K.K. Downing released a statement earlier today blaming his departure from JUDAS PRIEST on "an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band's management for some time." He added that he "decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to . . . our cherished fans."
Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assaultconducted a short interview with JUDAS PRIEST drummer Scott Travis at the third annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards, which took place last night (Wednesday, April 20) at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles, California.
On whether he's as shocked as everyone else at original JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing's decision to leave the band:
Scott Travis: "Oh yes, I sure am. Everyone has been asking me about it, but then K.K. is a legend, so I do expect everyone to ask me about it."
On what this means for PRIEST to embark on a "farewell" tour:
Scott Travis: "I think we'll go as long as we want to go. It's up to everyone in the band. It's a five-member unit and I'm going to hopefully rock when PRIEST decides to give it up. I want to stick around and do what I can do. We're all lucky to do this to begin with. It's a gift to be able to make music, travel the world, meet fans and do everything else."
On what he plans to do after PRIEST's final tour:
Scott Travis: "I don't know, I'm just going to continue rocking my guts out like I do and hopefully something will come around the corner and I'll keep rocking."
Benjamin "Benji" Baudelot of Rock Hard, the leading monthly metal magazine in France, spoke to JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford earlier today (Thursday, April 21), just one day after it was announced that the band's original guitarist, Kenneth "K.K." Downing, was retiring from the group.
"K.K. leaving was his own decision, for the reasons he made public on his web site [earlier today]," Halford said.
"We had a fantastic time together on the 'Nostradamus' tour... [But] K.K. has his own life to live and we can't force him to do anything he doesn't want to do.
"He told us [of his decision to leave JUDAS PRIEST] before Christmas time. Personally, I thought this could be the end... Emotionally, for me, it's been very, very difficult…
"When K.K. said he was thinking of retiring, Glenn [Tipton, PRIEST guitarist] was the first guy to send him a personal email to say, 'Ken, I hope you're OK. If there's anything you need, just let me know.' We kept the door open all this time in case Ken changed his mind, but the clock was ticking."
When asked about the remaining JUDAS PREST members' decision to go ahead with their previously announced tour plans with a replacement guitarist — 31 year-old British guitar player Richie Faulkner (LAUREN HARRIS, DIRTY DEEDS) — Halford said, "K.K. can never be replaced; he's unique, and we didn't want any kind of K.K. copycat. Richie Faulkner came to Glenn's house to jam, and Glenn simply told me he was absolutely brilliant."
This entire article was copied from Blabbermouth.net.