Former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Tim "Ripper" Owens says that he doesn't think the Swedish guitarist likes him anymore.
The ex-JUDAS PRIEST frontman made the comment after BLABBERMOUTH.NETpublished an excerpt from an interview Yngwie gave to Greece's Rock Hard magazine in which the legendary axeman explained why he hasn't worked with an outside singer on any of his albums following the release of 2010's "Relentless".
Earlier today, Owens, who fronted Malmsteen's band both live and in the studio from 2008 until 2012, took to Twitter to write: "Well with the Yngwie thing on @BLABBERMOUTHNET I went to post possitive [sic] things about Yngwie like I always do because I had a great time with him......I don't think he likes me anymore". The message was accompanied by a screenshot that appears to show that Tim was blocked from viewing tweets from Yngwie's official Twitter account.
After a fan asked Tim what he said about Yngwie on social media to get himself banned from seeing Malmsteen's tweets, Owens responded: "Nothing, only good things. But I've never checked twitter before and went to tag him and bam. Hahaha. Maybe he blocked me after I quit"
When another fan pointed out that Yngwie likely doesn't handle his own social media and that his Twitter account is probably controlled by Malmsteen's wife and manager, Tim replied: "We all know that. When you say Yngwie it's a brand, a band name. Like Judas Priest. They don't handle their either. Hahaha. All done by management"
Back in 2015, Owens told "The Jasta Show" that he quit Malmsteen's band because "he kept asking me to do shows, and I was already booked to do a solo show. I just didn't have the time to do it," Tim explained. "I thought he could get some young kid that could blow me away, pay the kid five hundred bucks a week on a tour and be happy with it and make the show better."
Tim also didn't rule out working with Yngwie again, saying: "I'd maybe do a record with him again, and maybe a quick tour, but I just couldn't fit it in."
According to Owens, he was treated well by Yngwie during his time with the guitarist. "Every time I got off stage, if I didn't have a good night, he'd be, like, 'Man, you fucking were great,'" Tim said. "I actually enjoyed my time being around him."
Yngwie told Rock Hard that he prefers to handle the lead vocals on his albums himself nowadays because his previous "singers would always cause trouble; they would always be acting like they were special and they had something different to say or whatever… The singers always think that they're better than the keyboard player or they're better than the drummer."
Two years ago, Jeff Scott Soto, who sang on Yngwie's first two albums, 1984's "Rising Force" and 1985's "Marching Out", engaged in a war of words with the Swedish guitarist over the fact that Malmsteen claimed in an interview that he "always wrote everything," including the lyrics and melodies, and simply hired various vocalists to sing his material.
In the days after Yngwie's original interview with Metal Wani was published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, several of the guitarist's former singers — including Soto, Owens and Joe Lynn Turner — responded on social media, with Turner describing Malmsteen's statements as "the rantings of a megalomaniac desperately trying to justify his own insecurity." This was followed by a retort from a member of Yngwie's management team, who wrote on Malmsteen's Facebook page that the three vocalists "came out enraged, spitting insults and profanities" at the guitarist because "Yngwie said something that they didn't like." The management representative added: "It's very unfortunate that these past hired vocalists must resort to mudslinging and insults to elicit any kind of media attention towards them. Such classless, puerile words are ungentlemanly at best and absolutely disgraceful at worst."