K.K. Downing Does Not Regret Leaving Judas Priest
Judas Priest's latest album 'Redeemer of Souls' earned them their highest-ever U.S. chart position, and they're back on the road rocking audiences around the world all over again. That resurgence seems all the more unlikely considering the fact that some members thought the band was finished after guitarist K.K. Downing left in 2011.
Downing, however, has no regrets. "I felt that a lot of the spark wasn't there -- for whatever reason -- anymore on stage. I felt that I had it, but I felt it wasn't what I originally signed up for," he shrugged during a recent interview with Digital Journal. "I always thought that Judas Priest should have been a high-energy outfit and ultra-sharp, but I wasn't enjoying it as much on stage as I should have been."
If that sounds like a dig at his former bandmates, it also isn't the only reason he quit. As he went on to explain, decades of touring takes its toll. "All that traveling and living out of a suitcase and spending so much time in planes, vans, cars and trains, you have to really enjoy the concerts," he continued. "You have to musically get on a high and that carries you through, but if you're not enjoying it like you should, then it becomes a lot of hard work because you've still got to do the interviews and be pushed and pulled around the place."
All in all, while Downing does admit to missing "what we had," he also holds fast to his opinion that the Priest he wanted to be a part of had "run its course" -- and he's more than made his peace with that decision. "I don't particularly miss what we had become when I left," he added. "There's disagreements with how things should be done and I thought if I'm outnumbered, then it's time to go."
Downing also insisted that he bears the current lineup no ill will, saying, "I commend the guys for going back out. I was just watching a bit of their first concert of the tour in Rochester, New York, and it was great. Band sounded good and I'm happy that they continue. I sent an email saying 'Good luck with the new tour, guys' to the management office. I do wish them well and I commend them highly for being out there and carrying on the legacy."
Watch Judas Priest Talk About 'Redeemer of Souls'