Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has issued a statement, presumably from the seat of his Harley-Davidson, shedding more light on the recent departure of longtime Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing, the band's upcoming "farewell" tour and plans for a future studio album.

In an interview with metal journalist Rafa Basa, Halford says that the split comes down to the usual reason of 'creative differences,' lthough he contends the reasons for the split have been "distorted" as the news has been subsequently reported by the press.

"I think it was unfair to single out the band members," Halford explains, "and I think it was unfair to single out management as the reason why he left, because it was more than that. We're all separate, individual people that all have lives to live and all have different needs and choices to be made, and this is the one that K.K.'s gone with."

Halford says that the upcoming studio album is "testament to the self-belief that we have as a band."  He also says that musically, the new album will be a "very strong, powerful, solid heavy metal album with all of the famous things people love about Priest — all the big sledgehammer heavy metal riffs from Birmingham and the screaming vocals."

As far as the setlist goes, fans can expect Judas Priest to pull out all of the stops and cover all your favorite eras. Halford promises "we're trying to do everything, so it really is a celebration of the music of Priest as much as anything else — right from 'Rocka Rolla' all the way up to maybe a track from the brand new record."

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