TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS Has Grown To Love GUNS N' ROSES' Music And AXL ROSE's Voice
March 8, 2023
During an appearance on a recent episode of the GUNS N' ROSES-centric "Appetite For Distortion" podcast, former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens was asked what he initially thought of GUNS N' ROSES and Axl Rose's vocal performance when he first heard the "Appetite For Destruction" album. Owens responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't think I liked it. I think at the time I might have been a little more thrashy — ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT, DEATH ANGEL — at that time. So, if you weren't a classic band already — DIO, PRIEST, [IRON] MAIDEN — it was hard for me to get in on board with something else. But, obviously, as time went on, it changed. I loved the voice and I loved the band. I'll tell you, [Axl] was fantastic with AC/DC. And I've gotta be honest, when they said, people were, like, 'Oh my God. Why's he gonna do that?' And I'm, like, but that's a good voice that he has; he has that voice where he could sing that stuff.
"I remember when ['Appetite For Destruction'] came out… You know what? I probably didn't hate 'em yet," Tim continued. "You know what probably happened? I probably liked 'Welcome To The Jungle'; I think everybody liked that one. That song came out, and everybody was, like, 'This is awesome.' But I probably lumped them in at the time with the 'hair metal' bands, which they were nothing like that. But mentally, you're, like, 'I wanna hear 'Caught In A Mosh'. Screw these guys.' Then you just start moving along, and you realize, 'Yeah…' Here I am now, if I'm at a gym, I'll listen to THE BEATLES, James Taylor, a GUNS N' ROSES song will come on, RAMMSTEIN, BENEDICTION… God knows what comes on. THE BLACK KEYS… All that stuff."
Owens recently released a solo EP, "Return To Death Row". The effort was produced by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Nick Bellmore (JASTA, DEE SNIDER). Players on the EP, which contain Owens's "heaviest songs yet," include Nick Bellmore, Charlie Bellmore (DEE SNIDER, ex-TOXIC HOLOCAUST) on guitar, and Chris Beaudette (JASTA, ENTEIRRO) on bass.
Owens is currently the frontman of KK'S PRIEST, featuring fellow former JUDAS PRIEST member K.K. Downing.
Owens joined PRIEST after being discovered when the band's drummer, Scott Travis, was given a videotape of him performing with the PRIEST cover act BRITISH STEEL. JUDAS PRIEST at the time was seeking a replacement for Rob Halford.
Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before the band reunited with Halford in 2003.
"Demolition" and "Jugulator" are included on "50 Heavy Metal Years Of Music", JUDAS PRIEST's 2021 limited-edition box set which contains every official live and studio album to date plus 13 unreleased discs.
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