Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing admits he has mixed feelings about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but ultimately he is hoping the band will finally get its rightful place in the hall this year.
The Judas Priest co-founder says he had the same feeling about the Grammys; it doesn't really mean anything, but it's nice to have the hardware at the end of the day. (Judas Priest won its first and only Grammy award in 2009.)
"These kind of accolades, I think it's better to have them than not to have them, I suppose, when you get later on in life, as I am," Downing explained. "With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, would I like to join the other people that are in there — great names? Yes. But if it came down to it, I'm just as happy to sit out here with the other great names that are not there also, if that makes sense."
Judas Priest is on the Rock Hall ballot this year for the third time.
Downing's longtime Judas Priest bandmate Rob Halford is eager to celebrate the band's career at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Halford has said that Judas Priest's induction will be an important moment for heavy metal, which he says is deserving of more real estate at the Rock Hall.
Looking ahead to the possible induction, Downing noted that it would be "emotional" to enter the Rock Hall without late-Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland, who passed away in 2018.
"I suppose it's a historical moment… I guess it's the big one, really. So we'll see what happens."
Despite lingering friction between Downing and his former band mates (Downing left Judas Priest in 2011), both Halford and bassist Ian Hill have said that they have no qualms about sharing the honor with their longtime bandmate.
"Ken was an integral part of this band for a very, very long time," Hill told Billboard in February. "He deserves to be there along with the rest of us."