Tim "Ripper" Owens
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Timothy S. Owens|
September 13, 1967 |
|Genres||Heavy metal, speed metal, thrash metal, power metal|
|Associated acts||Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, Beyond Fear, Winter's Bane, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, American Dog and Tim Owens, Seattle, Hail!, Charred Walls of the Damned, DIO Disciples, Rockstar|
Timothy S. "Ripper" Owens (born on September 13, 1967) is an American heavy metal singer who currently performs with Beyond Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and Charred Walls of the Damned. He first gained attention as the lead singer of Judas Priest, and then Iced Earth. He took the nickname "Ripper" from the Judas Priest song " The Ripper" during his time in the tribute band "British Steel". Like Priest singer Rob Halford before him, Owens is known for his powerful wide vocal range and high pitched screams.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Discography
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Owens was born on September 13, 1967, in Akron, Ohio.
Brainicide and Winter's Bane/British Steel
Owens began his musical career as the singer for Brainicide, a thrash metal band based in his home town of Akron, Ohio. However, the band split up shortly after recording a demo tape titled "Damage Daze" in 1990. Prior to joining Judas Priest in 1996, Owens fronted a band called Winter's Bane, with whom he recorded an album called Heart of a Killer in 1993. He was most prominent in his role as the frontman of Judas Priest and [Judas Priest] tribute band British Steel, named after the Judas Priest album, although the bands Winter's Bane and British Steel were actually one and the same. The band would often open their shows as Winter's Bane in order to introduce the audience to their original material. After finishing their original set, they would then take a break, which included a wardrobe change to emulate the subject of their tribute, Judas Priest. Winter's Bane sound engineer Ken Reffner would come out from behind the soundboard, adding a fifth member to the stage. Ken can be seen playing the part of K. K. Downing with British Steel in the Judas Priest episode of VH1's Behind the Music.
Owens made headlines in 1996 when he went from being a fan of the British metal act Judas Priest to being their lead singer, filling the shoes of Rob Halford (and, by doing so, inspiring the movie Rock Star, which was later disavowed by the band). Despite numerous rumours that Halford would reunite with Priest, Owens recorded two studio albums with his childhood heroes, as well as two live albums and a 2002 DVD release. Owens also helped write one Judas Priest song, "What's My Name?", which was a bonus track on Demolition. With Judas Priest, he was nominated once for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1999, with the song called "Bullet Train" from the album named Jugulator, but lost to Metallica's Better than You.
The movie "Rock Star" was loosely based on Owen's career. Though the general plot of the movie closely matches the actual occurrences, Judas Priest disavowed the movie after they were denied creative control in the screen play and script. For example, Rob Halford left Judas Priest almost a year before he was replaced, as opposed to Steel Dragon throwing Bobby Beers out halfway through a tour and playing shows with Mark Wahlberg's character, Chris Cole, days after the event. MTV reported, "They fabricated things and decided to pull away from my story and make their own because I guess mine was too normal," said Owens. "There's no telling what they put in there. If I could sue, I would."
Discrepancies aside, Owens went from cover band to rock icon due to a fan-taped video of his concert. Steel Dragon, just like Priest, continued on with their new frontman against a scourge of public backlash. Warner Brothers even managed, rather comically, to throw in a plot twist by making Steel Dragon original frontman Bobby Beers gay (Halford came out publically on MTV in 1998). The introduction to Steel Dragon's signature song, Stand Up, included the phrase "This one's for Kim, who ripped out my heart, and put it through a bloody blender!" which Chris Cole performed live in the cover band, Blood Pollution. When confronted about his newly discovered sexuality, Beers sarcastically remarks to Cole, "Did you really think Kim was a girl?" met with a look of enlightened disgust.
Iced Earth and Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force
Judas Priest reunited with Rob Halford in 2003. Owens seized opportunity when, that same year, vocalist Matt Barlow quit Iced Earth. Iced Earth's first album with Owens, The Glorious Burden, came out in early 2004. While singing with Judas Priest, Owens had toured with Iced Earth (and Anthrax) in 2001, but the tour was cut short. In 2006, Owens also reunited with his former Winter's Bane colleague Dennis Hayes in a band called Beyond Fear. The self-titled debut album from his new band was released in May of that year. Hayes would join Iced Earth as well in 2007 after bassist James "Bo" Wallace left due to family health issues.
Owens' stay in Iced Earth was short, however, as on December 11, 2007, guitarist Jon Schaffer announced that Owens would be leaving the band; Matt Barlow had been invited to return to the line-up after heavy feedback from fans.
On February 26, 2008, it was announced that Owens would be the new lead singer for Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, replacing Doogie White, completing Malmsteen's "strongest lineup ever." Owens, as described by Malmsteen, "conveys the lyrics I write like no one else. I’ll write something like ‘Divide and Conquer’ and when Ripper sings it, it really comes out that way. It’s like Sparta!" 
In May 2009, Owens released his first solo album, Play My Game. The album featured many prominent metal musicians.
Charred Walls of the Damned, HAIL! and Dio Disciples
Owens now fronts a new project called Charred Walls of the Damned, a band founded in 2009 by Richard Christy, radio personality on The Howard Stern Show and former drummer for Iced Earth and Death. The band features Christy on drums, and Owens on vocals along with Steve DiGiorgio (bass guitar) and Jason Suecof (lead guitar). The band's debut self-titled album was released on February 2, 2010 on Metal Blade Records. Owens is also a member of a cover band called HAIL!. HAIL!'s rotating cast of members include Owens, Andreas Kisser, Paul Bostaph, David Ellefson, Mike Portnoy, Jimmy DeGrasso and Roy Mayorga. Owens, DeGrasso, Ellefson and Kisser formed the band in late 2008. The band toured Europe in 2009, June 2010, and also came together to perform at a benefit for Deftones bassist Chi Cheng in 2010. That line-up consisted of Owens, Portnoy, Mark Anthony of The Letter Black, Phil Demmel of Machine Head and Ellefson. HAIL! is on their second European tour with the following line-up: Andreas Kisser, Owens, Paul Bostaph and James LoMenzo. Due to the tragic death of previously announced bassist Paul Gray, LoMenzo agreed on only one day’s notice to fly to Portugal and rescue the Rock In Rio Festival where HAIL! was scheduled to perform on May 30, 2010. In early 2011, Owens also joined Dio Disciples, which features former Dio members.
Other music projects include: Project Rock w/ Keri Kelli, Rudy Sarzo, James Kottak, and Teddy Zig Zag.
Owens owns "Ripper's Rock House", a rockin sports eatery, restaurant and entertainment venue, in the Kenmore neighborhood of his hometown of Akron. He was also the owner of "Ripper Owens Tap House", the predecessor to "Ripper's Rock House", in Akron's Firestone Park neighborhood.
With Winter's Bane
- Heart of a Killer (1993)
With Judas Priest
- Jugulator (1997)
- '98 Live Meltdown (live album, 1998)
- Demolition (2001)
- Live in London (live album and DVD, 2003)
- Metalogy (box set; 4 tracks only; 2004)
With Iced Earth
- The Reckoning (2003)
- The Glorious Burden (2004)
- Overture of the Wicked (2007)
- Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part 1) (2007)
- Live at Wacken 2007 (V.A., 2 live-songs, 2008)
- Festivals of the Wicked (DVD, 2011)
With Beyond Fear
- Beyond Fear (2006)
- Play My Game (2009)
With Dio Disciples
- Kickstart my Heart: A Tribute To Mötley Crüe (Song: "Louder than Hell", Backing vocals only)
- One Way Street: A Tribute To Aerosmith (Song: "Round and round")
- Numbers from the Beast: An All Star Salute To Iron Maiden (Song: "Flight of Icarus")
- Bat Head Soup: A Tribute To Ozzy (Song: "Mr. Crowley")
- Butchering The Beatles: A Headbashing Tribute (Song: "Hey Jude")
- Hell Bent Forever: A Tribute To Judas Priest (Song: "Exciter")
- Sin-Atra (Song: "Witchcraft")
- Demolition Bonus-track, (Song: "Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)", Fleetwood Mac);
- Heavy Hitters (Song: "War Pigs", Black Sabbath)
- We Wish you a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year (Song: "Santa Claus Is Back In Town", Elvis Presley)
- High Impact (Song: "Beat It", Michael Jackson)
- Charred Walls of the Damned (Song: "Nice Dreams", Powermad)
- Neil Zaza (Free Download) (Song: "Keep Yourself Alive", Queen)
- Roadrunner United 25th Anniversary Concert (Song: "Abigail", King Diamond Alison Hell)
- Slave to the Empire (Song: "Kiss Of Death", Dokken)
- Spawn - Round 2 (production, 1998)
- Soulbender - Demo (2008)
- Ellefson, Bittner, Grigsby & Owens - Leave it alone (Memorial Track for Dimebag Darrell, iTunes release) (2008)
- Roadrunner United - The Concert (DVD, live, 2008)
- Avantasia - The Wicked Symphony (2010)
- The Claymore - Damnation Reigns (2010) - Vocals on "Behind Enemy Lines"
- Memorain - Evolution (2011)
- Scheepers - Scheepers (2011) - Vocals on "Remission of Sin"
- Desdemon - Through the Gates (2011) - Vocals on "The Burning Martyr"
- Infinita Symphonia - A Mind's Chronicle (2011)
- Wolfpakk - Wolfpakk (2011) - Vocals on "Wolfony"
- Absolute Power - Absolute Power (2011)
- SoulSpell - Hollow's Gathering (2012)
- T&N - Slave to the Empire (2012) - Vocals on "Kiss of Death"
- Maegi - Skies Fall (2013)
- Marius Danielsen - The Legend Of Valley Doom Part 1 (2014)
- Prato, Greg. "Tim "Ripper" Owens". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- "Judas Priest Turn Their Backs on "Rock Star" Movie". MTV.com.
- "Judas Priest's Rob Halford Reflects on Coming Out, Years Later". Spinner.com.
- "Vocalist Matt Barlow Rejoins Iced Earth". Blabbermouth.net.
- "Speed King". Guitarworld.com.
- "TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS To Release Solo Debut In May". BlabberMouth.
- "Hail! to Continue Tour Despite Paul Gray's Passing; James Lomenzo to Step In". Metal Underground.
- "Ripper's Rock House". Tim "Ripper" Owens, owner.
- "Tim 'Ripper' Owens still livin' the rock 'n' roll dream in his Akron hometown after his reign as frontman of Judas Priest". Cleveland Plain Dealer.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tim Owens.|
- Official website
- Tim "Ripper" Owens biography at Country Music Television
- 2005 & 2006 radio interviews with Tim "Ripper" Owens
- Tim "Ripper" Owens interviewed by Highwire Daze (2006)
- Tim "Ripper" Owens on MySpace
- Tim "Ripper" Owens' restaurant web site
- "A Metal-Head Becomes A Metal-God. Heavy" New York Times article on Owens