Home » Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest Clarifies His Decision Not to Emulate K.K. Downing

Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest Clarifies His Decision Not to Emulate K.K. Downing

Richie Faulkner believes that emulating KK Downing’s style would be inappropriate and disrespectful, both to Downing and himself. During a recent appearance on Ernie Ball’s series String Theory, he discussed his approach to continuing K.K. Downing’s legacy. Faulkner acknowledged the challenge of developing his own style, especially considering his background in cover bands. He expressed:

“On the new record, I’m not gonna be playing KK Downing licks – it would be inappropriate and disrespectful to him and myself. After three records in, I should be creating my own voice by now. It is a conscious thing, purely because it’s always been a challenge for me to have my own voice on the instrument. I’ve played in cover bands, so you copy, emulate… So, it’s always been a challenge to find (his own sound), but one that’s, I think, a healthy challenge.”

K.K. Downing Reflects on Sharing the Stage with Richie Faulkner

After his departure from Judas Priest in 2011, K.K. Downing reunited with the band at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2021. Downing, along with Faulkner, former drummer Les Binks, and the current lineup, performed a three-song set featuring hits like ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin,’ ‘Breaking The Law,’ and ‘Living After Midnight.’

In a Metal Talk interview from October 2022, Downing discussed the experience of sharing the stage with his replacement, Richie Faulkner. He mentioned that, contrary to expectations, it didn’t feel awkward. Downing shared:

“Yes, I managed to have a chat with him and we shared the stage and even jammed together. It could have been awkward, but it wasn’t. I’ve nothing but respect for him. I know he’s working on other projects outside Priest, and I wish him well. The only potentially awkward moments were because I like a lot of room and have always raced around the stage, and we had to avoid each other!”

Downing also expressed initial doubts about attending the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony for Judas Priest. However, his deep connection with the band, which he co-founded 50 years ago, led him to reconsider. He explained:

“Initially, I thought it’s a lot of fuss. Can I really be bothered with going all the way over to Los Angeles to play three songs and break the ice with the guys? But when I reflected on it, it was the band I started 50 years ago, and I would probably regret it if I didn’t go. So I accepted the invitation.” You can find the full interview below, where Faulkner shares his thoughts on K.K. Downing for Ernie Ball.

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