KK’S PRIEST mainman K.K. Downing belives Tim “Ripper” Owens is currently the “best metal singer” out there
In a recent chat with Japanese music critic and radio personality, Masa Ito, the former guitar virtuoso of JUDAS PRIEST, Kenneth “K.K.” Downing, delved into his current musical venture, KK’S PRIEST.
This band features yet another ex-JUDAS PRIEST legend, the powerful singer Tim “Ripper” Owens. When asked about how his creative process and performance style with KK’S PRIEST compare to his lengthy tenure with JUDAS PRIEST, K.K. had this to say (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Yes, it’s the same. I’m the same — the same, the same ears, the same mind, the same desire for the music and the passion for heavy metal. And I’m proud of all of the fans and everything that we’ve created on this massive lifetime journey. Masses have been there with us — all of the fans, in Japan and the rest of the world, have been on that journey.
“They’ve seen it all evolve from nothing into something fantastic. I have the same amplifiers, the same guitars, the same equipment. I produce the same sound. I am the same person. I can’t change. Nothing can change that. And my writing style, everything I do, it’s no different. It’s just a variation of everything else.
“The songs, they’re different songs, but everything is the same. To me, it’s the same. I think, yeah, a lot of what I do now could be on ‘Stained Class’ or ‘British Steel’ or ‘Painkiller’ — it all has that synergy. It’s got to, because I am the entity from beginning and I’m never gonna change. The only difference is now I’m playing with different guys. And I’m really, really happy.”
He continued: “I do believe that Ripper Owens is the best metal singer. He has the best, best voice on the planet today. He’s even better now than he even ever was. He’s great, and he needs to be acknowledged as that. And that’s why with this band, we all have the platform to continue something, hopefully, that will continue and be well respected and certainly something I think the fans will really enjoy the genuineness and the legitimacy of what we do.”
When asked if KK’S PRIEST will continue to play JUDAS PRIEST songs during their live shows, K.K. said: “Yes, I’m gonna play songs that I wrote on stage because I like them, I’m proud of them, and I think the fans like to hear them. I think they like to hear me play the original version of ‘Victim Of Changes’ or ‘Breaking The Law’.
“I think they like to hear a guitar player with the guitar sound, with the fingers that created those songs. I think that’s a nice part of it. Maybe one day we’ll play all KK’S PRIEST songs. I don’t know. I just think we shouldn’t think too deeply about anything. We’ve just gotta put a setlist together. We’ll go out there and play songs and enjoy it. And the fans will be with us. And I’m very much looking forward to playing many, many more shows for everyone around the world.”
KK’S PRIEST concluded their exhilarating five-date U.K. headlining tour with a grand finale on Thursday night, October 12, at the iconic O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. If you couldn’t make it to the show, don’t fret because we’ve got fan-filmed videos capturing all the rock ‘n’ roll magic right below for your viewing pleasure.
The tour, aptly named “Priests, Killers & Witches,” had a blazing start on October 7 at the O2 Institute in Birmingham. Adding to the excitement, former IRON MAIDEN vocal powerhouse Paul Di’Anno joined KK’S PRIEST as a special guest on all tour dates, delivering a full set of classics straight from the first two MAIDEN records. To kick things off with an electrifying punch, BURNING WITCHES set the stage on fire as the opening act.
KK’S PRIEST‘s highly anticipated sophomore album, “The Sinner Rides Again,” hit the shelves in September via the Austrian rock and metal giant, Napalm Records. In this rocking ensemble, you’ll find Kenneth “K.K.” Downing and the powerhouse vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, accompanied by the exceptional guitarist A.J. Mills (from HOSTILE), the thunderous bassist Tony Newton (a member of VOODOO SIX), and the relentless drummer Sean Elg (known from DEATHRIDERS and CAGE).
Remember, this isn’t KK’S PRIEST‘s first rodeo; their debut LP, “Sermons Of The Sinner,” made its grand entrance in October 2021 under the labels Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. When crafting this album, Downing invested a solid four months of writing and recording. In a stroke of creative genius, he even resurrected some riffs from his musical vault dating back to the 1980s.
KK’S PRIEST was born when JUDAS PRIEST turned down K.K.‘s offer to rejoin the band for their 50th-anniversary tour. K.K.‘s journey back to the stage began with a memorable appearance alongside former MANOWAR guitarist Ross The Boss in the summer of 2019. Later that year, he made an electrifying one-off performance with a lineup featuring the likes of former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson and former JUDAS PRIEST drummer Les Binks.
K.K. Downing‘s triumphant return to the stage was capped off with a legendary performance when he reunited with JUDAS PRIEST during the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony last November at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. This man’s musical journey is a tale of rock ‘n’ roll resilience and an unwavering love for the stage.