K.K. Downing has lashed out at Ian Hill, saying his former Judas Priest bandmate needs to "get a grip" over his reasoning for not asking the guitarist to rejoin the metal titans after Glenn Tipton's retirement from touring.

A few months back, Hill said during a press conference Downing wasn't considered for the vacant guitar slot; Downing retired from the band in 2011. "I mean, Ken's place in the band has already been taken; he's sitting right there [referring to Richie Faulkner who succeeded Downing]. And on top of that, he's gonna have to learn Glenn's parts too... Apart from that, he's been retired for nearly eight years."

Speaking to the Cobras & Fire podcast, Downing says Hill's logic is a "Complete load of bollocks."

"If I had rejoined the band, obviously, I'd step into my role - that's where people would expect me to be - and Richie is already playing Glenn's stuff anyway, and we'd do that," Downing says in the interview which can be heard below. "It wasn't the case where I was gonna play Glenn's parts and Richie plays mine."

"I'm thinking, 'Ian, was it too early in the day or too late in the evening when you came up with this idea?'" Downing continues. "I don't know. But bless him, bless him, because we were like brothers; we went to infant school together and secondary school together, and we lived our career together. But I'm not totally happy about what's being said. Ian seems to be making things like, 'None of the fans are missing K.K.,' and, 'Richie has brought a new energy to the band.' And I'm going, 'Ian, dude, on that last tour, I was the energy. I slowed down because people weren't keeping up with me.'"

Downing went on to say that, on his last tour with the band in 2009, he didn't want people to think he was "trying to steal the limelight" while the rest of the band had slowed down. "So I'm thinking, Ian, get a grip with yourself, mate," he says. "You've just replaced the energy with some energy. Fine — well, great. But that's not moving forward, Ian."

Priest is currently on a co-headlining tour with Deep Purple, a bill Loudwire caught up with last week. The remaining dates for the trek can be found at this location.

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