Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing spoke to Billboard about his decision to sell his share of the royalty rights to 136 of the band's tracks, including classic songs "Breaking The Law", "Living After Midnight" and "Painkiller", to Round Hill Music. The deal was made following the collapse of his luxury golf course venture.
The rights, which consist of Downing's publishing and writer's share, and his artist royalties from the master recordings, were put up for sale earlier this year after a number of his U.K. leisure businesses were placed into administration (similar to Chapter 11 insolvency in the U.S.).
According to administrators FRP Advisory LLP, who handled the rights sale, Downing's catalog share generates between $340,000 and $400,000 per year in royalties.
Downing told Billboard: "I'm in the process now of recovering everything else through the legal channels. I made a few rubbish business moves, but I can't complain, really, because I did okay. Lots of musicians end up with nothing, really, but I had an evaluation on the estate worth in excess of £13 million. Quite a few million pounds worth of music royalties and other assets as well. I'm suing a couple of lawyers for negligence. But, to be honest, the whole thing was a bit of a noose around my neck."
Such changes will lead to streamlining his lifestyle, which he has been contemplating for years. "Nothing happens in your life until you something forces you to change, you know?" he remarks. "I've been doing [other] things recently because I'm not running the estate now. I employed 31 people. Can you imagine what a nightmare that was? Now I'm planning to do things that I used to do. Because it's all about time as you get older."
K.K., who is a founding member of the British heavy metal legends and was part of the group since 1969, announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011.
He later shot down as "inaccurate" reports that he left JUDAS PRIEST because he chose to concentrate on running the golf courses on his property.
This past February, Downing said that he was "shocked and stunned" that he wasn't approached to rejoin JUDAS PRIEST following Glenn Tipton's decision to retire from the road due to his battle with Parkinson's disease.
Downing's autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", was released on September 18 via Da Capo Press. The book was co-written by the Scottish author and journalist Mark Eglinton, whose previous collaborations include "Official Truth, 101 Proof" with Rex Brown of PANTERA and "Confessions Of A Heretic" with BEHEMOTH's Adam "Nergal" Darski.