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DeadSet Records 12/05

Talking METAL GODS With Tim RIPPER OWENS

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It doesn’t get much bigger in metal than Judas Priest and DIO.

Judas Priest will go down in history as one of the most influential heavy metal groups EVER. Their music has shaped generations of music and become synonymous with the term heavy metal the world over.

Although Rob Halford will always be seen as the prominent Judas Priest vocalist, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens also filled the coveted frontman role after Halford’s departure in 1992. Owens featured on just two albums, Jugulator in 1997 and Demolition in 2001. Despite his brief tenure, Owens is respected for his contribution to Judas Priest’s history and in 2020 was announced as frontman for KK’s Priest, which also features former Judas Priest members KK Downing and Les Binks.

This October, Owens will be playing a run of Australian shows with former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, who left the band in 1989 to join Ronnie James Dio’s Band.

The two will be joined by a backing band consisting of bass player James Morley (formerly The Angels) and Joel McDonald, known for his work with Rose Tattoo, various members of Kiss, and the World Famous Frankies House Band. The band will perform all the hits from Dio’s catalogue plus Black Sabbath and Rainbow, as well as solo classics such as Holy Diver and Rainbow in the Dark, as well as a collection of all your favourite Judas Priest tracks.

Owens joined HEAVY earlier this week to discuss the Metal Gods tour.

“I love singing Dio as well,” he immediately offered. “Simon and I have been bandmates for a long time doing different stuff, so it’s kind of fun to get there with James and the guys. Obviously, I’m always known for singing Judas Priest stuff myself, but it’s great to do a night of Priest and Dio. It’s a hell of a setlist.”

In another boost for Australian fans, this tour will be the very first shows Owens and Wright will be playing together as Metal Gods.

“This exact show will be the first time we’ve done this,” Owens affirmed. “I was there a few years back, James brought Simon and myself there to do an AC/DC orchestra thing, a special show. And then we did a one-off show while I was there. I played Priest songs, Dio, and probably some AC/DC on those shows, and I think James got the idea to do this right away. He said, oh man, we’ve gotta bring you back and do this and then COVID hit, and I did the KK’s Priest thing and all this stuff was going on, but we were finally able to squeeze it in.”

The concept is that fresh Owens was still unsure at the time we spoke to him how the sets would be structured to allow for two vocalists covering a number of bands.

“I don’t know yet,” he laughed. “I would imagine we are going to mix them up. I think it would be fun to do a couple of Priest songs, a couple of Dio songs, a couple of Priest songs. I think that’s the best way to do it. I don’t think it’s… I think it makes for a more entertaining night rather than to just play 10 Priest songs and then 10 Dio songs. But I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re gonna do 10 and take a break. I think it’s gonna be… we still have to talk about it. I mean, we have our setlist down, and we know what we’re doing. We’ve got plenty of time to work out what we’re gonna do, but I imagine we will probably put a setlist together in order and see what we’re gonna do.”

In the full interview, Ripper runs through what to expect from Metal Gods in more detail, talks about his relationship with Simon Wright, what to expect from the shows, his time with Judas Priest, how much easier it was transitioning to Judas Priest after being in a tribute band, his other projects, surviving metal and more.

Metal Gods Tour dates:

Friday October 14, 2022: Mansfield Tavern – BRISBANE, QLD
Saturday October 15, 2022: Bridgeway Live – ADELAIDE, SA
Sunday October 16, 2022: The Corner Hotel – MELBOURNE, VIC
Friday October 21, 2022: Manning Bar – SYDNEY, NSW
Saturday October 22, 2022: Badlands – PERTH, WA
Tickets on sale Monday, April 11, 2022 – 9am local time from www.oztix.com.au.

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