During an interview with UG’s David Slavković, singer Tim “Ripper” Owens reflected on his 1996–2003 tenure in Judas Priest, which resulted in 1997’s “Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition.”
You can check out the conversation below.
How do you feel about Ripper era of Judas Priest and do you think it deserves more attention?
“I love it. I still tour and I’m able to play songs from ‘Jugulator’ and ‘Demolition.’ Yeah, I think it definitely deserves more. I mean, they don’t do anything. [Laughs]
“It’s kind of amazing that they just totally erased it that they won’t play… I mean ‘Burn in Hell‘ [off ‘Jugulator’], the crowd would like to hear ‘Burn in Hell.’
“They don’t have to give me a tribute or anything, but it would be nice to play a song from… You know, that was a pretty big thing, I did two studio records, two live records, and a DVD, starting from ’96 to 2004.
“So it’s kind of crazy that it’s just been erased and they won’t even play a song from it live, because it is Judas Priest.”
You were part of this huge band. What was it like working with Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing?
“Oh, it was great. I think some of the funnest times in my life with a band was with them. They treated me great, really friendly, we had such a great relationship. I have nothing but great things to say about them.
“The thing I miss about Judas Priest is I just miss hanging out with them. We just had a lot of fun together so I definitely miss that.”
I recently spoke to Blaze Bayley and one of the things he talked about was the old metal bands getting back together with their old singers since the ’90s. Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest… He mentioned that the old singers were coming back at that point because the record sales were going down. Do you think this is true? Or what was the reason why they decided to bring back Rob Halford?
“Well, the band needed Rob Halford, really. Blaze – same with Maiden, I joined Judas Priest in a horrible time in heavy metal – the mid-’90s. It wasn’t very good. It started taking up in 2000, but it was too late for us.
“I’ve always said it this way – Judas Priest needed Rob Halford back and Rob needed to come back. He needed Judas Priest. I mean, he can have a very successful solo career, he still co do his Halford thing. But money’s doubled with Judas Priest and Rob Halford. So they needed each other.
“I think we could have continued on, I think we could have been successful and did it. But really, I think it was a smart decision for everybody. But I think that is it. Bands need the original lineup and the original singers to come back together and do that.
“I mean, Judas Priest – if they got K.K. back… I love Ritchie [Faulkner], I wouldn’t ever want Ritchie to go anywhere, but if they had that lineup back and they did a big tour, it probably would fetch more money as well.”