Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing has joined forces with two other ex-members of the band to form a new group, KK’s Priest.
The group includes Tim “Ripper” Owens, who sang with the band on Jugulator and Demolition, and drummer Les Binks, who played on Stained Class, Killing Machine (known as Hell Bent for Leather in the U.S.) and the live Unleashed in the East. They’re rounded out by bassist Tony Newton and guitarist A.J. Mills.
KK’s Priest has its origins in a one-off show the former Priest trio, Mills and Megadeth bassist David Ellefson played in November. It was only Downing’s second large-scale live appearance since parting ways with Judas Priest in 2011; the first came when he played four songs with Ross the Boss at the U.K.’s Bloodstock Festival a few months earlier last year.
Downing recently signed to Explorer1, a label and management company. The group is now in the studio working on an album, with plans for “extensive touring and festival dates” underway in celebration of Judas Priest’s 50th anniversary, according to a press release.
“Forging ahead with KK’s Priest was not only inevitable but essential for me to perform and deliver everything that is expected from me and KK’s Priest,” Downing said. “Due to the massive demand and overwhelming support from fans around the world, I feel this is where I belong, and a set combining the true, classic songs and sound of Priest, together with great, newly forged metal tracks, is what fans can expect when KK’s Priest is taking to stages.”