Judas Priest have released a letter stating that original guitarist K.K. Downing has formally retired from the band, and will not join the band on the upcoming Epitaph World Tour. The band respect his decision and wish him well.

Replacing K.K. on the tour will be 31 year old British guitar player Richie Faulkner (Lauren Harris, Dirty Deeds), who has apparently blended into the band perfectly and will set the stage on fire.

The upcoming "Epitaph" tour will include songs from every Judas Priest studio album, including some the band have never performed before. It will be "heavy metal at its best complete with lasers, lights, bikes and hellfire!!"

The band also have another album due out next year.


[Also thanks to Snbn for sending this in!]


Source: judaspriest.com
Band profile: Judas Priest
 
Posted: 20.04.2011 by Baz Anderson



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SBGMetal - 20.04.2011 at 20:46  
What?!! tell me this is not true!
BloodTears - 20.04.2011 at 20:47  
I thought they weren't releasing new albums.

Well, I guess I'll have no KK in Lisbon this summer.
Valentin B - 20.04.2011 at 20:48  
It's sad to hear about KK, who's actually a founding member of Priest along with Ian, but then again they're childhood friends, i guess they know what's best. i'm glad it wasn't Glen though, as he is the main songwriter of the band. on the other hand, there is precisely one song credited just to KK in all of Priest's discography.

and i hope to see this Faulkner guy infuse some youth and energy into the band's live performance, cause unfortunately except maybe for Rob, they're kinda static on stage.
Baz Anderson - 20.04.2011 at 20:49  
It's a shame, but he was either going to leave the band or eventually die in it - we should just be happy it isn't the latter.
Silent Jay - 20.04.2011 at 20:49  
What the hell, Before their final world tour!? Guess this means he won't be on the new album either. Wow that'll be weird :/
corrupt - 20.04.2011 at 20:49  
Written by BloodTears on 20.04.2011 at 20:47

I thought they weren't releasing new albums.

Well, I guess I'll have no KK in Lisbon this summer.

As won't the many of us seeing then in Wacken. Too bad that. Hopefully they find somebody to step in and don't cancel the shows altogether.
BloodTears - 20.04.2011 at 20:54  
Written by corrupt on 20.04.2011 at 20:49

Written by BloodTears on 20.04.2011 at 20:47

I thought they weren't releasing new albums.

Well, I guess I'll have no KK in Lisbon this summer.

As won't the many of us seeing then in Wacken. Too bad that. Hopefully they find somebody to step in and don't cancel the shows altogether.


According to the statement, that won't be a problem. It doesn't seem like they'll cancel shows because of it.

But I would've liked to see the whole band for one last time.
Angelic Storm - 20.04.2011 at 20:57  
I was going to post this news earlier, but Id already been beaten to it. lol

I actually wouldn't have been surprised had it been Glenn retiring, what with his health problems in recent years. With just one final tour and album left, Im a bit shocked that KK has decided to leave now. Ah well... it just makes me treasure even more the moment when he performed the "Sinner" solo right over me when I saw them in 2009.

Im very, very sceptical about this new young guy being brought in, but then again, they replaced Rob with Ripper who did an amazing job, so I'll hold off my judgement till I actually see him in action with Priest. Still, this is very sad news...
LoudBoy26 - 20.04.2011 at 21:12  
All Good Things Come To A End, KK Was The Best At What he Did. He Will Be Missed. PRIEST RULES
Vegard R - 20.04.2011 at 21:19  
On the discussion page on the Judas Priest website, there is rumors that it is NOT due to health problems, which, in case, is very good news. Although I am sad that I won't be able to see one of my greatest heroes - maybe the greatest - one last time, I have a good feeling about the upcoming tour and album! I think Halford and Tipton is capable of composing some really hard-hitting, fist-pumping heavy metal, and I believe Richie Faulkner can bring in some youthful, rebellious rock'n'roll energy to the songs! I look forward to this!

I wish both K.K. and the band all the best for the future.
Xim - 20.04.2011 at 21:20  
I'll give this guy a chance. I highly doubt it's going to change their sound at all. It might be nice having a younger guy with them, but it sure does suck that KK has left, thus a third of the writing force.
Thryce - 20.04.2011 at 21:26  
Jeez, oldtimer couldn't even wait to retire 'til the Farewell tour was over... Exactly the kind of behavior one would expect from a guy called K.K.
Enemy of Reality - 20.04.2011 at 21:45  
Written by BloodTears on 20.04.2011 at 20:47

I thought they weren't releasing new albums.

Well, I guess I'll have no KK in Lisbon this summer.


Ainda por cima já comprei o bilhete...(translation: and the worst is that i've already bought the ticket)
Jay - 20.04.2011 at 21:46  
WTF...? I'm going to see Priest at Sauna Open Air, but it won't be the same without KK... I really wonder why he quit just now... Priest has been his life work and still he's going to sit out the farewell tour! So again: WTF...?
Bad English - 20.04.2011 at 21:56  
I have a feeling there in end onlyt Rob can be JP, others be young men playing
Sad news but JP best years are in past, gigs well even there is performece Rob's voice is why we like it and go , guitars can be replaiced
qlacs - 20.04.2011 at 21:59  
Wtf...
LeChron James - 20.04.2011 at 22:46  
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. GADDAMNIT. I've always preferred KK over Tipton. Oh well, it's their farewell tour, not as big of a deal. And I'm assuming this means he wont be on the 2012 release?
Valentin B - 20.04.2011 at 22:50  
Written by Bad English on 20.04.2011 at 21:56

I have a feeling there in end onlyt Rob can be JP, others be young men playing
Sad news but JP best years are in past, gigs well even there is performece Rob's voice is why we like it and go , guitars can be replaiced

it wouldn't be the same magic. it would be like watching a tribute band with Rob handling the vocals. there's something great about the tone, the playing style, having them on stage playing those kickass riffs and solos i've banged my head and played air guitar to for so long.
Angelic Storm - 20.04.2011 at 22:54  
Written by LeChron James on 20.04.2011 at 22:46
And I'm assuming this means he wont be on the 2012 release?


I'm pretty sure he won't be playing on the album, no. But Priest have been writing material for it since at least December last year, so there is a chance that some stuff that KK wrote could end up on the album. It does seem to be a complete mystery why he has left the band now, especially if health reasons had nothing to do with it. With only one more tour left in Priest's career, I'm perplexed at why he has decided to quit now. The lack of an official reason given makes me think there's more to this announcement than meets the eye. Though I am hoping that it's simply he doesnt have the energy for it anymore.
Sepulnation - 20.04.2011 at 23:10  
:S
RavenKing - 21.04.2011 at 01:17  
Those old Metal bands really start to fall apart.
Not that I care though, to be honest.

Anyway, time has come for the Metal scene to clean the slate. The departure of worthless old bands could well give opportunity for younger and better bands to get enough recognition to be able to carry on. Everything has to come to an end eventually and many old bands are, in fact, finished since many years ago. The countdown has begun. The Metal scene is about to change radically. Hopefully for the best.
Of course, many will find it sad. A feeling I absolutely don't share, as I see it as a new hope, an opportunity for new great bands to rise.
Also, Imo, the scene has been way too stale since the millenia. A renewal can only be welcome.
Void Eater - 21.04.2011 at 01:42  
Dissapointing. I've never seen Priest live, and will now never be able to see the classic lineup. Not to mention that K.K and Glen are my favorite guitar duo. Oh well, wish K.K and Priest the best of luck.
Mountain King - 21.04.2011 at 01:47  
No! I love KK Downing so much. Such a great guitarist and inspiration. His solos can't be played by anyone else! I wanted to see the classic line-up before they stopped touring. This is bad news for me, and im not happy with it at all. I wish KK the best though...
jpwiseguy - 21.04.2011 at 03:09  
WHAT - THE - FUCK !!!

Damn, it really IS the end of the world...ugh. /facepalm
BudDa - 21.04.2011 at 09:53  
Erm..wasn't this band supposed to be breaking up..taking a hiatus..calling it quits..or something?
M C Vice - 21.04.2011 at 10:09  
So this is the end of metal's greatest lead guitar pairing. I wonder who the next best pair are?
My money would be on either the Amott brothers or King and Hannermann (i'm not sure how to spell it, the guy from Slayer with the spider bite). Can't count Iron Maiden's guitarists cause there's 3 of them.
erykk - 21.04.2011 at 11:25  
I can't believe. Is a big surprise
BloodTears - 21.04.2011 at 11:31  
Written by Enemy of Reality on 20.04.2011 at 21:45

Written by BloodTears on 20.04.2011 at 20:47

I thought they weren't releasing new albums.

Well, I guess I'll have no KK in Lisbon this summer.


Ainda por cima já comprei o bilhete...:(


You shouldn't speak Portuguese on the forums. Be careful with that

I bought my ticket already as well.
Kingface - 21.04.2011 at 12:36  
After all those years, this is how KK Downing and Priest depart. Not exactly the stuff of fantasy is it?
Yoodik - 21.04.2011 at 14:35  
Written by RavenKing on 21.04.2011 at 01:17

Those old Metal bands really start to fall apart.
Not that I care though, to be honest.

Anyway, time has come for the Metal scene to clean the slate. The departure of worthless old bands could well give opportunity for younger and better bands to get enough recognition to be able to carry on. Everything has to come to an end eventually and many old bands are, in fact, finished since many years ago. The countdown has begun. The Metal scene is about to change radically. Hopefully for the best.
Of course, many will find it sad. A feeling I absolutely don't share, as I see it as a new hope, an opportunity for new great bands to rise.
Also, Imo, the scene has been way too stale since the millenia. A renewal can only be welcome.


Judas Priest is a worthless old band? Bullshit.

If the younger bands are really that good, they'll be recognized regardless of the old bands.
Troy Killjoy - 21.04.2011 at 14:56  
Written by Yoodik on 21.04.2011 at 14:35

If the younger bands are really that good, they'll be recognized regardless of the old bands.

Not agreeing with RK about JP being a shite band, but your comment isn't any more agreeable. While in theory it would be awesome of talented bands received worldwide recognition for their talent alone, it simply isn't true. There's a reason they call it "the underground".

The music scene isn't a meritocracy.
The Shape 1973 - 21.04.2011 at 20:57  
If I had decided to retire I would probably want to go straight away too if my heart wasn't in it. Sad though.
LoudBoy26 - 22.04.2011 at 00:26  
Written by Kingface on 21.04.2011 at 12:36

After all those years, this is how KK Downing and Priest depart. Not exactly the stuff of fantasy is it?

What Did You Want Him To do For You To Be Happy? Die- Your A Dick
RavenKing - 22.04.2011 at 00:57  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 21.04.2011 at 14:56

While in theory it would be awesome of talented bands received worldwide recognition for their talent alone, it simply isn't true. There's a reason they call it "the underground".

The music scene isn't a meritocracy.


Indeed. The reason old bands are so much well-known is not because they're better than new bands. It's purely a matter of circumstances. They just happen to have been there at the right time and place.
Add to this that the old traditional Heavy Metal is much more easily accessible than most of the stuff we have today.

Also, I never said Judas Priest is a shit band. They released many good albums. However, it was ages ago. The lack of input and poor quality of it in the last two decades made Priest a worthless old band.
Daggon - 22.04.2011 at 00:58  
Oh man, I'm glad I saw them playing together a couple of years ago, I wanted to see them playing here in Mexico one more time, but it won't be happening now. This is really, really sad, but wasn't totally unexpected considering all the years they have been playing...
Troy Killjoy - 22.04.2011 at 01:58  
Written by RavenKing on 22.04.2011 at 00:57

Also, I never said Judas Priest is a shit band. They released many good albums. However, it was ages ago. The lack of input and poor quality of it in the last two decades made Priest a worthless old band.

My bad - I misinterpreted that part.

Written by LoudBoy26 on 22.04.2011 at 00:26

Written by Kingface on 21.04.2011 at 12:36

After all those years, this is how KK Downing and Priest depart. Not exactly the stuff of fantasy is it?

What Did You Want Him To do For You To Be Happy? Die- Your A Dick

Really? "Die, you're a dick" because he thinks such a sudden ending to an incredibly long career isn't what he would have expected? You might want to take a breather man.
RavenKing - 22.04.2011 at 02:39  
Written by LoudBoy26 on 22.04.2011 at 00:26

Written by Kingface on 21.04.2011 at 12:36

After all those years, this is how KK Downing and Priest depart. Not exactly the stuff of fantasy is it?

What Did You Want Him To do For You To Be Happy? Die- Your A Dick


Sounds like the typical butthurt fanboy.
Mountain King - 22.04.2011 at 13:05  
Written by RavenKing on 22.04.2011 at 00:57

Written by Troy Killjoy on 21.04.2011 at 14:56

While in theory it would be awesome of talented bands received worldwide recognition for their talent alone, it simply isn't true. There's a reason they call it "the underground".

The music scene isn't a meritocracy.


Indeed. The reason old bands are so much well-known is not because they're better than new bands. It's purely a matter of circumstances. They just happen to have been there at the right time and place.
Add to this that the old traditional Heavy Metal is much more easily accessible than most of the stuff we have today.

Also, I never said Judas Priest is a shit band. They released many good albums. However, it was ages ago. The lack of input and poor quality of it in the last two decades made Priest a worthless old band.


Your opinion doesn't really mean anything. When u have legends, and they have proven themselves over and over again, u as an average person mean nothing with your comments. If for example i don't like John Petrucci, well i can't say he's worthless and shit because that'll make a fool out of me . For me Priest released great albums. The last 2 with Halford were really good. And if ur ever curious, try getting the Rising In The East DVD (2007) and u can still see that Priest hold one of the best metal concerts around ...
O Sinistron - 22.04.2011 at 13:32  
Written by Valentin B on 20.04.2011 at 20:48

It's sad to hear about KK, who's actually a founding member of Priest along with Ian, but then again they're childhood friends, i guess they know what's best. i'm glad it wasn't Glen though, as he is the main songwriter of the band. on the other hand, there is precisely one song credited just to KK in all of Priest's discography.

and i hope to see this Faulkner guy infuse some youth and energy into the band's live performance, cause unfortunately except maybe for Rob, they're kinda static on stage.

Don't say that dude!
Glen on sstage is just terrific! I've had the pleasure to watch them live in their Nostradanus tour, and Glen Tipton has the energy too!

Nevertheless, the departure of KK is a sad news for all Priest fans! Sad, sad...
RavenKing - 22.04.2011 at 15:27  
Written by Mountain King on 22.04.2011 at 13:05

Your opinion doesn't really mean anything. When u have legends, and they have proven themselves over and over again, u as an average person mean nothing with your comments.


Legends or not, or whatever, we all have our personal opinion and no one will prevent me to tell mine.
Nothing is holy in this world, so everything can be analized and criticized.

Of course, our comments won't change the world but it doesn't mean in any way that we should keep them for ourselves.
Don't put anyone on a pedestal. They're only humans, you know. When they go to the toilet, it stinks too.
Funny to see how I'm often perceived as an elitist, while I don't adhere at all to the form of elitism you display here.
We're all humans in the end. Just a bunch of meatbags on legs.
Troy Killjoy - 22.04.2011 at 16:13  
Written by RavenKing on 22.04.2011 at 15:27

Of course, our comments won't change the world but it doesn't mean in any way that we should keep them for ourselves.

Especially since this is a forum.

Even still, if I were face-to-face with any members of the band, and we were somehow discussing their musical output since Painkiller (which, despite sounding awesome when listening for sheer "fun" heavy metal, a lot of the songs have the exact same structure and the innovation factor is about a 0), I'd have no problem telling them that I personally find a lot of their material to be utterly boring.

At the end of the day these guys are guys. They may be iconic, but they are by no means worth silencing your voice for. Nobody is.
RavenKing - 22.04.2011 at 16:22  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.04.2011 at 16:13

At the end of the day these guys are guys. They may be iconic, but they are by no means worth silencing your voice for. Nobody is.


That's exactly what I meant, though I told it in a more coarse and sharp way. You said the same but with better words. More elegantly, I would say.
Troy Killjoy - 22.04.2011 at 16:28  
Written by RavenKing on 22.04.2011 at 16:22

That's exactly what I meant, though I told it in a more coarse and sharp way. You said the same but with better words. More elegantly, I would say.

Well you do have a reputation to uphold. Plus, I'm a Staff member...model citizen and whatnot.
Mountain King - 22.04.2011 at 19:12  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.04.2011 at 16:13

Written by RavenKing on 22.04.2011 at 15:27

Of course, our comments won't change the world but it doesn't mean in any way that we should keep them for ourselves.

Especially since this is a forum.

Even still, if I were face-to-face with any members of the band, and we were somehow discussing their musical output since Painkiller (which, despite sounding awesome when listening for sheer "fun" heavy metal, a lot of the songs have the exact same structure and the innovation factor is about a 0), I'd have no problem telling them that I personally find a lot of their material to be utterly boring.

At the end of the day these guys are guys. They may be iconic, but they are by no means worth silencing your voice for. Nobody is.


Nobody said anything about silencing one's voice, but i think these guys deserve the biggest respect out of the 70's hard rock/heavy metal bands. No other band has been able to stay that consistent and innovative over the years (I would add Scorpions too). And i wonder how the songs on Nostradamus have the same structure as songs from Ram It Down or Painkiller for example?
Troy Killjoy - 22.04.2011 at 19:23  
Written by Mountain King on 22.04.2011 at 19:12

Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.04.2011 at 16:13

...since Painkiller (which, despite sounding awesome when listening for sheer "fun" heavy metal, a lot of the songs have the exact same structure and the innovation factor is about a 0), I'd have no problem telling them that I personally find a lot of their material to be utterly boring.

And i wonder how the songs on Nostradamus have the same structure as songs from Ram It Down or Painkiller for example?

If you read the sentence carefully, you'll realize your comment is misguided.

I never said Nostradamus has the same structures as Ram it Down or Painkiller. I said Painkiller isn't innovative and features songs with the same structures. What I said about Nostradamus (being a post-Painkiller release) is that it's utterly boring.
RavenKing - 22.04.2011 at 19:55  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.04.2011 at 19:23

I never said Nostradamus has the same structures as Ram it Down or Painkiller. I said Painkiller isn't innovative and features songs with the same structures. What I said about Nostradamus (being a post-Painkiller release) is that it's utterly boring.


The songs indeed sound pretty much all the same, with only a few rare exceptions. And the album drags on and on.

P.S. Not talking of Painkiller but of Nostradamus.
Mountain King - 22.04.2011 at 20:51  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.04.2011 at 19:23

Written by Mountain King on 22.04.2011 at 19:12

Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.04.2011 at 16:13

...since Painkiller (which, despite sounding awesome when listening for sheer "fun" heavy metal, a lot of the songs have the exact same structure and the innovation factor is about a 0), I'd have no problem telling them that I personally find a lot of their material to be utterly boring.

And i wonder how the songs on Nostradamus have the same structure as songs from Ram It Down or Painkiller for example?

If you read the sentence carefully, you'll realize your comment is misguided.

I never said Nostradamus has the same structures as Ram it Down or Painkiller. I said Painkiller isn't innovative and features songs with the same structures. What I said about Nostradamus (being a post-Painkiller release) is that it's utterly boring.


Oh so Painkiller isn't innovative? Wow that's even worse but hey let's end it here cause I'm not looking to convince anyone...
Black Conundrum - 23.04.2011 at 01:40  
It's pretty surprising that he left the band after all thouse years. After being in the band since the late 1960s and being a founding member, that is definitely significant. I wish the best to Judas Priest and KK Downing, as they have parted ways.
SatyriconChick - 23.04.2011 at 07:55  
This is so shocking and disappointing. I've never seen Priest live, but I've been hoping to catch them on this farewell tour. Damn, it'll suck not seeing K.K. with them. What a shame that things went this way.
Kingface - 29.04.2011 at 18:49  
Written by LoudBoy26 on 22.04.2011 at 00:26

Written by Kingface on 21.04.2011 at 12:36

After all those years, this is how KK Downing and Priest depart. Not exactly the stuff of fantasy is it?

What Did You Want Him To do For You To Be Happy? Die- Your A Dick


I'm going to pretend I don't see the last four words of your post and just let you know that all I was trying to say is that it's a surprising and seemingly abrupt departure.

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