Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing has posted the following year-end message on his official web site, Steel Mill:
“Wow! Where did that year go? Anyway, I think that you will agree that it was another great festival year and metal has been in full flight once again.
“Please feel free to write in to Steel Mill and tell us about your particular highlights and the band that you thought were great and why!
“It’s great to hear that [the original members of BLACK] SABBATH are gearing up for something special next year, in addition, I suspect that there will be many other great things that will come to fruition in 2012. But for now, I just want to wish you the best festive season that you have ever had.
“As always, I am indebted to the loyal millworkers for all of their hard work and dedication to me and to metal. And it goes without saying that without you the loyal fans to metal, there would not be a metal world at all!
“Until we meet again, keep feeding the flames that keep the metal furnaces alive and burning. My love and respect will forever be there for you all! Where ever you may be.”
Earlier this year, Downing revealed that he would be leaving JUDAS PRIEST prior to the band’s “Epitaph” world tour. In October, Downing spoke to Valley Radio Online about what happened, although he declined to go into specifics.
“It was a set of circumstances that led me to not go out [on tour with PRIEST] this year,” Downing said. “I was kind of geared up for it, but there was a multitude of reasons. It pretty much came down to an unsettlement on my part with working relationships.
“It’s like anything else. If anybody out there is thinking it’s hard to live with one woman, they should try to live with four guys and hold it together. [Laughs]”
Downing‘s place in the band was filled by new guitarist Richie Faulkner.
“It was a massive consideration,” Downing said. “Obviously, the fans, who I love, and many of them have become very good friends. But I just hoped that they would appreciate that I couldn’t continue with the way that I felt inside for reasons which I’ll… I mean, certain reasons I will never, ever disclose.”