Since leaving Judas Priest, guitarist K.K. Downing has steadfastly maintained that he doesn't regret his choice. He holds on to that position in a new interview, delving into his reasons for quitting the band while dismissing the idea of ever rejoining them for even so much as a one-off show.

While insisting he's happy that Priest have continued on without him, Downing reiterates that he just couldn't keep going with the band the way things were — particularly with regards to their live show.

"I wasn’t happy with the band’s live performance. I thought it could have been better, not that the fans would notice," he argues to Guitar International. "To me, Priest was always a stealth machine and that’s what I liked about it. Even though you get older you still need to be able to deliver the goods. People came a long way and paid a lot of money to see us so you’ve got to make sure you still give 110 percent. I thought that should be inherent and what it should always be."

Laughing off the idea of stepping out on stage for a song or two at a future Priest show, Downing insists that he doesn't think that will "ever, ever happen," and hints that — aside from being very happy running his golf course — he believes his replacement in the band, Richie Faulkner, was basically selected to fill his role as closely as possible.

"Obviously I’m quite happy for Richie Faulkner to be in the band," says Downing. "But I really wasn’t expecting to have someone who had so many familiarities as me — the looks and everything. At a glance, nothing too much has changed for the fans."

Downing's fans probably shouldn't expect to hear much from him on the musical front in the future, either. Expressing extreme disappointment with the way his appearance on a Cleopatra Records-curated tribute to the Who ("the producer hacked the solos to death and then randomly put it into the song"), he suggests that if he still had a lot of ideas for songs, he probably would have stuck it out with Priest.

"It’s hard for me to be creative in music," he admits. "If I thought I was still coming up with good ideas and writing good stuff, it would probably still be befitting of Priest. It’s hard after 40 years; we’ll see what happens in time."

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