Former ICED EARTH singer Tim "Ripper" Owens says that he "never talked politics" with Jon Schaffer while he was a member of the band.
Owens, who joined ICED EARTH in 2003 and stayed in the group for four years before being fired in December 2007, addressed his time with the band in an Instagram exchange with a fan.
Asked by the fan what it was like "working with a terrorist," a reference to the fact that Schaffer is suspected of being part of the pro-Trump mob that breached the U.S. Capitol earlier this week, Owens said: "crazy what he did wasn't if. All I can say is wow. See we never talked politics while I was in ICED EARTH because at that time we where on totally opposite sides. LOL. But I gotta say could of been way worse for me I could of been in a Band with Sebastian Bach".
When the fan expressed his incredulity over the fact that Owens and Schaffer never talked politics, especially considering the fact that Tim's first album with ICED EARTH, "The Glorious Burden", was a concept album exploring various moments in military history, the ex-JUDAS PRIEST frontman replied: "yea that was more of history and I actually learned a lot More then I did in school. Taking about politics at the time wasn't something I would get into. Opposite sides of the fence and I was working! I got fired anyways so it didn't matter. Haha".
In a 2012 interview with Australia's Loud, Owens said that his departure from ICED EARTH wasn't executed properly. 'It was handled poorly, I think, the situation," he said. "It could've been handled good and everybody could've looked good in the situation. But it was handled poorly, I think… I started getting all the blame when things weren't the same. Or things weren't what Jon 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."
Schaffer discussed Owens's exit from ICED EARTH in a 2008 interview with Metal Exiles. At the time, he said: "Tim was great to work with in the studio, and from a standpoint of performing live, he was great as far as being an incredible vocalist, but he was not a true believer in this band. It was a job for him, and ICED EARTH is not about that… He was more interested in doing his solo thing — that was where his head was at — and it was becoming more and more obvious. This band was a means to an end for him."
As previously reported, Schaffer is among dozens of people wanted by the FBI for storming Capitol Hill earlier this week. The FBI's Washington Field Office early Friday morning released 40 photos of people who are suspected of unlawful entry during a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol carried out on Wednesday (January 6) during the final Congressional vote recording for the 2020 general election. Among them is a picture of Schaffer taken by Roberto Schmidt of AFP. In the photo, Schaffer can be seen at the front of a mob, sporting a hat from Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia group, and pointing his finger while yelling at someone out of the frame.
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