Tim "Ripper" Owens says that there is no competition between his former band JUDAS PRIEST and his new group KK'S PRIEST, in which he is joined by another ex-JUDAS PRIEST member, guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing. "I don't think we look at it [like that]," he told The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn in a new interview (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "There's one JUDAS PRIEST. They're JUDAS PRIEST. If [K.K. and I] wanted to take that angle, we would have called [our new band] KK'S JUDAS PRIEST. But I think fans are happy 'cause they know they do have two things that are the same vein, and they have K.K. back. I went nowhere — I've been putting music out like crazy — but they have Ken and I back together again. So there's no competition. I mean, how awesome would it be if we do shows with them? I don't care. I really don't. I love the guys in PRIEST. Rob's [Halford, PRIEST singer] my idol. And Richie [Faulkner, PRIEST guitarist] and I are friends. But this isn't a competition. We're not trying to make it a competition or another JUDAS PRIEST. That's why we put an album out first; that was the difference. If we were trying to make it that, we would start touring right away, doing the back catalog."
Asked if KK'S PRIEST is really open to touring with JUDAS PRIEST, Tim said: "I'm open to anything. I've never burned bridges. From the sounds of it, it's never gonna happen. 'Cause it never happened with me. I tried to get BEYOND FEAR to support JUDAS PRIEST on tour. Wendy Dio was my manager, and they were, like, 'Absolutely not. You're not gonna support us.' But we're all friends. I mean, I'm speaking for me — I'm not speaking for Ken. But, yeah, listen, I always look at it as how much fans would love stuff. How cool would it be if that happened?"
Downing left PRIEST amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance. He was replaced by Faulkner, nearly three decades his junior.
In 2018, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST. The first was described as "a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music," while the second was "angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties."
Downing later said that he believed the second letter was "a key reason" he wasn't invited to rejoin PRIEST after Glenn Tipton's decision to retire from touring.
KK'S PRIEST also includes guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE), bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).
KK'S PRIEST's debut album, "Sermons Of The Sinner", will be released on October 1 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.