JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist Says Singer AL ATKINS' Use Of PRIEST Name Is 'Verging On Ridiculous'

"The Classic Metal Show" recently spoke to legendary JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing about how ex-PRIEST vocalist Al Atkins allegedly continues to use the PRIEST name when promoting any musical project he is involved in despite the fact that he hasn't been in the band in 30 years. An excerpt from the discussion follows:

The Classic Metal Show: One of the things I notice in the music news is that former JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Al Atkins is out there doing music and keeping active. Is it interesting to you that whenever he does anything, it's billed as "original JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Al Atkins" when it's been about 30 years since the guy was even involved with the band?

K.K. Downing: Yeah, it's verging on ridiculous, really. You know, I think Al was in the band before electricity, if I remember! (laughing).

The Classic Metal Show: I always find that funny because guys like Dave Evans, "the original singer of AC/DC" is doing something, or Paul Di'Anno, "the original vocalist of IRON MAIDEN" is doing something. Here, none of those guys have had any involvement with any of those bands in 30 years.

K.K. Downing: Yeah. If you look at the chronology of JUDAS PRIEST, we were still becoming JUDAS PRIEST for quite some time; finding ourselves and evolving. For someone to say they were the original…you know…it's kind of an interesting subject because you have a name, that isn’t to say that you are…this is a bit weird. To say that you are (JUDAS PRIEST) is to say that you've achieved certain goals, if you can decipher that.

The Classic Metal Show: Sure. It's still kind of riding the coattails of something that became a trademark.

K.K. Downing: Yeah. I think that when PRIEST decided, "That's it; that's what we want to do," you know, leather studs and bikes…that's when we WERE JUDAS PRIEST."

The interview can be heard in its entirety at this location.

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