Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing said he’s accepted there was no longer any chance of a reunion with the band. Instead, he was aiming to “accept that and just move forward,” eight years after his acrimonious departure from the British veterans.

He’ll make his first high-profile concert appearance at the Bloodstock festival in the U.K. on Aug. 11 as a guest with former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss’ band. Ross had expressed hopes that the show might lead to a thawing of relations between Downing and Priest.

Asked why it had taken so long to return to the stage, Downing told The Metal Voice, “To be honest, the frank answer would be I really was expecting that at some point there would be a willingness and an opportunity for everyone involved for me to step back in the band. You know what band members are like – lots of things are said in haste, lots of things go down, inevitably. It's a relationship. So it's tough to hold together, for whatever reasons, but I thought probably at some point, it would be inevitable that a time would come around that would be my time to potentially re-enter the band and carry on where we left off. But it's proved not to be the case, so, obviously, I have to accept that and just move forward.”

You can listen to the full interview below.

Downing thanked Ross for extending the guest appearance invitation and said he was “looking forward to the opportunity immensely.”

On the subject of potential nerves, he noted that "it's just like riding a bike. It's not as though I haven't played guitar since quitting the band; I have. Once you learn those chops and you've toured extensively over the years – dare I say decades – it's very easy to do. But having said that, I'm always up for a challenge.

“And as much as the anticipation would be for probably me to jump up on there and play some Priest stuff, I said to Ross just earlier today, 'I'm open to any suggestions, really. Let's just meet up and let's set up a jam the day before and let's see what we feel like doing.' If we can mix it up and bring something a bit different to the table, it's all well and good. But we'll make those decisions when we get together and do the handshake and put the guitars on and have a blast, really, and, as I said, just jam it out."

 

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