K.K. Downing
Photo credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty

In a new interview with VintageRock.com, former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing finally revealed why he left PRIEST in 2011. The guitarist was replaced by Ritchie Faulkner – and band have since released two albums, Redeemer of Souls and Firepower.

Asked if writing his upcoming memoir Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest had offered closure over the split, Downing answered: “Yeah, I think so. I guess it’s the same with any long term relationship – whether it’s a husband or wife, or father or son or whatever – you spend enough time together, and idiosyncrasies show up. I guess there was no particular right or wrong – some people have more tolerance than others, and it takes a bloody miracle really to stay together for 40 years. Someone has to give. And it has to be give and take. But inevitably, it becomes a bit of an imbalance, and I like to think that democracy is always the best policy. And there wasn’t enough of it there, I don’t think.”

He continued: “Rob [Halford] and Glenn [Tipton] went off and did their lengthy solo careers, and that became a bit disruptive. I didn’t even mention that in the book. But Rob actually released two albums and did his own tour in the exact year before I left. And then when they said, ‘K.K., we want you to start writing for a five-track EP,’ I went, ‘F**king no way in hell! Rob has just released two albums in the last year, and we are only releasing an EP? Something is not right.’ Enough was enough really, and I bailed out there. And like I said in the book, I tried to put it as diplomatically as I could. But in a nutshell, enough was enough, really. And that was it.”

On the subject of his current dealings with the band, Downing reported: “I can’t say it’s overly sweet at the moment. Nothing lasts forever. I started in the late 60s, so certainly guys from that time, we’re not going to be around forever. Obviously, we’re losing a lot of good friends along the way. It is the way it is. For my own part, there is always a better way, and I always believe that democracy is the epitome of the way forward for everyone. That’s all that needs to happen. But, it’s a case of someone always wants a bigger share of the pie or whatever it is. It is what it is.”