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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  • Doug R. on

    I agree with Richie. He can’t help the fact that he has blonde hair and looks the way he does! I mean, unlike 2 other individuals named Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, who CHOOSE to look the way they do! Talk about clones…

  • Doug on

    Why is it (quote) “glad” to see….gives the impression Richie is being insincere. Suspect that came from Blabbermouth to (again) stir the pot.

    • Rattlehead on

      I concur, Doug. But I believe Richie is being sincere. I think we’re all happy KK is playing music again, even if it’s not in Judas Priest…although some could argue KK’s Priest is more “Priest” than today’s Judas Priest.

  • robert davenport on

    He needs to shut up and play guitar – I’ll see Kks priest before I see JUDAS –

  • T on

    I don’t think it’s inconceivable that KK could join the lads in Priest at some point down the road. I don’t think it should be a 3 guitar situation though. I still can’t believe he lost his $ on golf courses, but I guess anyone could make a bad investment. He worked hard and toured relentlessly for decades, and he deserves to make a decent living in my opinion. Music is a cruel business sometimes.

  • Taskerofpuppets on

    I’ll take it at face value. Nice to hear how much of a fan Richie is of KK & Glenn. I never did see the original line-up, wished I had. I’ve only seen the most recent incarnation on the last two Firepower tours. Great shows, but could only imagine KK & Glenn doing duel solos. I guess we’re all wanna be’s at some point in our lives. Richie is no less human.

    • Dana on

      Since this is my favorite band, I have been fortunate enough to see the original lineup three times, including the 30th anniversary of British Steel. I could not believe how great they still sounded, and fortunately, that tour was captured on DVD.

      The two other tours I saw were, Defenders of the Faith (my first concert ever, which was infamous, because the fans tore up the seats at the Garden) and Ram It Down.

    • Taskerofpuppets on

      Very cool and I’m very envious. I saw many great shows since being a teenager in the 80’s and I didn’t see Priest or Maiden back when I was seeing METALLICA, Ozzy, AC/DC, VH, Scorps, Pink Floyd, DLR, Poison, Cinderella, The Crue, Whitesnake, and so many other great acts. The reason is is I wasn’t into them like I have been these last 10 years. While I regret not seeing them back then, in their prime, it’s also been fun infusing them into my world and influencing my tween daughter. It’s so fun to hear her ask me to play Priest or Maiden songs when they pop-up on my Sirius radio. I do regret not seeing both Maiden & Priest in their haydays. Ohhh the glory!! I’ve tried to make-up for it the last 10 years with some success, especially with Maiden. Girls & METAL rule! \MM/

    • Dana on

      Well, lucky for all of us, whether you were blessed to see band’s in their prime, or not, they have all filmed live performances throughout their careers. So although you not might have been there, you can “experience” what they did sound like, at in that point of time, thanks to technology.

      I was never a Maiden fan, and they played a small, very famous rock club in Brooklyn, called L’Amour (I lived there in my youth) under the moniker, Charlotte and the Harlots. My friend, at that time, Mark was a HUGE Maiden fan, and he wads losing his mind. He bought be a ticket, I think it was between $12 and $15, he sold it for me, the day of the show for $100. It’s a shame Maiden never filmed that show, i am sure for their fans, it must have been mind blowing. The guys in the band supposedly loved L’Amour, and when they were in town, they were known to come in, hang out and see the other bands performing. Ahh, the good old days. L’Amour was the BEST, and anyone who was anyone, played at that club, including Maiden (at the height of their careers).

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