It's been 11 years since K.K. Downing was in Judas Priest, but both he and the band seem optimistic that there could be a reunion at this fall's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Judas Priest was announced as a Musical Excellence Award recipient among this year's class of inductees.
Downing was asked in a new interview what songs he would like to perform with his old band. He noted that guitarist Glenn Tipton's health would probably dictate what the band can play, and he has no problem rolling with that. (Tipton has been battling Parkinson's disease for several years.)
"...I'm sure the songs would be whatever Glenn would be able to feel comfortable with. And that's okay, and that's fine," Downing said. "But I don't think it's about, really, what the repertoire would be; I think it's just about would this and could this happen in the way that people want to and expect it to happen. We'll have to see. But it's [early days], and [the ceremony is] over six months away, so anything could happen between now and then. And it depends what people want to happen, myself included. I'm gonna have a good think."
Downing will be inducted alongside fellow Judas Priest co-founder bassist Ian Hill, as well as Tipton, frontman Rob Halford and drummers Scott Travis, Les Binks and Dave Holland.
Despite widespread openness to a reunion, the band has not yet confirmed anything with Downing. The guitarist has been on shaky terms with his former band for several years now, frequently sniping with Halford, Tipton and Hill through the press.
Both Halford and Hill have insisted that they could put their differences aside to ensure their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction is not marred by feuding.
"I don't know what's gonna happen, mate," Downing continued. "The ceremony's some time in November. I don't know what's gonna happen. I don't know how everybody feels. Like I said, up until [last week], it was just a thought in the back of the memory. But now the hurdle of being inducted has been jumped, so we're on the other side of that now. Obviously, it remains feasible and possible, but I don't know. Anything could happen between now and then. We'll see what happens. But it is, I suppose, for all intents and purposes, a kind of celebration of everything that's been achieved over many, many decades, and do we all wanna be a part of that celebration just for one night? We'll see how everybody feels about that."
Halford told Billboard last week that there is "no bitterness" between Judas Priest and Downing. He said he was certain the band could push aside any lingering ill will to focus on the "celebration" the Rock Hall induction is supposed to be.
Judas Priest had been nominated and denied induction twice before this year. Halford said often that he believed Rock Hall induction for his band would represent an important breakthrough for heavy metal.