Jeffrey Easton of The Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with former JUDAS PRIEST and current ICED EARTH/BEYOND FEAR singer Tim "Ripper" Owens. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
The Metal Exiles: Are you doing a majority of the new [BEYOND FEAR] album and PRIEST stuff [when performing with BEYOND FEAR]?
Ripper: We do a little PRIEST medley and some ICED EARTH stuff as well. On our headlining stint we will add more stuff from those periods. Not only are we playing the whole album, we are playing two great songs that are going to be bonus tracks sometime in the future. They were going to be on the record but someone at the label had the "brilliant" idea to make them bonus tracks.
The Metal Exiles: Are you happy with the response with the new record?
Ripper: Yes, I am, as it is the best reviewed record I have been a part of as a whole across the board. It is great, because of all of the people who said I am not a songwriter this proves them wrong.
The Metal Exiles: All along I felt that you should have had more involvement in PRIEST or ICED EARTH because I felt that you had talent and this disc is proof that you do. This is a really good album and the songs back up that notion.
Ripper: Do you know that is? Because this is a real true metal record.
The Metal Exiles: Why do you think that the scene in America is so devoid of it?
Ripper: It is better than it was when I joined JUDAS PRIEST. It is there, it is just not that noticeable. It depends on labels as well. This album will not sell that well in America.
The Metal Exiles: Why is that?
Ripper: Because I cannot find it. Let me give you an example, this album should have a label on it stating "former JUDAS PRIEST/current ICED EARTH singer Tim 'Ripper' Owens." There is nothing on there, it is not in record stores, there is no section for it at all. If you went into a store and you saw an end cap and saw METALLICA or such and you saw next to it the No Fear CD with the above mentioned on it you will buy it. In Europe they are all over it and it is everywhere. I am not saying that it is the label's fault but it is somebody's fault and that is a problem here in the U.S. McDonald's does not put a hamburger out without advertising it and neither should you put a new record out without advertising it. I know it is not going to sell a million albums but it will help someone find it. It is a great record, it is a perfect record for America as it is not a Euro metal record. It is not a total American metal record but it is a good record for the American metal scene as it is a modern old-school metal record.
The Metal Exiles: Have you suggested this to SPV [BEYOND FEAR's record label]?
Ripper: I would have thought that somebody would have thought about that. You would not put a Rob Halford album without that on the cover even if the record is called HALFORD. The front of it will say JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford.
The Metal Exiles: Even when they put the FIGHT album out they had that on there.
Ripper: Exactly, you have to do that. I know it is a band effort but you have to start somewhere. Even with DEMONS AND WIZARDS [featuring ICED EARTH guitarist Jon Schaffer] it says who is on it.
The Metal Exiles: The digipack even has a sticker on the CD itself stating the personal.
Ripper: That is the problem, sometimes people do not think and that is why sales do not go up. This album could have sold double what it has if they had done that.
Read the entire interview at www.metal-exiles.com.