Tim “Ripper” Owens reminisces about joining Judas Priest: “When I Joined Judas Priest It Was Possibly The Worst Era Of Heavy Metal Ever’

Author Samuel Järvinen - 6.8.2021

A vocalist on many projects, Tim “Ripper” Owens is perhaps best known for his time as the lead singer of the legendary Judas Priest. Owens can be heard on two Priest albums: 1997’s “Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition”. Today, Owens is the lead singer in K.K.’s Priest, a band formed by former Priest guitarist K.K. Downing and made up of former Priest musicians.

Now Owens reminisces about his time in Priest in a recent episode of the Iron City Rocks podcast. Owens talks about Rob Halford’s return to the band:

“I knew it was coming. And I understood why. Rob needed Judas Priest, and Judas Priest needed Rob. And I understood that. I would never quit Priest, so they fired me. And I wanted to do other things as well. That’s why I recorded that Iced Earth record. I kind of started wanting to do some other things. ‘Cause we have a lot of downtime. I just felt like it.”

He continues:

“The only bad thing about when I joined Judas Priest is it was possibly the worst era of heavy metal ever. It was at the end of grunge, during grunge kind of, that whole thing. And [in] ’96, [metal bands] were playing clubs — I don’t care who you were, what bands you were; you were playing smaller venues. So that made it even worse that here I am joining my band, which hasn’t been around for five years, joining Judas Priest  in the worst part of heavy metal. But the fans were great. And obviously, not everybody loved me; that’s normal. There’s still people that don’t like Brian Johnson [in AC/DC]; it amazes me. But they were great records. To me, ‘Demolition’ was even better, so it was kind of nice to do those records.”