Here’s Why Judas Priest Didn’t Ask K.K. Downing to Rejoin the Band
Glenn Tipton inadvertently caused quite the kerfuffle within Judas Priest when he announced he’d be stepping down from touring due to Parkinson’s Disease. Fellow former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing, who left the band in 2011, wondered aloud why he wasn’t invited back to replace Tipton, then caught flack for seemingly suggesting Tipton hadn’t played his parts on the band’s new record. He then walked back those comments by explaining he was merely saying producer Andy Sneap, who was also tapped to fill in for Tipton on tour, may have had a role in writing.
And that brings us up to today: bassist Ian Hill has now explained why the band didn’t ask Downing back. And it’s as we suspected: they simply didn’t think he’d be interested. Hill told Metal Wani:
“Well, I don’t know where Ken is coming from, to be honest. He retired seven years ago and he made it clear at the time that he didn’t wanna come back. So I’m surprised that he’s saying that he was surprised that he wasn’t asked. I think we all thought he probably would have been surprised if we had asked him. So I don’t know. It’s a bit like your quarterback retiring, you replace the guy, and then two or three years down the line, [when the new guy] gets injured, you’re not gonna come back to the guy that just retired. You’ll find somebody else. And it’s pretty much the same thing.”
Like I said when Downing first expressed surprise at having not been asked back, it makes sense that they didn’t but it also would’ve made sense if they did. There really was no correct course of action here, but Downing certainly doesn’t get to complain about the way it went down: he quit of his own volition several years ago.
So there you have it. Hopefully that concludes this silly little drama, although surely metal news outlets will be asking Judas Priest members about it for some time still.
Meanwhile, Judas Priest have a pretty killer new album coming this Friday! Check out the latest track to be released from Firepower, “Never the Heroes,” below.