K.K. Downing says that it would be a "big thing" for JUDAS PRIEST to finally be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at next year's ceremony.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, JUDAS PRIEST was on the ballot for last year's class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but ultimately didn't clinch the nomination.
Last month, it was announced that JUDAS PRIEST is among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2020. The top vote-getters will be announced in January and inducted May 2, 2020 at a ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall.
Speaking to Danny Stoakes, Downing acknowledged that PRIEST fans were let down when the band wasn't inducted into the Rock Hall in 2018.
"I know that a lot of people expected us to get in last time," he said (hear audio below). "And I did hear that some of the people on the voting committee left because we didn't get in, 'cause they were so disappointed and stuff.
"I'm not exactly sure how the whole thing works myself, really," he continued. "I only know it's bloody hard to get in there. I know it took [BLACK] SABBATH a long, long time [to get in there] — didn't it? — as well. I've said it before, PRIEST has such a massive — over 50 years and the amount of albums and the work and shows that we've done. It's hard to think of another band that's done more, really."
Downing also recognized a couple of fellow heavy rock bands who are nominated for induction for the first time this year.
"THIN LIZZY and MOTÖRHEAD, they should be there — of course they should," he said. "They're absolute legends. Bands like that should be in already, really. But we only look at it from the rock and metal point of view, I suppose. 'Cause also we're up against a lot of artists from other genres — a lot of them I've never heard of. [Laughs]"
Downing went on to lament the fact that some of the artists — including MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy and THIN LIZZY's Phil Lynott — are being nominated for the Rock Hall posthumously.
"We've got one member that's included in our nomination — Dave Holland — that's no longer with us," he said. "And I think Dave was 68 when he passed away. So it's just a little bit sad, really, to have such a great accolade and not be there to be able to at least know that you achieved that."
K.K. added: "I know to a lot of people in Europe it might not mean too much, but it is a big thing, really, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame."
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to be released in 1994 or earlier.
A voter pool of more than 1,000 artists, historians, journalists and members of the music industry will select the new class. Fans will also have a chance to take part in the process by voting at RockHall.com or an interactive kiosk at the museum in Cleveland.
Downing, Holland, Les Binks, Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis are on the ballot for JUDAS PRIEST.
Halford told Billboard in 2017 that he was not opposed to the idea of reuniting with Downing at the Rock Hall induction ceremony if they were to ever receive the honor. "Everything's on the table for anyone that's been associated with PRIEST in and out of the band," the singer said.