TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS Says His Split With ICED EARTH Was ‘Handled Poorly’

Brian Giffin of Australia’s Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with powerhouse American vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On his departure from JUDAS PRIEST:

Owens: “Well, you know, we all knew that Rob [Halford] would come back eventually. That was a given. I love the guys in PRIEST, and if there’s anything where I look back and wish, ‘Oh man I wish it could have worked out,’ that would probably be it. I was glad to see Rob come back, [but] I do wish they would play some of my material when they’re out there.”

On his departure from ICED EARTH:

Owens: “I’m the sort of person, you don’t burn bridges, you just move along. If you don’t have anything nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say anything at all, really, so that’s probably why I don’t say a lot about ICED EARTH. It is what it is. It was handled poorly, I think, the situation. It could’ve been handled good and everybody could’ve looked good in the situation. But it was handled poorly, I think. The difference with JUDAS PRIEST is that they knew they had to get Rob back. And all the blame wasn’t on me. It’s just that they needed Rob back: JUDAS PRIEST was Rob. But ICED EARTH… I started getting all the blame when things weren’t the same. Or things weren’t what Jon [Schaffer, ICED EARTH mainman] thought they could be. And then, of course, it all came down on me. None of the blame ever came down on Jon. I’m fine with that, but the funny thing is that nothing really changed when I left anyway. I read numbers and I talk to agents, and the crowds are the same or smaller now. I think it was also me wandering a bit, knowing that ICED EARTH was kind of like a solo project. It’s really Schaffer‘s band, and I knew that. And I started having my own: I started doing BEYOND FEAR, and pushing BEYOND FEAR when probably I should have been talking about ICED EARTH. I think Jon read a lot of that and he read into it that my heart and soul wasn’t into ICED EARTH. I have nothing against what happened. I think it should have happened. [Former ICED EARTH singer] Matt [Barlow] and I are friends. Matt and I are talking about maybe doing something together. He just left a message on my Facebook saying that he should come out to my restaurant and hang out. To be honest, I didn’t want to be in ICED EARTH any longer. It’s almost like in JUDAS PRIEST. At that time, I didn’t want to be there anymore. I wasn’t making the money, in either one of the bands, that I thought I could have been making on my own. Creatively, I wasn’t able to do things. Now, whether people like my music or not, they get it because I’m doing it.”

On having been with legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen since 2008:

Owens: “I’ve nothing but good things to say about him, the way he treats me. We get along. He’s definitely the most talented guitar player that I’ve been with and he’s the most passionate guitar player I’ve been with. That’s cool. He loves to play guitar. Yngwie and I love working together. He’s a funny guy. When I worked in the studio with him, it was a great, great time. Touring with him is great.”

On his career thus far:

Owens: “I think of who I have worked with, and who I still work with. Every day it’s somebody wanting to get a hold of me to work on something. It’s kinda crazy, being able to do this thing. Doing the DIO DISCIPLES thing and celebrating [Ronnie James] Dio and his legacy and his music and doing that every night with Rudy Sarzo and Simon Wright and Craig Goldy and Scott Warren… it’s amazing, you know.”

Read the entire interview from Loud magazine .