(Classic Rock) KK Downing has stated that he didn't retire from Judas Priest, as was announced at the time- he actually quit the band, and he had dozens of reasons for doing it.
He'd come to believe they'd run out of steam in terms of creativity, and he didn't want to be part of an outfit that simply played on its past achievements. On top of that, he felt it would be impossible to create an iconic album like British Steel in the modern environment.
Downing tells The Midlands Rocks, "I'll never get away from this retirement thing, but what happened was that I quit, retired implies that I am not physically able to do it. I am able to do it but I didn't want to do it; I just wasn't enjoying it any more, a lot of things had changed. I think I counted about thirty reasons why I didn't want to do it at the time and that is an awful lot of reasons.
"In all honesty I think that in so many respects it had run its course. If you're part of a songwriting team you get the recognition and reward for creating something but for me Priest became about going out and playing live and replicating exactly what people had enjoyed ten, twenty or thirty years ago.
"The fans would be just as happy if they could see us bin all of the modern guitars we now play and take them on a walk down memory lane because I think that's what people enjoy most. And I understand that because if I could go out now and see Eric Clapton with Cream then I would be the happiest person in the world." more on this story