TIM OWENS Defends ICED EARTH Guitarist Against Detractors

Ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim Owens recently spoke to Electric Basement about the experience of singing for the veteran British heavy metal band and his decision to join ICED EARTH as the replacement for Matt Barlow. Asked about ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer's reputation as someone who can be extremely difficult to work with, Owens said, "I think part of the reason is that many people don't understand that Jon didn't fire everybody [from the group's previous lineups]. A lot of the older members left on their own or realized they wanted to do something else. Jon has worked so hard and made that band. He's built it from the ground up — obviously Matt has been a big part of it as well — but Jon has handled most of the business from merchandising to song writing. He has been the major driving force in every aspect, and some people didn't want to get involved. I think that maybe Jon may not have even wanted that at the time either, but that was the first thing we talked about was that he said that he actually wanted somebody to help. He said that he actually wanted help on the business end, and he wanted help from others making decisions. In the end though, Jon knows what Jon wants. He's a very determined person, and he definitely knows what he wants. If you don't want that same thing or you don't agree with it, you could very well be hitting the highway. Jon just works really hard, and you should expect to be paid in relation to how much work you put into it whether it's the next record or whatever. . . He's a good guy. I mean, he may be a little hard headed, but he has his beliefs, and that's part of what's good about him. I think that's why he's built this thing up to be as big as it is."

With regards to a possible solo album, Tim said, "I've got some friends that I'm working with, and I've written all the guitar parts and everything. We've been practicing some of the stuff together to try to get a feel for it. Then, it's off to the studio to make some demos and shop them around to some labels. Depending on how long I tour with ICED EARTH next year, I'd like to get the album out by 2004." Read the rest of the interview here.

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