Judas Priest's new guitarist Richie Faulkner looks an awful lot like a younger version of his predecessor, K.K. Downing. However, singer Rob Halford says that it was Faulkner's skills that landed him the job, not his look.

"People are saying, 'It's a clone. You've got some of K.K.'s DNA.' It's just the way it turned out," explains Halford to the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat. "Richie just happened to be the guy. And he just happens to look a little bit … of the K.K. image, you know?! I think it would be silly to say, 'We looked for a guitar player that looks like Ken.' What we want is a very good metal guitar player, and that's what Richie Faulkner is."

Halford adds that Downing just came to a point in his life in which he needed a change. "We all agree that when you walk out on that stage, you've gotta be there for the right feeling and the right reasons," says the singer. "We would have loved K.K. to have been with us for the farewell tour, but it just didn't happen."

Faulkner made his public debut with Judas Priest during a performance of 'Living After Midnight' and 'Breaking the Law' on the season finale of 'American Idol' last month.

In other Priest news, the band will release 'Single Cuts,' an attractive box set of their entire UK singles collection, on Aug. 25. The 52-track, 20-disc package can be pre-ordered for $99.99.

Watch Judas Priest Perform 'Breaking the Law' This Week in Oslo, Norway