JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill says Kenneth “K.K.” Downing might have been “playing a bit of mischief” when he said he was “shocked” that he wasn’t asked to rejoin the band following Glenn Tipton‘s decision to retire from the road due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
During a press conference at this year’s Hellfest, which was held June 22-24 in Clisson, France, Hill was asked for his thoughts on Downing‘s comments and whether PRIEST considered approaching K.K. to return to the band following Tipton‘s decision to step aside from the stage.
“I didn’t know, really, where he was coming from with that comment,” Hill said:
“I think he just played a bit of mischief, to be honest. I mean, Ken‘s place in the band has already been taken; he’s sitting right there [referring to current PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner, who was also taking part in the press conference, alongside drummer Scott Travis]. It’s also two albums down the road since ‘Nostradamus’, which is the last one he played on, and is he gonna be prepared to play music from the new album, which he probably would not.
And on top of that, he’s gonna have to learn Glenn‘s parts too. So it’s all reasons why we didn’t [ask him to return]. Apart from that, he’s been retired for nearly eight years. He hasn’t since set foot on stage as far as I know, so he’s hardly at the peak of his game at the moment.
So, yeah, I wasn’t quite sure where he was coming from with that — I really don’t. I think it might have been just [him playing] a bit of mischief.”