Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton is responding to claims by his estranged former bandmate K.K. Downing about their career together in one of the most important heavy metal bands of all time.
Downing left Judas Priest in 2011 due to personal and professional differences with his bandmates. But after Tipton transitioned into a lesser role in 2018 due to Parkinson's disease, Downing began suggesting publicly that he should return to the band to pick up the slack.
That changed in a recent interview with Guitar World. Tipton explained why he's tried to stay above the fray and what he thinks of some of Downing's recollection of their shared history.
"I never wanted to get into a public argument after K.K. left," Tipton said. "I never said a word and I stuck to my guns for over 10 years, but there comes a point when you read things that have been said that are just crazy. It's time to say something, really, because he's saying things that he really shouldn't be saying. They aren't fair."
Among other frustrations, Tipton said he's bothered by Downing claiming to have been the driving force behind Judas Priest.
"It just isn't true," Tipton countered. "Priest is made up of five guys working together. [There's] not just one person driving the band. He's said all these things that, I think, are meant to upset us and get us to say something in response and for a long time we didn't. But I've got a lot to say and enough's enough."
Downing, indeed, put his foot in his mouth early in the public portion of his feud with Judas Priest, when he suggested that producer and touring guitarist Andy Sneap recorded Tipton's guitar parts for him on the band's latest album, Firepower. The band vehemently denied the claim and Downing, who would have no way of knowing either way, later apologized.
"I would never have talked about Ken that way," Tipton added. "It's just that his accusations have gotten sillier and sillier — and I deserve to respond. He left the band. We couldn't convince him to stay."
Downing has since moved on with his own project, K.K.'s Priest, featuring other former members of Judas Priest, including frontman Tim 'Ripper' Owens.
Judas Priest's '50 Heavy Metal Years' tour resumes in the U.S. on March 7. Tipton will not join the band on every stop, but will drop in when his health allows.