KK Downing: “The guitar dynamic in Judas Priest was lopsided – but in KK’s Priest it’s the way I always envisaged it”

The guitarist says six-string duties in his new band are “split down the middle”.

KK Downing and AJ Mills stood together playing guitar on stage

Image: Elsie Roymans / Getty

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KK Downing says that his guitar dynamic with KK’s Priest’s AJ Mills is “split down the middle” and is “the way it was always meant to be”.

Downing is still proud of the trade-off guitar technique he developed alongside Glenn Tipton when he first joined Judas Priest, and now feels this is continuing to be played out “exactly” how he had “always envisaged” with Mills.

KK’s Priest released their most recent album, The Sinner Rides Again, back in September, and are continuing to play a string of live shows in the US.

Speaking on WBAB radio station, Downing says of his continual chemistry with Mills (via Blabbermouth), “I’ve known AJ since he was in [a band called Hostile]. Actually, the first time he saw [Priest] play was when Ripper [Tim Owens] was in the band, and AJ was 17.

“This is a story he tells me. He came to the concert and thought, ‘That’s it. I wanna be him up there,’ and he was pointing to me. And so, obviously, he knows the legacy and the credentials of the band, so he knows what’s expected. He knows me now; I’ve worked with him on a couple of his own records.”

He adds, “Needless to say, with myself and AJ, everything’s split down the middle. It’s the way it was always meant to be. Sometimes in Judas Priest it was a bit lopsided, but now we have… In all fairness, this trade-off guitar technique that, obviously, was created way, way back then in the early ‘70s, when Glenn [Tipton] eventually joined [Priest]… The way that it is now with KK’s Priest is the way that I always envisaged it.

“Not to take anything away that myself and Glenn did; I’m extremely, immensely proud of everything we did together and created together, of course. We created an image, a sound, just everything, that we etched in stone, I think, in respect of the history of the archetypal metal band. And that is continuing exactly the way that I always envisaged that it should with myself and AJ creating new music.”

View all KK’s Priest live dates via their official website.


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