Current Judas Priest guitarist, Richie Faulkner, says that he is “glad” to see founding original guitarist Kenneth “K.K.” Downing “back out there” with his new band KK’S Priest.

KK’S Priest is Downing’s collaboration with former singer Tim “Ripper” Owens and ex-Priest drummer Les Binks. The band, which pays homage to Downing’s past, is rounded out by guitarist A.J. Mills (Hostile) and bassist Tony Newton (Voodoo Six). Read more about the band, here.

During an Instagram Live session on Sunday (May 10th). Faulkner said (via blabbermouth.net), “The great thing is Ken is playing again. He’s out there with his band, and that’s where he should be — he should be playing heavy metal guitar. And I’m glad to see he’s back. It’s been too long to not see Ken Downing up on stage with his flying V [guitar]. So I’m glad he’s back out there, without a doubt. Everyone knows that anyway..” Watch Faulkner’s entire interview, here.

Last fall, Faulkner dismissed the criticism he received for supposedly trying to look too much like Downing.

“Obviously, you get the [haters] — the ‘clone’ comments,” he told the Let There Be Talk podcast. “I’ve got long blond hair, playing a flying V [guitar]… [Michael] Schenker, Zakk [Wylde], K.K., Randy Rhoads — all those guys. To say I was a Ken clone was fairly narrow-minded. There’s tons of guys who have flying Vs and long hair.”

“The thing is if I had dyed my hair black to be different, I would have been shot down,” he continued. “You’ve gotta be real; you’ve gotta be who you are. And I grew up on Ken, I grew up on Glenn [Tipton] and the guys that I mentioned. So you’ve just gotta be who you are. And I grew up with those guys, and I’m not ashamed. I wear it on my sleeve — they’re all my influences, and I’m not afraid of that… There’s no point in trying to hide it. But it’s gotta be natural as well. And I think somehow it worked out organically. I didn’t try to copy him. And as it goes on, you always try to do your own thing and make your own statement.”

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  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    I’m really curious to see the set list for KK’s Priest.
    With Binks there, they’ve got to have the early material represented, and with Ripper, the 90s stuff the regular Priest has disowned.
    This is nothing like Blotzer’s Ratt or the Riley L.A. Guns.

  • Charles Clinchot on

    Fans tearing up the seats at first concert…Wow

    I had a similar experience, at my first concert as well, Monsters Of Rock, at Old Giants stadium back in late 80s. Fans in upper levels dumped trash to the bottom. I think I saw a girl get hit by full 5 gallon water jug. My friends were under the level didn’t get hit, but a shard of broken glass wizzed past my head.

    • Dana on


      I was also at that show, but was apparently spared of issues in my section. We also made our boyfriends leave before Van Halen, because we wanted to beat the traffic, and neither of us, was interested in Van Hagar-LOL! The boys were NOT happy, but acquiesced.


    • Doug R. on

      Not interested in seeing the greatest guitar player on the planet?? Even if I wasn’t a fan of Hagar (which I am) I would’ve stayed anyway.

    • Dana on

      Well, I got to see Van Halen on their reunion tour with Roth in 2007. So, I am good and don’t have any regrets that we left after the Scorpions (whom neither of us wanted to see, either). I was there for George Lynch and Dokken, and she was there for her favorite band, Metallica, so we were more than fine.

    • Doug R. on

      That’s cool, to each their own. I love all those bands.

    • Taskerofpuppets on

      Well, to each their own and you missed a good show, imho. Scorps were formulated magic and VH was incredible, even with Sammy. The solos form the brother’s and Micheal Anthony were so great. I saw them first @ RFK in June and then traveled to Memphis to see it in July. Miss those days, for sure. As you say, most of these tours were recorded for posterity.

    • Dana on

      Well, it was a long time ago, and a very long day, in the New Jersey heat. We were all tired, and VH, and the Scorps just did not mean anything to my girlfriend, nor I, back at that time. Obviously, our boyfriend’s felt differently, but since one of them drove us all there, we had to leave as a collective unit.

      While I liked a couple of Roth songs back then, I only came to appreciate Van Halen much more, a decade or so, after that show. However, my affection for the Scorpions has never materialized (mainly due to Klaus Meine’s singing voice) and I remember nothing from their MOR set. However, I am glad that you enjoyed their performance, and have fond memories of the concert.

    • Taskerofpuppets on

      You’re a mensch. \M/

    • Rattlehead on

      Dana, I have been listening to SO MUCH Roth era Van Halen over the past month or so…. I’ve constantly been listening to the first four albums over and over and over again. And I just bought myself one of those EVH Striped Series guitars….I got the black and yellow striped guitar made famous by EVH on the Van Halen II album….I think the guitar is beautiful and fantastic to play!

      Regarding Scorpions….I concur with your opinion on Klaus’ voice, but I can overlook it to enjoy their music. My wife ( girlfriend at the time) and I were at their concert in San Diego where parts were recorded for Scorpions’ World Wide Live album. We’ve seen them many times since then…but my favorite Scorpions era is when Uli Roth was in the band.

    • Dana on


      Good for you, classic VH is fantastic, I was cranking Mean Streets, the other day.

      D 🙂

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