Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing is featured in a new interview with Raised On Radio, found below. He looks back on joining Judas Priest, seeing Jimi Hendrix perform live and the impact it had on him, West Midlands, Blues, the ’70s, leaving Judas Priest, and launching his new band, KK’s Priest.
On auditioning for Judas Priest:
“I’ve gone through the process of seeing Jimi Hendrix in 1967 at Coventry Theater, and I was all inspired as everybody else was that jumped from the balconies and rushed the stage… and I was one of them. Probably the next day I went out and bought my first guitar. By the time I saw Judas Priest, they were a blues group called Judas Priest, doing a few great gigs. They lost their guitar player and I went straight for the audition. I wasn’t very proficient; I thought I was pretty good but they were looking for a blues player and I wasn’t. As much as I liked the blues, I knew that there was this genre of music out there that didn’t exist yet, so that was the road I was traversing. So it was a bit of this and a bit of that, but it was anything but the blues. I never played the blues. It was more improvised solos, more free-form stuff, controlled feedback. I was a right mishmash of all sorts of things, and it didn’t really add up to anything at that point, but it was only the start of the journey.”
KK’s Priest, the new project from Downing, will release their debut album, Sermons Of The Sinner, on August 20. Pre-order / pre-save options for Sermons Of The Sinner are now available here. An exclusive autographed limited edition silver vinyl LP version with bonus CD is available.
“Sermons Of The Sinner”
“Sacerdote Y Diablo”
“Raise Your Fists”
“Brothers Of The Road”
“Metal Through And Through”
“Wild And Free”
“Hail For The Priest”
“Return Of The Sentinel”
“Hellfire Thunderbolt” video:
“Sermons Of The Sinner” video:
With Downing on guitar and Tim “Ripper” Owens on vocals, KK’s Priest also features Tony Newton (Voodoo Six) on bass, A.J. Mills (Hostile) on guitar and Sean Elg (DeathRiders/Cage) on drums. Original drummer, Les Binks, unfortunately sustained a wrist injury, but will make special guest live appearances when the band tours.
KK’s Priest is set to tour worldwide as soon as current restrictions are lifted. Details of touring to be announced.