Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens is collaborating with SAVATAGE and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA guitarist Chris Caffery on a new project.
The duo is currently writing material with producer Roy "Z" Ramirez (BRUCE DICKINSON, HALFORD) for an album that will be released through Frontiers Music Srl.
Regarding how his collaboration with Caffery came about, Owens told Metal Express Radio: "Chris and I have been friends for years, and he wrote a song ['The Shadows Are Alive'] with me on my solo CD [2009's 'Play My Game'], and we've always wanted to write together and do something. And he gave me a shout and we've signed a deal with Frontiers. It's gonna be like a cross between SAVATAGE and JUDAS PRIEST kind of stuff. [Frontiers] is a fantastic label, so we're looking forward to it."
Owens also talked about the current status of PROJECT ROCK (formerly ROCKSTAR), the project he formed several years ago with guitarist Keri Kelli (SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, ALICE COOPER, RATT), drummer James Kottak (SCORPIONS, KINGDOM COME), bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO) and keyboardist Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis (GUNS N' ROSES). He said: "Keri Kelli is the main one in the band that spearheaded it. We wrote a record and it's finished and ready to go. We were gonna release it, but at the last minute we were gonna change the name and James didn't wanna change it so we pulled the record… [we took] the deal off the shelf. But it's really good. It's straightforward rock, and I really like it a lot, actually… It's sitting there, ready to go."
Owens added that it's frustrating not being able to release the PROJECT ROCK album after spending so much time putting it together. "Especially for Keri and myself, 'cause we are the ones who did all the work, especially Keri — he really worked his tail off," he said. "But him and I went back and forth with the songs forever and I flew out there and met with him and we did some stuff. We did a lot of it, so it's a shame that it's sitting there."
"Here's To Us", the first-ever original song written and recorded by PROJECT ROCK, was premiered in 2013 on Russia's "Drive Time Morning Show with Evgeny Shtoltz". It was expected to appear on the band's debut album, for which the group had reportedly signed a deal with Cleopatra.
Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST — "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before the band reunited with Rob Halford.