kkdowning Adrian Peel of Digital Journal spoke with former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing. Excerpts from the story appear below.

On his new business venture:

“Don’t laugh, but I’m just about to release Metal For Men and Metal Pour Femme, which is a new line of fragrances, and I’m going to be selling that internationally. Do you know Planet Rock? In the UK I’ll be selling that initially through Planet Rock, through the national radio station. That’s something else I’ve thought of in my sleep. Don’t ask me why! You see these people do a fragrance from the pop world and stuff like that, but nobody’s actually catering for rock and metal fans, so I thought I’d solve the headache of what to buy for Christmas type-of-thing…”

Discussing releasing a solo album:

“Well I think about it all the time, I do… I’m thinking that when all this dies down a little bit, even if I’m 65, 66 – it doesn’t matter. I mean you look at The Rolling Stones, The Who and everybody can still put their hand to their instrument and be creative. So I’m not ruling anything out at any time…It may well be an instrumental album. I could do it, but at the moment I’ve just got to finish what I’ve started, really, is what I think. But it won’t be too long. I would’ve thought by the end of next year, I’ll find a clearing and I would like to work with some chosen musicians.”

Explaining why he left Judas Priest:

“I felt that a lot of the spark wasn’t there – for whatever reason – anymore on stage. I felt that I had it, but I felt it wasn’t what I originally signed up for… I always thought that Judas Priest should have been a high-energy outfit and ultra-sharp, but I wasn’t enjoying it as much on stage as I should have been. All that traveling and living out of a suitcase and spending so much time in planes, vans, cars and trains, you have to really enjoy the concerts. You have to musically get on a high and that carries you through, but if you’re not enjoying it like you should, then it becomes a lot of hard work because you’ve still got to do the interviews and be pushed and pulled around the place.”

Does regret his decision to leave the band?:

“I don’t regret leaving because, to me, I thought that it had run its course. I miss what we had, but I don’t particularly miss what we had become when I left… You can look at You Tube and see Judas Priest playing at the US Festival, or at Live Aid, and I miss being at the pinnacle of the band. I miss that energy and youthfulness and just delivering all of that up. You become a certain age and I think that I would have been happy if, as I said, I was enjoying the shows. There’s disagreements with how things should be done and I thought if I’m outnumbered then it’s time to go…But I suppose we did fantastically well. I mean 40 years is great and I commend the guys for going back out. I was just watching a bit of their first concert of the tour in Rochester, New York, and it was great. Band sounded good and I’m happy that they continue. I sent an email saying ‘good luck with the new tour, guys’ to the management office. I do wish them well and I commend them highly for being out there and carrying on the legacy.”

Read more with K.K. at Digital Journal. Additionally, Downing, will be donating some of the proceeds from his forthcoming fragrances to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

For more information about K.K., please visit his official website.


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  • Louis on

    Great to hear from KK! As with all members of Judas Priest, he is a class act. As many mentioned prior, it is refreshing to hear someone not bash his former band or try to prop himself up on a pedestal! I do hope he can get out on a few shows or a festival before Priest officially calls it quits. Looking forward to seeing the old guard and Richie in Atlanta next week! All the clips on this website and YouTube etc look like they are still performing at a high level.

  • Frank W on

    So what does a heavy metal fragrance smell like? Body odor and beer? I don’t want to smell like heavy metal really though sometimes I probably have a natural heavy metal odor.

  • Ivan on

    Based on what I have seen (video footage) from this current tour … they are STILL just going thru the motions. Rob is really low energy. Still has the pipes – but man it’s a slo-mo-show.
    The sound is pretty good, but these guys need a jump.

  • treff bennett on

    …..some of you are going to think this is trivial, but the production on the latest Priest album really chaps my ass…..I mean I was so amped up about Priest giving us all a good kick to the marble bag after that “Nostrilpottamus” debacle…..

    • Tyler on

      I don’t think its trivial at all, totally agree. The least they could do is put out an enjoyable album to listen to. The songs are good, the production sucks, I cant stand the sound of it.

  • Clarence Worley on

    K.K. was so cool when my son and I met him after a show in 2008. He gave my son pointers on guitar and was he was just great. (so were Glenn, Ian & Scott). He was the nicest rockstar I’ve ever met.
    My son is now 20 and has been a Judas Priest fan ever since. (he’s been to see them twice more).
    My son coincidentally just surprised me today and brought me home a present – a new double album copy of Screaming For Vengeance on vinyl. (best gift I’ve had in years!). If it wasn’t for K.K. Downing being so nice that night, he might not love Priest as much as he does.

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