Tim "Ripper" Owens says that he has completed recording the vocals for the debut album from KK'S PRIEST, his new collaboration with founding JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing and ex-PRIEST drummer Les Binks. The band, which pays homage to Downing's past, is rounded out by guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE) and bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX).
During an appearance on Wednesday's (March 11) episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation", Owens stated about the progress of the recording sessions for the KK'S PRIEST LP: "It's going great. I've posted pictures of myself with K.K. in the studio. I got my vocals done. It sounds unbelievable. It's gonna be a really great record. Obviously, we can't talk too much about it right now, but it's really good. We have a really good time.
"I'm excited," he continued. "The vocals came out great. It's a lot of high stuff, a lot of aggressive stuff and a lot of classic-sounding metal. So it's gonna be great."
According to Owens, Downing is focused on making a killer album before going out and performing the material live. "He's more excited about putting this record out than he even is touring," Tim said. "He's excited about playing these songs live. Every time we talk in the studio, when I'm doing something, he's going, 'The crowd's gonna love that.' That's his mentality.
"We're not shooting for mediocrity; we're shooting for the top," Owens added. "The biggest thing was getting this record [done]."
Tim went on to say that KK'S PRIEST will not schedule any dates before the release of the band's album. "No shows are gonna happen without putting this record out," he explained.
KK'S PRIEST's debut LP will be released via Explorer1 Music Group. The group will also play select shows later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of PRIEST and Downing's career as a founding member. KK'S PRIEST's setlist will consist of PRIEST classics and new songs.
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 and recorded two studio albums with the band — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before PRIEST reunited with Rob Halford in 2003.
Downing left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance. He was replaced by Richie Faulkner, nearly three decades his junior.
Downing, Binks and Owens performed a full-length set of PRIEST classics with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson in November in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Joining them on second guitar was Mills of HOSTILE, the British metal band whose two albums, "Eve Of Destruction" and "The New World Disorder", were both produced by Downing.
Binks played drums on PRIEST's "Stained Class", "Hell Bent For Leather" (released as "Killing Machine" in the United Kingdom) and "Unleashed In The East" albums.
Downing stated about his new group: "Forging ahead with KK'S PRIEST was not only inevitable but essential for me to perform and deliver everything that is expected from me and KK'S PRIEST," Downing said in a statement. "Due to the massive demand and overwhelming support from fans around the world, I feel this is where I belong, and a set combining the true, classic songs and sound of PRIEST, together with great, newly forged metal tracks, is what fans can expect when KK'S PRIEST is taking to stages."