Metal Wani’s Chuck Marshall spoke to K.K. Downing about the upcoming show as well as his own memoir and plans for the future.
I asked K.K. what could fan expect from this special event. K.K. mentioned “It’s a full-blown Priest performance let’s face it really, I’m really stoked. It’s going to be great” He added, “I’m hoping to turn back the clock and be that young performer again.”
I tried to coax K.K. into a giving a peek at the setlist, but he wants to keep the surprises for the show. He mentioned that with Les and Ripper (both Judas Priest alumni) on the stage, they will touch on the era’s when they were in the band. However, K.K. did mention “I have earmarked something that has never been played by any Priest ever. I’m very much looking forward to doing that. We haven’t rehearsed it yet. But, if we pull it off it will be a great addition to the set.”
If you can’t make this special show, K.K. did mention that they will be recording the event so that fans around the world can enjoy it. I asked K.K. if he thought that perhaps this could be more than a one-off show. “Well, we’ve had promoters contact us from all over the place really. Mexico, Australia, South America, North America. I don’t think any of us are saying anything at the moment, we’re just going to do the gig and we’ll see which way the wheels roll. After that really (laughs)…somebody could come off stage and say “That’s It! I’m never playing with you again!” (laughs).
We also chatted a bit about K.K.’s memoir Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest which gives fans a deep look into your life and many of the critical moments in your career in music. I asked if he found the process of creating the book to be therapeutic. K.K. replied “It was hard in places, but you just battle through it. And then it’s a load of fun in other places. So yeah, I’m glad I did it”. He added “I wanted people to just get to know me a little bit better. Because they know of me, but they actually no me. So it was a good reason to do the book.”
While working on his book, I asked K.K. if that reflection uncovered any particular songs or albums that he was most proud of. K.K. responded “Well No. Dare I yet again quote a very fine guitar player; Yngwie Malmsteen. He was kind of asked a similar question and he went “Oh no” he says “I ain’t got one” he says “All of my albums, they’re my children, they’re my babies. I don’t discriminate between one or the other.” I think it’s a very good answer really because we do feel like that you know. Some of the fans have their favorites, but to us, they kind of are a big part of our lives. We did the writing, the recording, the touring, making videos.” K.K. continued “Even the less successful ones…they still have some very important songs on them”.
K.K. recently played some Judas Priest tunes with Ross The Boss at Bloodstock. I wanted to know what stood out the most for him on that gig. He replied “Yeah, I really enjoyed that. It was great for me to meet some other musicians and play with them as I’ve never done that all of my life. I was always devoted to Priest.” He went on “I didn’t meet the guys until Friday night and I was on stage with them on Sunday at 1 pm (laughs). So you know, there’s that nervous energy. But the guys did exceptionally well and they were great and I thanked them a lot for having me guest up there.”
The Judas Priest 50th anniversary is coming up in 2020. And I wanted to know if K.K. had plans to celebrate. He answered “I don’t know. I haven’t really got a plan, to be honest. There’s not an opportunity out there. I haven’t heard anything at all from the Priest camp whatsoever. I don’t know. That’s not to say I couldn’t take my own Priest band and celebrate myself. We’ll see what happens.”