Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to Former Judas Priest Guitarist K.K. Downing as he prepares to release his autobiography on September 18 2018
K.K. spoke about his relationship with Glenn Tipton, responds to Ian Hills claims on coming back to the band, talks Iron Maiden opening for Priest and the Ripper era
When asked how his relationship with Glenn Tipton changed over the years
"There always was a great amount mutual respect for each other and still is. We would spend more time together than any girlfriends or wives. We were very productive, very prolific and I think we were the driving force because we had to create the songs to be sung. It was an an awful amount of work and time spent together. Was there some competitive rivalry , not really on my behalf. I always felt like I was easy going because the most important thing to me was the band, the name Judas Priest. Myself and Glenn went through decades through thick and thin and it was a great relationship but idiosyncrasies started creeping in. I was a bit too easy going, my inspirations were to make the band big not myself big."
"We divided the solos at the end of a recording I would have 10 and Glenn would have 10 but my 10 would be 15 second solos but Glenn's were a lot longer, it went on a bit like that really and I kind of let that slip a little bit. But the albums, the songs were great and the solos were great .Inevitable without even knowing it some kind of pecking order starts to formulate that is why so many great bands didn't last too long cause things get in the way. "
When asked to respond to Ian Hills remarks saying he cannot come back to the band because he cannot do Glenn's guitar parts
"I did not understand that , it was really weird because obviously, Richie plays both my parts and Glenn's parts and I'm sure Richie would be the first one to say well K.K. you do your thing and I will continue to play Glenn;s guitar parts or we could do whose ever parts and pieces, there is a way to work everything out. It was never going to be the case that I would step into Glenn's parts. I don't understand what Ian was saying."
When asked about how upset he was with Iron Maiden when they opened for Judas Priest in 1980, as Paul Di'anno kept saying in the press they would blow Priest off the stage
" Iron Maiden did their first UK tour and their first American tour with us, there was unsettlement in the camp. I guess to Iron Maiden it was all new to them and they were out there to overthrow the mighty Priest. But a lot of water is under the bridge today. I got to like Paul Dianno an awful lot in the mind 80's I think he turned up in a hotel room and he said Kenny I really apologize about something he said in the newspaper. Paul's a good guy and I understand people when they are young want to go out there and conquer the world, I think I understand it better now then I did at the time. "
When asked about the Ripper era of Judas Priest
"Tim Owens did a fantastic job, what an incredible guy, he is a fantastic singer. We would come off the stage doing a fantastic gig and Ripper totally killed it but you would still get fans backstage saying hey K.K. when is Rob Halford coming back and that was kind of the theme throughout. Apart from the odd exception its one voice for one band and that is what the fans wanted. Priest had such a legacy with so many songs with Rob singing on them that there is always a requirement for the fans to have Rob back ."
When asked if he regretted leaving the band
"No, No because, myself and Glenn even though we were much a partnership we would do things differently on stage, Glenn was a bit more Rock and Roll having beers and I was totally attentive, perfection, every note every beat. So we kind of drifted apart that way. I wasn't enjoying it as much as I felt I should. I like to give 100 percent I think that is what the fans travel for and pay for. "
When asked if he should have spoken out on how he felt like he was being treated
"I did, not in a cool calm collective way but it didn't have the desired effect."
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