TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS Wants To Show His Era Of JUDAS PRIEST 'Respect' With KK'S PRIEST And His Solo Shows

May 2, 2024

In a new interview with Rockin' Metal Revival, former JUDAS PRIEST and current KK'S PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens was asked if he still gets feedback from fans about why the two studio albums he recorded with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — don't get the respect that they deserve. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, it's nonstop. K.K. [Downing, former JUDAS PRIEST and current KK'S PRIEST guitarist] and I talk about it. It's weird that [those albums] were erased. I get it, you move on, but it wasJUDAS PRIEST and for JUDAS PRIEST to erase JUDAS PRIEST… Listen, they're the ones… I'm not gonna make any money from it; they're gonna make money from it. Could you imagine how many LPs they could sell if they released that? They've just erased it. The good part is I have it, so when people come and watch me play solo, I play 'Hell Is Home', 'Burn In Hell' — I mean, I play all kinds of stuff from that in my solo shows. And then KK'S PRIEST will be playing it as well. It is a shame, but the best part now is I'm on stage [putting on] top-notch shows and putting out top-notch records, be it my RIPPER solo EP or the KK'S PRIEST ones that are selling and getting reviewed great. So, we will show it some respect in our own way."

Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 after being discovered when the band's drummer was given a videotape of him performing with the PRIEST cover band BRITISH STEEL. JUDAS PRIEST at the time was seeking a replacement for Rob Halford, who has since rejoined the band.

Two months ago, Downing was asked by Rob Rush of Long Island's 94.3 The Shark radio station, why "Jugulator" and "Demolition" are not available on the major streaming services. Downing replied: "Yeah, [it's] a little bit of a mystery, really. Obviously, I no longer have any control over those records, but I don't think that it's a label thing 'cause labels always like to sell records, don't they? And, obviously, myself and Ripper, we're still very proud of everything that we've done as a part of our history and legacy, and we'd very much like to see the records out there in the stores once more. So, hopefully, we'll see that come to fruition. But the good news is that this band KK'S PRIEST will be out there playing those songs throughout this year, so everyone is welcome to come down and experience those magical times that we now refer to as the 'Ripper era' or the 'Ripper years.' And, yeah, so everyone can enjoy those songs again in a live format, which, in a lot of ways, is even better. But let's hope the records will appear at some point."

Back in 2019, JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill was asked in an interview with "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" if the unavailability of the Owens-era PRIEST albums was a rights-related issue or if it was a deliberate attempt to bury that part of PRIEST's past. Hill responded: "It's an odd one, really, because there's some good material on both of those albums. And Ripper is a terrific vocalist, and he did a tremendous job on 'Jugulator' and 'Demolition'. And why they're not for sale has got nothing to do with us — put it like that. Whether it's a contractual thing between Sony and whoever owns the copyrights to those albums, I don't know. But it is a shame, because there's some good material there. And as a band, it's still JUDAS PRIEST. I know it wasn't the trademark lineup, but it was still JUDAS PRIEST nonetheless. So, it's disappointing — if that's true that the material is not available. It really is."

A few years ago, Tim told "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" that he was a little miffed by the fact that fans cannot find the music that he made with PRIEST on any of the music-streaming services or other online retailers. "My issue is I would like to buy the records," he said. "I'd like to buy some to even sell when I'm touring solo, but you can't when they're kind of gone. And that's only the thing I talk about… If they were out there, I could maybe buy 'em at cost and sell 'em at my concerts. That would be kind of cool. Then I'd have my whole catalog."

KK'S PRIEST features former JUDAS PRIEST members Downing and Owens, alongside guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE),bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).

KK'S PRIEST recently embarked on its first-ever U.S. headlining tour. The trek kicked off on March 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with support from L.A. GUNS and BURNING WITCHES. The tour was the first of at least a two-leg USA run of shows, planned to continue later in 2024.

KK'S PRIEST made its live debut on July 6, 2023 at Downing's KK's Steel Mill in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.

KK'S PRIEST's sophomore album, "The Sinner Rides Again", came out in September 2023 via the Austrian label Napalm Records.

The art for "The Sinner Rides Again" was created by talented artist Andy Pilkington.

K.K. formed KK'S PRIEST after JUDAS PRIEST turned down his offer to rejoin the band for their 50th-anniversary tour. It followed a couple of celebrated stage appearances, first with former MANOWAR guitarist Ross The Boss in the summer of 2019, then with a one-off lineup that included former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson and former PRIEST drummer Les Binks later that year.

KK'S PRIEST released its debut album, "Sermons Of The Sinner", in October 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.

Downing spent four months writing and recording "Sermons Of The Sinner" and, along with new ideas, he even resurrected a few archived riffs from the 1980s.

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