Following today’s news that Judas Priest will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year as recipients of the Musical Excellence Award, ex-Priest guitarist K.K. Downing shared his feelings about the legendary metal group finally achieving the honor.

Referencing the fact that Judas Priest was passed over for induction twice, after receiving nominations in 2018 and 2020, Downing explained to eonmusic, “[W]hen you get nominated that amount of times and don’t win, when you actually do win, it takes the edge off it a bit, because you’ve failed a lot of times. But it’s better to score the goal at the end of the game!”

Downing, who was a member of Judas Priest from 1970 to 2011, has had a strained relationship with his ex-band mates since exiting the group. That being said, Priest frontman Rob Halford told Billboard Wednesday that all of the band’s former members who will be inducted “have every right to be a part of the event,” adding, “I’m very pleased for everybody. There’s no bitterness. There’s no angst.”

For his part, Downing says he’s “not sure” if he’ll reunite with the band at the ceremony, which is scheduled for November 5 in Los Angeles.

“I think it’s just a question of seeing how everything lies when it comes to them, really, because a lot of things can happen between now and then, the 70-year-old rocker noted. “[A] lot of things could get better, but they could get worse, or stay the same.”

Downing said he’s particularly happy that two of Priest’s former drummers, Les Binks and the late Dave Holland, also will be inducted.

“They were an integral part [of the band] for a long time,” K.K. said.

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