Ian Hill says no one’s asking about departed axeman – and believes Downing didn’t enjoy being in band any longer

KK Downing

Out of sight, out of mind: KK Downing

The last remaining founding member of Judas Priest says former bandmate KK Downing isn’t missed by their fans.

Bassist Ian Hill reports that no one’s been asking him about the guitarist now he’s been replaced by former Lauren Harris axeman Richie Faulkner.

And while he’s in the dark about why Downing decided to quit ahead of Priest’s final world tour, he suspects he just didn’t like being in the band as much as he used to.

Hill tells the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: “Richie is an altogether great talent. He does what Ken did plus his own little traits. He’s a great performer and character.

“The crowd is taking to him well, and with all due respect to Ken, no one’s missing him. No one’s asking about Ken. You’ll know why when you see Richie perform.”

Like other members of the metal pioneers, Hill says he was surprised when his schoolboy friend made the decision to leave. He reveals Faulkner knew for about a month he’d been given the role before it was announced.

“God bless him, he kept his mouth shut,” says the bassist. “We said, ‘Richie, if he doesn’t come back, you’ve got the job.’ He must have been waiting to tell somebody.”

Asked precisely why Downing quit Hill responds: “Anything I say would be speculation. Personally, I think he had enough. Out of all of us, maybe he’s the one who enjoyed it the least. If you ever get the opportunity that’s something you’d have to ask him.”

Meanwhile, Hill says the band are flattered by the number of big-name acts lining up to appear on tribute album The Chosen Few.

Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Joe Elliott, James Hetfield, Slash, Lemmy, Kerry King and Corey Taylor have all chosen their favourite Priest tracks to appear on the compilation.

Hill says: “There’s no high attribute when you get Lemmy and Ozzy on there. It seems like a fantastic list.”

Tracklisting:

Diamonds And Rust chosen by Joe Elliott
Dissident Aggressor chosen by Steve Vai
Exciter chosen by Accept
Beyond The Realms Of Death chosen by Lars Ulrich
Delivering The Goods chosen by Kerry King
The Green Manalishi with the Two Pronged Crown chosen by David Coverdale
The Ripper chosen by Ozzy Osbourne
Victim Of Changes chosen by James Hetfield
Breaking The Law chosen by Lemmy
Rapid Fire chosen by Vinnie Paul
Grinder chosen by Zakk Wylde
Living After Midnight chosen by Alice Cooper and Geezer Butler
Screaming For Vengeance chosen by Slash
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming chosen by Klaus Meine and Corey Taylor
The Sentinel chosen by Chris Jericho
Turbo Lover chosen by Jonathan Davis
Painkiller chosen by Joe Satriani

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