In a brand new interview with the "Iron City Rocks" podcast, ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing was asked if he would ever entertain reconnecting with his former bandmates if the opportunity presented itself. "I don't know what happened," K.K. said. "I tried to leave discreetly [and] quietly, and that was it. But when things start to appear in the press and that, I don't know why — maybe it's misinterpretation, but things happen, and I'm thinking this kind of mutual-respect thing seems to be drifting away, and it kind of gets to be like that. But my intention was to hopefully not burn any bridges at all, because I'm of an age now where it's not a good thing to permanently burn bridges through life. I would like to be in a situation where — and I'm sure it would happen — we could meet, shake hands, hugs and embraces after such a long time, and keep the relationship intact.
"With Glenn's [Tipton, guitar] condition, it's something that, I think, was a surprise to everyone. But I heard that Glenn was in Montreal a few days ago at a show, so that's good. And I'm sure that everyone, with me, wishes him, obviously, the best. The guys are scheduled to tour, I believe, I've just heard, with Ozzy [Osbourne] next year in the U.K. and do some big shows there, so that's a show not to be missed. So I'm more than happy and enthusiastic that we'll have a good day when we eventually do get together."
Downing, who is promoting his upcoming autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", also talked about a point he makes in the book about JUDAS PRIEST never becoming as big as he thinks it could have been. "It was just really an observation," he said. "To most people, JUDAS PRIEST were this gigantic machine, a powerhouse and really successful, but we didn't achieve, in a way, [what] a lot of other bands achieved, and a lot of bands, essentially, did kind of pass us in the success and album-sales ratio. DEF LEPPARD would be a prime example, going from supporting JUDAS PRIEST to selling an album that, in the States, did five [or] six million, and then the next album did nine, 10, 11 million. I think our biggest-ever-selling record in the States was 'Screaming For Vengeance', [which] may have done something in between two to three million maybe. So that kind of ratio. And there's lots of other bands doing similar sort of things. Even the band QUIET RIOT, I think, had an album that was five or six million, which was double or more than what we had achieved. So who's to say, really? I think timing is very, very critical. Hence I say DEF LEPPARD [did] these mega-selling albums in '83 and '84 — I'm guessing — and we [came] out with the 'Turbo' album in '85 or '86. It's just about timing, really, as to how people are feeling at a certain point in a decade. But, yeah, we could have done a lot worse, so no complaints at all. I'm very, very proud of my achievement, the band's achievement, and the greatest respect to not just my bandmates, but also, obviously, to all of the fans and music lovers worldwide."
"Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest" will be 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.
K.K. announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, who was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris.
Earlier this year, Downing released a statement in which he said that he was "shocked and stunned" that he wasn't approached to rejoin JUDAS PRIEST following Glenn Tipton's announcement that he would no longer be touring with the band due to his battle with Parkinson's disease.