K.K. Downing has clarified his recent comments about JUDAS PRIEST , saying that he "still hopes" he can get in a room with his former bandmates and talk about the possibility of his return to the group.

Last week, the guitarist gave an interview to The Metal Voice in which he said about PRIEST : "I thought probably at some point, it would be inevitable that a time would come around that would be my time to potentially re-enter the band and carry on where we left off. But it's proved not to be the case, so, obviously, I have to accept that and just move forward."

Shortly after The Metal Voice chat was posted on YouTube , K.K. 's comments were published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET under the headline "K.K. DOWNING Says He Has To Accept The Fact That He Will Not Be Invited To Play With JUDAS PRIEST Again". The story was also included for a short time in the featured content slider on the main page along with the shortened blurb/headline "DOWNING Wants To 'Move Forward' After PRIEST Exit". (The blurb is no longer there as more recent content is featured in the slider.)

Earlier today, Downing released a statement via the Twitter account of the co-author of his autobiography, Mark Eglinton , in which he took issue with BLABBERMOUTH.NET 's characterization of his comments about his former bandmates, explaining that he does not so much "want" to "move forward" from PRIEST as he has to.

Downing 's full statement follows:

"Hi everyone, K.K. here…

"I feel the need to address some information that has gone out in recent news articles on the Blabbermouth site.

"In the build-up to my appearance at Bloodstock with Ross The Boss in August, a few news outlets have inevitably asked me for an interview. As has been the case with every interview I've done since my book came out last year, I've made every effort to answer questions honestly and in a manner that is respectful to my fans and peers. These aren't interviews that I've sought out to promote any ulterior agenda of mine; I've simply been promoting my book and my upcoming gig with Ross , and supporting the various media outlets that have been so kind to me throughout my career.

Inevitably — as interviews and the comments made within them get re-presented by news outlets — things can get changed and put out of context.

"Recently, I did an interview with The Metal Voice , the contents of which were published on Blabbermouth on July 25th. When asked about the future, I simply said as follows from the recording now on YouTube .

"'I thought at some point the time would come around when it would be my time to re-enter into the band and carry on where I left off, but its proved not to be the case Jimmy so I have to accept that and just move forward'

"However, in the tab in the news section of Blabbermouth that links to the Metal Voice interview, there is a different headline that reads: 'Downing wants to 'Move Forward' after Priest exit.'

"This headline, is not what I said, there is a huge difference between wanting to and having to. I have requested to the band members the opportunity for us all to get in a room and talk. I still hope that'll happen. But to date the band have refused me that opportunity. I wanted to release this statement for the purposes of honesty and clarity.

"All the best, K.K. "

As previously reported, Downing will join ex- MANOWAR axeman Ross "The Boss" Friedman for several songs at this year's Bloodstock Open Air festival on August 11 at Catton Park, Derbyshire, United Kingdom. This will be K.K. 's first public performance since October 17, 2009 when JUDAS PRIEST played the final "British Steel 30th Anniversary" date on the "Nostradamus" world tour at Japan's Loud Park festival in Chiba City, Japan.

Downing left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance. He was replaced by Richie Faulkner , nearly three decades his junior.

Last summer, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST . The first was described as "a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music," while the second was "angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties."

Downing later said that he believed the second letter was "a key reason" he wasn't invited to rejoin PRIEST after Glenn Tipton 's decision to retire from touring.

Downing 's autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest" , was released in September via Da Capo Press .

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