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K.K. Downing on how KK’s Priest is passing the baton: “Us dinosaurs won’t be around forever... We must keep the music alive”

KK Downing plays with Judas Priest in 2009
(Image credit: Joey Foley / Getty)

K.K. Downing has shared his thoughts on the future of heavy metal, acknowledging that the days of the genre’s founding giants are coming to an end.

In a new interview with Chile’s Radio Futuro, Downing discussed the fate of the music he has spent his career championing in Judas Priest and, more recently, KK’s Priest

“Us dinosaurs, we won’t be around forever,” says Downing. “We’re losing loved ones far too often lately. The album is all about young and old musicians. This great music. And we must enjoy it while we can and not let this fade away into the history books. We must keep the music alive.”

Downing made the comments in response to an observation from host Jorge Lagás about the dual purpose of the new album as both a celebration of traditional metal, and a call for new musicians to carry the torch.

“The whole album is full of emotions and sentiment," said Downing. "There are some messages in there, but it’s also a big rejoicing of this wonderful music that I’ve been a part of all my life."

While there is an air of finality about the comments, it seems Downing is nonetheless enjoying his role as post-Priest troublemaker and is not quite ready to put down his Flying V just yet. 

“When I sat down to put [the KK’s Priest] album together… It was Christmas 2019 and I shut myself away on my own,” says Downing of the band's debut, Sermons Of The Sinner. “And I realized that it wasn’t difficult to do, I just fell into everything naturally. I have a style of playing, of writing, a style of producing. I knew how I wanted it to sound. It really came together quite easily. 

“It was like a new lease of life, because I had all this freedom. I did all of the decision making and I didn’t have to confer with Rob and Glenn about all of the riffs and music. I really enjoyed myself and had a good time doing it.”

Sermons Of The Sinner, is set for an October 1 release, but if you can’t wait until then, you can check out early singles, Hellfire Thunderbolt, Sermons Of The Sinner and Brothers Of The Road.

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.