Former JUDAS PRIEST and ICED EARTH singer Tim “Ripper” Owens spoke to the “Rock Down South” podcast about the worst show he has ever played in his career. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “The ICED EARTH show that I did at the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. It was the last show of the tour — probably ‘The Glorious Burden’ tour, maybe, I think. And I lost my voice. When I got there, I had no voice at all. It was just horrible. I’ll never forget it. And then I had a JUDAS PRIEST show like that too. We did an American run when I made the band for the ‘Jugulator’ tour. And then we went to Europe. And the second show, I think it was, I’d lost my voice. And at that time, I’d never really lost my voice on something like that. And I was so embarrassed and upset. I thought, ‘These guys are gonna yell at me.’ We were on stage and I remember [telling] Glenn [Tipton, PRIEST guitarist], ‘I don’t think I can do ‘Victim Of Changes’.’ I’d never taken a song out of our setlist in my life. I could sing ‘Breaking The Law’ or ‘Grinder’ — there’s plenty of songs I can do without… The problem is ‘Victim Of Changes’ has that high note at the end, and if nothing comes out of my mouth, it’s gonna be pretty embarrassing. But that was really bad. So those two shows still stick out… Not that I’ve not had crappy shows since then — shows that I’ve probably lost my voice — but that show, I really think about that all the time.”
In a 2015 interview with CantonRep.com, Owens said that he discovered he could sing in such a high register when he was still in high school. “I just started singing along to those PRIEST records,” he said. “It kind of came natural for me to sing that way. The good thing now is I can sing all kinds of styles. Sometimes I look at it now and wish I didn’t sing those high notes. [Laughs] But if I had done that or done a different style, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
Asked if it was hard to keep his voice in shape singing the way he does, Owens said: “It’s easier when I’m touring, strangely enough. When you’re on tour, you live that. I sleep a lot. I drink a lot of water. I really live to sing. That’s my job, so I better do it good. When I’m home, it’s a lot harder to sing for the occassional show. It’s harder to maintain.”
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 and recorded two studio albums with the band — 1997’s “Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition” — before PRIEST reunited with Rob Halford in 2003.
Owens is currently in a new band called KK’S PRIEST with ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, along 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”, was released on October 1 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records