Former Judas Priest guitarist and co-founding member KK Downing returned to two dividing points in the band’s catalog, offering a new review of their debut album, Rocka rolla and the 1986 disc loaded with synth Turbo in a recent interview with Loudwire.
Although most of our conversation was guided by Sermons of the sinner, the debut album by Downing’s new band, KK’s Priest, revisiting part of Priest’s history was inevitable as the legendary guitarist aims to re-establish his presence in metal after leaving the band in 2011.
Time has a way of altering perceptions, for better or for worse, and, as the saying goes, is able to heal old wounds. In this case, one of those injuries involves Priest’s decision to use synth guitars on the 1986 album. Turbo, which many found heretical at the time and an affront to the integrity and purity of heavy metal.
With regard to perception, the Rocka rolla the debut always seemed to be an anomaly in Judas Priest’s catalog as the band was still finding its direction, both sonically and visually, as their music and stage attire was clearly indebted to part of the psychedelic movement. from a few years ago. .
Now, however, these two records are a brilliant snapshot of pivotal moments in time and underline the evolution that all groups undergo.
“I love it because I actually have the benefit of knowing how the songs were played and sounded live, we just didn’t capture that in the studio,” Downing said of Rocka rolla, which was released in 1974 and was produced by Rodger Bain, who made the first three records of Black Sabbath. It was also Priest’s only album to feature drummer John Hinch, who passed away earlier this year, and a production that didn’t highlight how heavy the music was.
“I would like to pay homage to John and the album,” Downing added, speaking of his ambitions to take the KK priest on the road. “When we go out and do performances I would like to revisit it and give people a taste of what it was really like and go back in time all those years to the late 60s and early” years. 70. “
Judas Priest on stage The old gray whistle test (John Hinch on drums)
Regarding Turbo, it was relayed that from the perspective of someone born in 1989 (who would be this writer), the album was viewed favorably after hearing it for the first time a half-life ago and even those who decried it in ’86 seem to have come and are much more accepting of the style that has been showcased through its nine tracks.
“It’s all about the timing,” Downing said, “It’s not when you release the record – some records may have been released at the right time, but maybe a few others were released a little too early or a little too late, and I think it can happen to a lot of bands. “
Quoting what is now considered one of the band’s best records, the guitarist explained: “Pain killer, for example, was not a big hit when we released it. It was a little hard to sell, and I say that because we started playing five songs from the album [on tour] and quite quickly we were down to three or two. We were giving up songs because of ignorance [the fans had with them]. It wasn’t exactly what people wanted or expected from Priest at the time and neither was it. Turbo. “
“Albums like this, at some point, become recognized and accepted,” he acknowledged and noted that British steel and Scream for revenge arrived at exactly the right time.
Thanks to KK Downing for the interview. “Sermons of the Sinner”, the debut album from KK’s Priest, will be released August 20 on EX1 Records. Pre-order your copy here and follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.