Former JUDAS PRIEST and ICED EARTH vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens recently spoke with "The Classic Metal Show" podcast about his three current projects — THE THREE TREMORS, SPIRITS OF FIRE and A NEW REVENGE. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his current busy workload:
Ripper: "I'm a musician. I'm a singer. It's what I do for a living. People say, 'Why don't you do one band?' This is what I do for a living. If I do one band, I'll be a greeter at Walmart or something. I've got to get another job. I love to sing. I listen to these projects, these bands — I hear the music and I'm like, 'Man, I'd love to sing on that.' I'm pretty lucky... I loved my time in JUDAS PRIEST. It's the best times in my life, but I do more now and see more and travel more and make more — everything about it is more. I do more; I'm busier. When I always tell people I make more money now, that's because I'm working nonstop."
On the differences between his three new releases:
Ripper: "All of [my projects], they're still me. It's not like I'm singing different. I'm still singing like me, but the music needs something different in each one of them. A NEW REVENGE would be closer to, in my opinion, straightforward hard rock, even the Dio-esque type of voice that I have. It's just right at you. That's why I did it, because when Sean [Peck] asked me to do THE THREE TREMORS, the reason why I really wanted to do it was first, it was making a record. It wasn't going and touring off the past catalogs — it was making a record. It was power metal/classic metal [with] over-the-top lyrics, over-the-top singing, over-the-top artwork. Everything was [like] what we grew up with. SPIRITS OF FIRE [mixes] JUDAS PRIEST, SAVATAGE [and] other influences. If someone doesn't like one of these three, I'm going to have to rap next, or country."
On Sean Peck and Harry Conklin, the other two vocalists in THE THREE TREMORS:
Ripper: "I love touring with them live, because I'll just go, 'Hey, you guys can sing my part. I'm going to take a little break'... [Sean] sent me the music and said, 'Here's what I've got.' Instead of us singing just little sections and parts, we sang the whole thing. I sang the whole record with my own harmonies. It made me sing different, because when I heard Sean, I'm like, 'If I sing what Sean did, I'll sound a lot like Sean. What's the point of that?' So I sing more raspy falsettos — more of a METAL CHURCH, AC/DC kind of voice with a lot of layers. It's cool, because they sing so good, and there [were] parts where I just heard a high note and I'm like, 'I'm not even going to sing that. You did it good enough.' There was a couple of notes that I'm like, 'Jesus, Sean. I don't know what you were eating that day, but that thing is impossible'... Harry is crazy. I don't talk to anybody. We get on the road in Europe doing 17 shows, [and] I get in the van, like, 'No one look at me or talk to me.' That's kind of my motto on the road. Harry gets in the car, and he's singing Britney Spears. He's just singing and having laughs and having a good time. I have a hard enough time singing at the show, and he's just singing all day and having a good time. He is the life of the party, and his voice is just so good. It's amazing to be with these two guys — old-school singers."
On touring with THE THREE TREMORS:
Ripper: "I have two other singers to bounce off of and not sing the whole set, but what's funny about doing a set like this is it's harder to take care of your voice. You're shutting it on and off a lot more. The only time I did that was probably with Yngwie [Malmsteen], but then I was off for 30 minutes folding my clothes during a solo, so it was a little bit different... These songs are just nonstop. That's the difference also – they're freaking nonstop. I asked Sean if maybe next record, if he writes new songs, when he's writing them, if he could just put sections where we could breathe. That would kind of help."
On whether he plans to record another BEYOND FEAR record:
Ripper: "The problem is, what I've run into is, it costs me money to do that. Early on, it was a little different, but now I've gotten older. I have more bills. It just becomes a little bit different to do things... I'd like to record a new solo record, and what I'll probably do is move BEYOND FEAR into the next solo record. Touring under BEYOND FEAR makes it harder. I can't afford it. You don't make any money. Labels don't want to pay anymore. It's kind of a hard situation."
THE THREE TREMORS' self-titled debut album was released digitally on February 8, with the CD and LP editions to follow on February 22. The band's first-ever U.S. tour kicked off on February 14.
SPIRITS OF FIRE's self-titled debut album — produced by Roy Z (HALFORD, BRUCE DICKINSON) — will be released on February 22 via Frontiers Music Srl. In addition to Owens, the band includes Chris Caffery (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA), Steve DiGiorgio (DEATH, TESTAMENT) and Mark Zonder (FATES WARNING, WARLORD).
A NEW REVENGE, which sees Owens join forces with James Kottak (SCORPIONS, KINGDOM COME), Keri Kelli (NIGHT RANGER, ALICE COOPER) and Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT), will release their debut album, "Enemies & Lovers", on March 29 via Golden Robot Records.