoped Downing would receive “some love from the audience” at Bloodstock on Aug. 11. “He deserves it; he's a father of heavy metal," he noted. "I know he's a bit nervous, but that's to be expected. … We will do everything for him to make him feel as comfortable as possible and let him play his guitar, let him do what he does.
“At the end of the day, I hope that this gives them the motivation to get him back into Judas Priest. Glenn [Tipton] is not there now and I think that K.K. belongs there now, if they could mend the fences. We're not spring chickens anymore. … Before someone goes or something tragic happens, I would love to see K.K. back in Judas Priest. I would love to put some good vibes out there. … I think the fans would love it.”
Priest hired album producer Andy Sneap to take the place of Tipton after Tipton revealed his Parkinsons disease issues, leading Downing to say he was “shocked” not to have been invited to return instead. However, he later revealed that, after having sent a polite resignation letter in 2011, he followed it up with an “angrier” note, and suspected that was why he wasn’t asked back.