Each week, CMN’s Kevin Ashley delves into the vast expanse of metal and electronic music, bringing recommendations, reviews, and news. Do not expect to find safe, chart-topping music here. Welcome to Headbanging on the Dance Floor.
This week, I interviewed a well-known musician in the metal world, Tim “The Ripper” Owens. Tim is one of three vocalists in the heavy metal trio the Three Tremors, alongside Sean Peck (Cage) and Harry Conklin (Jag Panzer). Best known for his stint as a vocalist in Judas Priest, Tim has also been featured in Iced Earth and the Dio Disciples, along with several projects of his own. In Priest, Tim sung on the two albums, Jugulator and Demolition, while frontman Rob Halford was no longer in the band.
The Three Tremor’s self-titled debut album, The Three Tremors, released February 22nd, and features artwork by Marc Sasso, who previously worked with Dio, Halford, Cage, and Adrenaline Mob. It consists of 12 tracks, described as “a throw-back to the glory days of heavy metal. It will make you feel like you are in high school again” and “this is one for the true metal fans. I think this will exceed even their highest expectations. Great stuff!” by members Conklin and Owens.
The interview touches on the albums creation, the promoting tour, Tim’s past in Judas Priest, and his off-time.
Me: Hi, Tim! How’s it going with you?
Tim: All good, just super busy.
Me: I hear that the Three Tremor’s debut album has been released, what’s the early reception so far?
Tim: It’s really good, unless you don’t like old school, in your face, over the top metal. Hahaha. Or, you just don’t like me and hate everything I do.
Me: What led to the creation of the Three Tremors?
Tim: Sean Peck gave me a call with the idea to do the CD. That’s what won me over, doing a CD.
Me: Why did you pick Harry Conklin and Sean Peck as your co-frontmen?
Tim: Well, really, Sean picked us. This is his brain child.
Me: I can imagine having three main singers might be challenging, song writing wise. How did you decide who sings what?
Tim: Well, when we made the CD, we all sang the whole thing. Sean sent me the songs with his vocals, I used that to sing to and did my own thing with a ton of harmonies and different vocal styles than Sean. So we all have our own version.
Me: I sadly missed your first stop in Seattle due to the horrible weather. How was your first show in the USA?
Tim: It was good, we had fun.
Me: How is the US tour going in comparison to the European tour?
Tim: It’s going the same, from this point on it should get even better because the crowd will know the songs, being that the CD finally came out.
Me: What do you think of Judas Priest’s newest release, Firepower?
Tim: I think it’s a real good CD. I like it.
Me: After Rob left Judas Priest, how did they choose you as the vocalist?
Tim: They found a video of me singing and called me up, it was really crazy to all of a sudden to get a call out of the blue from JP. Next thing I know, I was in England auditioning.
Me: At that time, what was the idea behind Jugulator? It sounds very different than previous Priest material.
Tim: Well, every Judas Priest CD sounds different, I mean Turbo sounds nothing like Painkiller. I think Jugulator was just a natural progression of Painkiller.
Me: What does Rob Halford think of the period when you were singer?
Tim: I don’t know, I think you would need to ask him! Hahaha. But I’m sure he is ok with it, we are friends.
Me: As an off note, what are some of your favorite bands/artists?
Tim: Ronnie James Dio, Soundgarden, David Bowie, Savatage.
Me: What do you do in your off time when you aren’t making music?
Tim: Well, I seem to be making music all the time, and I spend all my off time with my family.
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