Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner released a statement slamming former member K.K. Downing’s suggestion that the younger man is not a full member of the band.

Faulkner replaced Downing, who quit Priest after a period of unhappiness in 2011. Downing recently started to list his dissatisfaction with the group and its business dealings, while also saying he was "shocked" when members didn’t invite him to return when Glenn Tipton’s health issues forced him to step back from full-time involvement. Producer Andy Sneap is acting as touring guitarist in his place.

Last week, Downing discussed his status with Bleeding4metal (via Blabbermouth. “At the time I quit the band, I had more energy than anyone else onstage," he said. "In fact, that is one of the reasons I quit. The band just seemed to have slowed down to a steady walk. Even Richie would do well to keep up with me if I rejoined. It seems wrong that Scott, Richie and Andy are not officially members of Judas Priest as they are on a wage. So, only two members are onstage right now. Yet they don't want me back.”

In response, Faulkner released a statement of his own, titled “Please read,” in which he said, “Regarding a recent untruthful article, I'm not sure why anyone feels they have the right to openly discuss others' financial standings, true or otherwise. This seems to be intended as a swipe at the band and an attempt to devalue my and Scott's position in the band.”

He noted that "for the record, I have not been paid a wage since 2012 and have always been given creative input in this band since day one. This band of brothers have been nothing but a family to me and both band and management have always stated and demonstrated they wanted a band member.”

Faulkner described his duties with Priest as “an honor." "It's a shame that someone I held in such high regard feels the need to take these low roads when I've done absolutely nothing but give my absolute all to a position he left of his own accord,” he said.

He called Downing’s comments “uninformed, unfounded, unnecessary and very unfortunate and disappointing." "We've always stood firm to not get involved in internet click bait," he explained. "But I felt this crossed a line for me personally and wanted to set these untruths straight myself.”


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