Dubai’s Mainstage Events recently conducted an interview with former JUDAS PRIEST and ICED EARTH singer Tim “Ripper” Owens. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked what it was like parting ways with JUDAS PRIEST in 2003 after a seven-year stint with the band, Owens said: “It was all right. We knew if was gonna happen — I did, at least. And you know what? It wasn’t upsetting. I had just recorded an ICED EARTH record, and it kind of felt like my time in JUDAS PRIEST was probably over. And [I was] kind of wishing it was over, in a way, to move on to ICED EARTH and do other things. And it was definitely best for JUDAS PRIEST, it was definitely best for Rob Halford, and it was definitely best for me. I would have never quit JUDAS PRIEST; I would have stayed in it forever, because I love the guys and I love what I was doing with ’em. But, as a career, to do things for my career, I had to move on. So it was okay. It was something that… It didn’t offend me when JUDAS PRIEST let me go. I think it offended some family and friends and stuff at the time, but it didn’t change my relationship with JUDAS PRIEST either, not has it changed with Rob Halford; we’re all still good friends.”
Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997’s “Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition” — before the band reunited with Rob Halford.
In a recent interview with CantonRep.com, Tim was asked if he thinks metal fans who didn’t accept him fronting JUDAS PRIEST are able to view that period more fondly now that time has passed.
“I think some,” he responded. “Some will never give it a shot. The funny thing about me is I’m a JUDAS PRIEST fan from the old school. If I had listened to ‘Jugulator’ or ‘Demolition’ and saw it live, I’d have said, ‘This is pretty good.’ Some fans look at those records and go, ‘I’ll never accept it.’ And that’s cool. I understand it 100 percent. When you think of JUDAS PRIEST, you think of Rob [Halford], Glenn [Tipton], K.K. [Downing] and Ian [Hill].”
Regarding whether there is anything he would’ve done differently in his PRIEST days if he had the chance, Owens said: “I can’t really regret anything I did, because it’s allowed me to do everything I’m doing now. I probably would’ve never done the motorcycle thing, though. It wasn’t my idea. The band said, ‘Listen, it’s not a Rob thing, it’s a JUDAS PRIEST thing.’ But it was a Rob thing. I knew he was gonna come back to the band someday, and I miss being around them and touring, because we had so much fun. But I look at my schedule, the months coming up I’m just slammed with stuff. My experience in PRIEST paved the way for all of this.”