And the metal gods have hinted that, now the guitarist has gone, they may reconsider plans to end their touring career. He took his bandmates by surprise when he told them he was leaving in December, causing them to announce that their upcoming world tour would be their last. A day later they clarified their position, saying they’d continue to record, but their life on the road was coming to an end.
It seems Downing’s position may have been a large factor in the band’s decision-making process – and now he’s decided to leave without playing the Epitaph tour, there’s a chance the rest of Priest will keep touring.
Following the band’s statement about his departure, Downing says: “It is much regret that I will not be with you this summer. But there has been an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band’s management for some time.
“Therefore I have decided to step down rather than tour with negative sentiments. I feel it would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.” He explains his decision was not motivated by ill-health, adding: “Please rest assured I’m okay, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for your concerns.
“I’d urge you to support the Priest – I have no doubt it will be a show not to be missed.”