Robert Gray of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with merican heavy metal vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, ex-JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) as part of a series entitled "Hit The Lights." Several excerpts from the chat follow below.
On how his solo debut, "Play My Game", came to fruition:
"After I left ICED EARTH, we began talking about possibly arranging tracks for BEYOND FEAR's next album. The management thought it would be a great time for me to issue a solo album, so the wheels started turning. I started writing some music, and made some phone calls. The project began to come together, and all these great musicians guested upon 'Play My Game'. We recorded the album in Los Angeles, and began the process roughly a year ago."
On whether he felt slightly restricting in past groups like JUDAS PRIEST and ICED EARTH:
"Yes, I was restricted. I couldn't really write with JUDAS PRIEST, but I actually understood the situation with JUDAS PRIEST. It didn't really bother me. I think it bothered me more with ICED EARTH, as I felt like I probably had something to give to the table that time. I really wasn't able to contribute, so I felt more restricted with ICED EARTH, though I understood. I understood it with both groups. This made me go onwards, and save all my material for my own project."
On how Chris Caffery and Bob Kulick came to contribute to "Play My Game":
"I've known them for years. I met Chris Caffery in '96, and we've been really good friends. Bob Kulick and I have appeared on some albums together for years, years and years. A lot of these guys who guested upon 'Play My Game' are friends. Michael Wilton, Jeff Loomis, Bobby Jarzombek — so many great musicians feature on the album who are friends. Also, I made new friends who I just met, ones who guested on 'Play My Game' — Billy Sheehan, for example. Having so many stars to guest, and to meet them, was just awesome."
On whether scheduling conflicts prevented certain musicians from guesting upon "Play My Game":
"Yeah, scheduling conflicts were always a problem. TRIVIUM's Corey Beaulieu was interested in contributing, and even SEPULTURA's Andreas Kisser. Andreas and I have worked on some material, so I wanted him to play upon a song. He said that he couldn't, and was leaving for a tour the following day. Since he couldn't lay down a part here, or there, we were somewhat screwed."
On "Play My Game"'s lyrical content:
"I think the album's lyrics are much like 'Beyond Fear', in that the album pretty much tackles every topic. 'Play My Game' tackles many topics, whether it be losing a loved one, spaceships, the cover up of political scandals, or ex relationships. Whatever the topic might be, everything is really upon 'Play My Game'. 'Play My Game' has a song about cars, and a song about evil things in the shadows, for example. Really, the album's lyrics are right across the board, and that's how I always write. I'm not a dungeons-and-dragons writer, and am not a writer that will write about extremely corny subjects all the time. I'm a writer that'll write about everything. Whatever comes to mind, and whatever I feel needs to be written about, I'll write about."
Read the entire interview at Ultimate-Guitar.com.
Austria's Mulatschag.TV has posted a new six-minute interview with Owens. Watch the clip below.