The “Everblack” podcast recently conducted an interview with former JUDAS PRIEST and ICED EARTH frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the formation of A NEW REVENGE, which also features guitarist Keri Kelli (SLASH’S SNAKEPIT, ALICE COOPER, VINCE NEIL), legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT) and drummer James Kottak (SCORPIONS, KINGDOM COME):
Tim: “Keri Kelli, the guitar player, when he was in ALICE COOPER, he did a lot of touring with James Kottak when James was in the SCORPIONS. They kind of had the idea to do a supergroup and tour and play songs from ALICE COOPER and SCORPIONS. They gave me a call and talked about it. I was, like, ‘Absolutely. This is a great idea.’ When we started touring, Keri started writing and sending me songs. I was, like, ‘These are great.’ I loved them. We slowly started writing songs together. Then, when it finally got to the point where [we said], ‘Listen, we’re going to make a record and put it out,’ that’s when we changed the name from PROJECT ROCK to A NEW REVENGE.”
On how the members of A NEW REVENGE “pushed each other” given their experience and lengthy resumes:
Tim: “Every project is different, every band is different. The difference with this from anything else is we were already here. We already toured together. We hung out together, we were jamming together. The first two songs we had written, ‘The Distance’ and I think it was ‘Here’s To Us’, we played them live in Russia, so everything was kind of a little bit different. We knew how to get the best of each other because we were already hanging out together. Even though I recorded it in my studio in Ohio and Keri was out in the Orange County area in California, I think it just made it different to work on. I’ll tell you what: The songs were just great to sing. Keri would send some of these songs and some of them had some vocal ideas, some of them didn’t. Everything he would send was just great. It just brought the best out of me. It was fun. Catchy, melodic things that stuck in your head and that’s what made it fun to do.”
On whether A NEW REVENGE plans to tour behind their debut album:
Tim: “We hope so. We’ve been talking about it. We’ve been talking about it the last couple of days. I’m been touring a lot. Keri‘s in NIGHT RANGER. Everybody is kind of busy. We’re talking about it now. I’m going to be doing the [Ronnie James] Dio hologram tour here and it’s going be worldwide and I really wanted to do it because something different, take a year off from solo touring and just try to do that, but we’re talking to the agent in with that and trying to figure out where we can put shows. We definitely want to take A NEW REVENGE on the road and do something. Absolutely.”
On the Dio hologram tour, which finds DIO DISCIPLES playing live to a hologram version of legendary singer Ronnie James Dio:
Tim: “It’s with Ronnie‘s band. Ronnie and I were friends and knowing this company [Eyellusion] decided to try to do this idea. Listen, people don’t like the idea. It’s kind of funny, yet people all went and saw the QUEEN movie [‘Bohemian Rhapsody’] where somebody is acting on somebody else who is dead. I don’t get the concept. People are, like, ‘People are going to make money from it.’ First of all, people make money from anything; that’s what you do. Second of all, Wendy Dio [Ronnie James Dio‘s widow and manager, and a member of the Eyellusion team] spent a bazillion dollars just trying to make fans happy with this thing. She’s not made a dime yet. She’s lost a lot of money just trying to make fans happy. It’s a great idea. For me, I’m doing it because I’m friends with Ronnie. I’m going to go out and sing a couple of songs — Oni Logan [LYNCH MOB] and I — with the band. The hologram will do the same. [Ronnie‘s] vocals are from the live version and the band is playing live. It’s pretty cool. It’s really cool, actually. Then I’m going to come out and sing a couple of songs, then Oni will sing a couple of songs and the hologram will do some more. It’s a big show. For me, nobody’s done it. Whether people like it or not, I get everybody who doesn’t like it probably didn’t see, like I said, the QUEEN movie. Somebody’s made money from that, I guess. It’s going to be neat. Here’s the thing, I look at it as this: If they would make a David Bowie hologram, I would go see it. If they made an Elvis [Presley] hologram, I’d go see it. I’d go see it because, first of all, I never saw Elvis and I never saw David Bowie. I’d want to go see how this thing is, the curiosity. I love the artists and I would love to see the show. I’m just doing it as a fan who is jumping in on something that is new.”
On the criticisms of the Dio hologram:
Tim: “You know what Wendy Dio should do is take all of his music off and not have it out there for anybody to listen to him again. That’s how they’re acting. Come on — you guys are being… I just think it’s amazing. I think it’s amazing that they would go to a wax museum and see a wax statue of Lemmy [Kilmister, MOTÖRHEAD] and think, ‘Oh my God, this is fantastic.’ It’s not him — it’s a wax statue that the museum is charging you to get in. But they don’t get it. They’ll say ‘I love that QUEEN movie.’ Then they go ‘It’s terrible you’re doing this. Let Ronnie rest in peace.’ I’m thinking, ‘Okay, whatever.’ Listen, let them be mad. I’m trying it. Listen, we’re hoping it works. I don’t know. I think it’s a great idea and I’d love to see it for the future of shows. I think it would be cool.”
A NEW REVENGE‘s debut album, “Enemies & Lovers” was released on March 29 via Australia’s independent record label Golden Robot Records.
A “new” Ronnie James Dio hologram will embark on a month-long U.S. tour at the end of the May. The Dio hologram production uses audio of Ronnie‘s live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO DISCIPLES band playing live. The tour kicks off May 31 in Ft. Myers, Florida, and wraps June 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada.