Since guitarist K.K. Downing left Judas Priest, the man has immersed himself in the game of golf. Downing even owns his own golf course these days, but what does he think of Judas Priest's new lineup and music? The veteran shredder talks about it all in a recent interview with Guitar International.

Before leaving Priest in 2011, Downing claims he was incredibly close to playing on the band's massive Epitaph tour. "I’m glad Priest is continuing on," says Downing. "I was so close to doing that tour it wasn’t funny. It was just one of those things. I had lots and lots of reasons for not continuing, as I wasn’t content with things as they were."

Downing adds, "I wasn’t happy with the band’s live performance. I thought it could have been better, not that the fans would notice. To me, Priest was always a stealth machine and that’s what I liked about it. Even though you get older you still need to be able to deliver the goods. People came a long way and paid a lot of money to see us so you’ve got to make sure you still give 110%. I thought that should be inherent and what it should always be."

As for new Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, Downing shares his opinion on the band's new young gun. "Obviously I’m quite happy for Richie Faulkner to be in the band," beings Downing. "But, I really wasn’t expecting to have someone who had so many familiarities as me, the looks and everything. At a glance nothing too much has changed for the fans."

As for the possibly of reuniting with Judas Priest for a one-off show or even just a single song, Downing laughs, "No, I don’t think that will ever, ever happen!"

In other Judas Priest news, bassist Ian Hill recently claimed that the band would likely release a new album in 2016. Faulkner disagreed, but spoke about the great creative chemistry within the heavy metal staple's current lineup.

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