Rip Rip Woodchip, Turn It Into Metal
The Ripper is coming and if you’re a Canberran and consider yourself a metalhead it’s your duty to greet the man when he (quite literally) screams into the nation’s Capital later this month. For one thing, he virtually saved metal gods Judas Priest from the dumpster when Priest’s iconic frontman Rob Halford upped and left the band in a fit of midlife crisis-fuelled pique in the early nineties. For this alone he deserves our undying gratitude. But perhaps more importantly the man has an utterly devastating voice and it’s a rare treat to be able to view such a talent in such an, erm, intimate venue as Belco’s Basement.
So, ahead of this momentous metallic memory in the making we decided to catch up with TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS to find out what’s been going on in his world of late.
Hello Ripper. Can I call you Ripper? You’re coming to Australia advertised as the voice of many of heavy metal’s most loved acts and we assume you’ll be offering selections from all of those artistes when you come down under. Which of the bands you’ve been in was the most challenging for you as a vocalist? And which songs do you find most enjoyable to sing live and why? “Hello there! I gotta say my own stuff is the most challenging. The Beyond Fear songs and solo songs are really tough to sing. Next I would say Charred Walls of the Damned… But whatever bands or songs I have sung I always try and do them to the top of my ability.”
With that in mind, what sort of set will you be playing on this tour? ”It’s a great set. Some songs I’ll be doing that I haven't sung in years. I’ll be doing some Priest songs from my era with the band and some classics, some Beyond Fear, solo stuff, Dio/Sabbath stuff and much, much more! This will be the best set I have done on a solo tour… I’ve got a great backing band with me and they’re primed and ready to make you feel the power!”
I’m feeling it already. As a somewhat limited vocalist myself, and knowing there’ll be a few budding young Rippers in the audience at The Basement on the night keen to find out what it takes to truly be one of the greats, what sort of advice can you give to us lesser singers? “Sleep, drink water and try your best all the time… The goal is blow people away at all times.”
Are you listening, young’ns? Wise words direct from one of the masters. I could talk for ages to this man but the bottom of the page is fast approaching. Any final thoughts on the tour, Tim? “BE READY! Spread the word, this is gonna be a great tour. I have not been to Australia since the tour with Priest in like 2001. So bring it on!”
Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens will flood The Basement with blood Friday May 25, 8pm. Tickets are $35 + bf through Moshtix or $100 + bf for a VIP pass including meet and greet.