Canada’s The Metal Voice recently conducted an interview with American powerhouse vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, DIO DISCIPLES). Here’s an excerpt regarding Judas Priest:
Owens: “I don’t know. One of the problems was when I joined JUDAS PRIEST, it was probably the worst time in hard rock and heavy metal there was, I mean, 1996, ’97…. I joined in ’96, and it was just a horrible time, so it doesn’t even matter. Rob [Halford] wasn’t selling, no one was selling, bands disappeared…. You know what I mean? So I don’t know if it would have solidified it. I mean, what happened is exactly what should have happened. I mean, Rob needed to come back to JUDAS PRIEST; for himself, he needed to come back to JUDAS PRIEST. JUDAS PRIEST needed to have Rob come back. And I needed to go out and do other things. Yeah, I’m not known as the singer for JUDAS PRIEST anymore, but I tour more places, I tour the world, I do more shows, financially I make more money, everything’s great. I don’t know if a third record would have changed it. I mean, it would have been great. Listen, I wouldn’t have quit JUDAS PRIEST. I wanted to leave JUDAS PRIEST, ’cause I had already recorded the ICED EARTH record [‘The Glorious Burden’]. So I wanted out of JUDAS PRIEST, ’cause I wanted to do other stuff, but I never would have quit. ‘Cause I was great friends with them, and I was the singer of JUDAS PRIEST. But to make more money and to do more things, I had to branch out and do other things. But I don’t know if a third record would have… It would have been great to do it. I mean, what I’d written [for the debut album from] BEYOND FEAR, there were songs on there that I had written while I was in JUDAS PRIEST, like ‘Save Me’ and ‘Scream Machine’, songs that I think could have been [suitable for] JUDAS PRIEST.”