Recently departed Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing has spoken out about his decision to leave the band. Here’s his statement:

“Dear friends,

“It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer.

“Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am OK.

“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 to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans. However, I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.

“All my love and respect.”

Downing’s replacement is Richie Faulkner.