TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS: PANTERA Tour Should Be Billed As A 'Celebration'

December 17, 2022

Former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens has weighed in on the fact that PANTERA's surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) have united with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.

Anselmo and Brown, along with Wylde and Benante, are headlining a number of major festivals across South America, North America and Europe and staging some of their own headline concerts. They will also support METALLICA on a massive North American stadium tour in 2023 and 2024.

According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Owens discussed his views on the PANTERA comeback during an appearance on the "Smokin' Talk N' Roll" podcast. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think it's great. As long as they don't say it's… It's not PANTERA; it's a celebration of PANTERA. I think it should be [written] on the top of it: 'Celebration Of PANTERA'. People are loving it. Obviously, people hate everything, right? Go to Blabbermouth or wherever."

Expanding the discussion to include metal fans' general reluctance to embrace anything but the classic lineup with their favorite bands, Owens continued: "I had to live with [that kind of criticism as well when I joined JUDAS PRIEST]. That's why Ronnie [James Dio] and I hit it off and he took me under his wing right away. 'Cause he was, like, 'I had to go through it with BLACK SABBATH.' He was, like, the people in the crowd flipping you off…

"People don't give it a chance," Tim added. "When they say — to me, they [say things like], 'You're not a good singer,' or, 'You're a Rob Halford clone.' First of all, when you hear my records, I sound like me. I've been doing this for 20, 30 years; I've been putting these records out. [It's PRIEST album] 'Jugulator''s 25th anniversary. It sounds like me. Can someone finally just go, 'Yeah…' And they do say it, but then there's also people that [are], like, 'He's trying to be like Rob.' I'm, like, 'Why would I try to be like Rob?' And why would Zakk Wylde try to be like Dime. There's people who just attack you."

The reformed PANTERA played its third concert without Rex Thursday night (December 15) at Vibra in São Paulo, Brazil. The show took place three days after Rex confirmed that a positive COVID-19 test forced him to miss PANTERA's performance at Knotfest Chile in Santiago on Sunday (December 11). Filling in for him at both gigs was CATTLE DECAPITATION bassist Derek Engemann, who also plays with Anselmo in both PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS and SCOUR.

PANTERA is next scheduled to play another show in São Paulo — on Sunday, December 18 at Knotfest Brasil.

The new PANTERA lineup made its live debut on December 2 at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest and also performed on December 6 at Monterrey Metal Fest in Monterrey, Mexico.

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