K.K. Downing Forms New Band With Former Members Of Judas Priest

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After stepping away from touring for the past 10 years, former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing is relaunching his career with a new band, K.K.'s Priest, made up of former members of the legendary metal act.

Judas Priest's classic lineup fell into place after Downing joined the band in 1970. He stepped away from in 2011, though he retained his equity in the group.

K.K.'s Priest finds Downing reunited with former Judas Priest singer Tim "Ripper" Owens (who fronted the band from 1996 to 2003) and drummer Les Binks (1977 - 1979). To fill out the lineup, Downing has tapped Hostile guitarist A.J. Mills and Voodoo Six bassist Tony Newton.

In a statement, Downing said forming the new band was "inevitable."

"Due to the massive demand and overwhelming support from fans around the world, I feel this is where I belong, and a set combining the true, classic songs and sound of Priest, together with great, newly forged metal tracks, is what fans can expect when KK's Priest is taking to stages," he said.

While Rob Halford has never ruled out the possibility of a reunion with Downing in Judas Priest and has heavily suggested that a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction would bring them back together, Downing isn't waiting around for an invitation.

Downing first signaled that he was interested in getting back onstage in 2018, when he expressed his frustration at not being invited back to Judas Priest after the band announced that his longtime counterpart, Glenn Tipton, would be transitioning to a reduced role due to Parkinson's disease.

In August, Downing surprised an audience at the U.K.'s Bloodstock Open Air festival when he jumped onstage for one song with Ross the Boss.

In November, he performed a full set of Judas Priest material with a band including Binks and Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson.

KK's Priest is indeed working on a debut album, with plans to tour later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of Downing's tenure with Judas Priest.

Photo: Getty Images

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