KK Downing discussed his 2011 Judas Priest departure in a new Inside With Paulo Baron interview.
“I wanted to try and give my side of everything, really. And I know it’s always tough to do, and it was tough to do. But the set of circumstances led to what it became.
Not a lot of people know this, but some things happened in the winter of 2010, and they were not good things that were happening, and I was not happy. I felt I deserved more credibility and more respect. And I’m a very proud guy. So I basically threw the towel in.
I don’t mention this in the book, but a few months later, I changed my mind. I was starting to change my mind. It’s like with your girlfriend or your wife or whatever. I’ve never been married, but I’ve had lots of arguments with my partners and girlfriends. But after a while, you think, ‘Oh, God. Was it my fault?’
I was talking to Ian [Hill] in April . I [knew] it was a farewell tour, and that was all I was giving up. After a lifetime of dedication, it was just doing the farewell tour [that I was walking away from]. But then I said to Ian, ‘I think I’m having a change of mind. I think I should do the tour.’ I was talking to him about it.
And I asked me to send me the setlist over that they’d been working on. And he sent me the setlist over, but the very next day, they released it to the press that I retired from the band. And then I was really angry. And then I sent in a second letter — not so polite this time. I was really angry because they were obviously talking.
So, I don’t really feel as though I left the band. I feel as though it was orchestrated for me not to be there. So that’s what happened. Then I became a very angry person. I neglected to mention that in the book, but it is what it is.”