Classic Rock

Judas Priest’s Ian Hill on possibility of KK Downing rejoining the band: “Never say never”

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Judas Priest in 2009; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford recently revealed to ABC Audio that former guitarist KK Downing will be performing with the group when the band is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on November 5.

In a new interview with the Detroit Metro Times, founding Priest bassist Ian Hill discusses whether he thinks the reunion could lead to Downing, who has had a contentious relationship with his former bandmates since quitting the group in 2011, rejoining the metal legends.

“I think time is not on our side for that, you know? Never say never, put it like that,” Hill says. “[Downing is] gonna be there at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame anyway. He’s gonna get up and play some songs with us there. It might kickstart something, I don’t know. On the other hand, he might pull us all apart.”

Judas Priest will be inducted into the Rock Hall in conjunction with receiving the Music Excellence Award, rather than being included in the regular Performer category, something that Halford has admitted annoyed him.

Hill says he thinks the rest of Judas Priest are “on the same page” with their singer.

“[W]e’ve been in the game now for 50 years, and I think heavy metal is … a little bit overlooked because it’s not in your face every day,” he notes. “Obviously pop music and rap music, country music, it’s like every day you get in your car, you drive to work and you’re getting the same 40 songs thrown in your face all the time. Heavy metal, on the other hand, you have to go look for it.”

Meanwhile, Judas Priest continues the fall U.S. leg of their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour on Wednesday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

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