K.K. DOWNING Says He Received Legal Threats From JUDAS PRIEST For Naming His New Band KK’s PRIEST

K.K. Downing

In a new interview with “Rock Hard Greece,” classic JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing discussed his decision to name his new band KK’S PRIEST, saying he received legal threats from the JUDAS PRIEST management regarding the new act’s name.

KK’S PRIEST, the band comprised of renowned former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist, K.K. Downing and former vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, have announced the release of Sermons Of The Sinner via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records on August 20.

“I think a lot of fans will understand that I have been a PRIEST since 1968 — I’ve wanted to be a PRIEST since then. I’ve traversed the road of the evolution of music as we know it today,” Downing said. We went from blues, when I was young, to progressive blues to rock to hard rock to heavy rock to heavy metal. I’ve been on that journey.

“So I believe that I have a right to continue as a PRIEST, because some of the guys in PRIEST now, I haven’t met them, and they’re playing my songs, which is fine,” he continued. “But if they have a right to be a PRIEST, then I have a right… And I can’t start something absolutely new. I can’t sound like a new guitar player. I can’t write like a new guitar player. So everything I do is gonna be reminiscent of the past to the fans. So that’s when I decided that. And I think it’s gonna be absolutely fine — I really do.

“And the face of KK’s PRIEST, that will evolve, and that will be on the journey with us. There’s so much yet to come — there’s more videos, more songs coming your way. And there’s more albums to come also…

“Their [JUDAS PRIEST‘s] lawyers sent a letter to my record company making threats of legal action if I went forward with KK’S PRIEST. But for the moment, nothing happened.

“I think they made the threat but decided not to follow through with the threat. But they made the threat to try to stop me from making the band.”

He went on to say that there was talk around a decade ago of him continuing to collaborate with some of his former bandmates on other projects: “A couple of weeks after I walked out [in 2011], Rob [Halford, vocals] and his manager wrote me a letter. They wanted me to form a band with Rob and some other musicians. [ARCH ENEMY guitarist] Jeff Loomis was one. I can’t remember the names. But I’ve got the e-mail… I just ignored it.”