TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS Says RONNIE JAMES DIO Was 'Probably' A Bigger Influence On Him Vocally Than ROB HALFORD

August 18, 2021

Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens discussed his vocal influences during a recent interview with Akron Beacon Journal's "Now You Know Akron" podcast. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Vocally, I sing whatever I wanna sound like. My voice is all over the place. I mean, I can sing like SEPULTURA, I can sing like PANTERA, I can sing like whatever, 'cause I could just do it all. But when I sing, there's gonna be similarities to JUDAS PRIEST 'cause I have high notes. Anytime somebody has a high note, it's gonna be, like, 'Oh, listen. He sounds like Rob Halford.' And it's, like, I can get away from him. But probably more influence on me vocally is from Ronnie [James Dio].

"I'm inspired by Chris Cornell, I have inspiration from Jon Oliva [SAVATAGE], from David Wayne from METAL CHURCH, from David Bowie," he continued. "If people hear a lot of my newer stuff — I've been writing for a band called PYRAMID. When I write songs, you can hear so much David Bowie come out, because it's a really heavy prog band, so all of a sudden I've got these David Bowie parts.

"Inspiration comes from all of it — anything," he added.

Asked if he had any secrets to keeping his voice in shape through all these years, Owens said: "Well, if you find one, let me know. That's why I'm even sitting out here in the middle of interviews trying to drink water… I just hope and pray that it's gonna be good. I think mentally things hurt me more than anything nowadays. I think I tell myself I'm not gonna be as good, and I think it clams up when I go to do shows; it dries my voice. I very, very seldomly even drink alcohol anymore. Listen, the last time I drank is onstage where I had the crowd buy me a beer and I opened it and cheers to the crowd. Offstage, I haven't had a beer in my house in — I can't tell you [how long] — months. But sleep and drinking water. But it's not the same voice as it was, that's for sure. I've gotta work a lot harder and pray a lot more every day that I'm gonna sing good. [I can't] just roll out of bed and start singing."

The Akron, Ohio-based Owens created two studio LPs with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before the group reunited with Rob Halford.

Back in 2019, Owens told "Talking Metal" that JUDAS PRIEST's management requested that he stop using artwork related to his time with the group to promote his solo shows.

More than two years ago, Tim defended Kenneth "K.K." Downing over the comments the ex-PRIEST guitarist made about his former bandmates in his autobiography, explaining that Downing is "just telling the truth."

Owens and Downing are currently in a new band called KK'S PRIEST with guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE),bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).

KK'S PRIEST's debut album, "Sermons Of The Sinner", will be released on October 1 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.

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