Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with former JUDAS PRIEST and current ICED EARTH vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens. Several excerpts follow:Blasting-Zone.com: Do you consider your departure from JUDAS PRIEST to be amicable? Tim "Ripper" Owens: "No doubt about it. It was just one of those things that needed to happen. We're still good friends. I'm excited about what’s going on with those guys right now. I'm excited for all of us. I thought there was too much time off. I didn't feel like I was busy enough. I thought it was time for JUDAS PRIEST to get Rob [Halford] back and it was definitely time for me to venture off on my own." Blasting-Zone.com: It still had to be disappointing... Tim: "Yes and no. Financially, I will definitely do better [without JUDAS PRIEST]. They are still my friends. Without them, I wouldn't be in the position that I am today. We had a blast together; we got along really well. The friendship is one of the things that I am definitely going to miss. I had thought about leaving for a really long time, about what I was gonna do. The timing was also pretty good. If I had been making a truckload of money and if we had been on the top, it would have been a lot harder to leave. (Laughs)" Blasting-Zone.com: Yeah, I can imagine... Tim: "The truth of it was, JUDAS PRIEST wasn't selling records. Rob Halford, as a solo artist, wasn't selling records. It was a given that they had to get back together. The guys in the band told me from the beginning that if the day ever came, if they ever hung it up and quit, that I would be able to continue on." Blasting-Zone.com: How would you describe the music on you solo album? Is it more akin to JUDAS PRIEST than ICED EARTH? Tim: "You know, it probably is. I've written the guitar parts, all of the music, and my guitar playing isn't really...it's definitely not Jon Schaffer stuff, it's pretty basic." Blasting-Zone.com: (Laughs) I wasn't aware that you actually played guitar... Tim: "Neither am I (laughs). I'm not aware that I can play, either. I guess I can put it up there on the right song. It's more basic, it's more verse, chorus, verse...people can sing along to choruses. It might have a little influence from some modern guitar riffs. Maybe a PANTERA or a GODSMACK riff or something, but I don't think so. Personally, I think it's more old-school, more akin to BLACK SABBATH. And the singin' is just me... I'm not tryin' to sing anything that isn't... just normal, ya know? It's just good old heavy metal...it's what I miss. I miss albums like (JUDAS PRIEST's) 'British Steel'... I don't want another 'British Steel', I don't want it to sound like that, but I do want it to sound like it's from that era — a simple heavy metal record. It's kinda like what GODSMACK brought back when they came about — basic singing and basic music, not trying to do anything too heavy. It's pretty basic and that's what kinda attracted me to that whole style. It was basic, like 'British Steel'... I want it to sound like classic heavy metal." Read the entire interview at this location.