Powerhouse American singer Tim “Ripper” Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) was interviewed on a recent installment of HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta’s official podcast, “The Jasta Show”. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his departure from Yngwie Malmsteen’s band:
“The funny this is, I quit Yngwie, and I never even announced it. I never announced that I quit, which was kind of funny. I get fired from so many bands, you’d think I’d finally be excited to tell someone I quit. But I just told [my manager] Wendy [Dio] to get hold of him and say I quit. And [the reason] I quit was he kept asking me to do shows, and I was already booked to do a solo show. So I thought he should get a singer that’s young. He doesn’t have to pay him anything… ‘Cause they didn’t advertise my name anyway, so I never understood it.”
On whether he would ever work with Yngwie again:
“I would… I’d maybe do a record with him again, and maybe a quick tour, but I just couldn’t fit it in. And the one cool thing about me doing it was it was totally different for me. It was really different… even the tunes. My records I did [with Yngwie] was a little bit more straightforward and I sang… It was decent, and it was cool. But it was different, and that’s why I did it. First of all, it was Yngwie, and when I was young, he changed the face of guitar playing, and it was kind of cool…. I did it. I thought, ‘I’m gonna have people see me sing that’s never seen me,’ and that was why I did.”
On how he was treated by Yngwie:
“I’d seen things that I’d never seen before… hair dryers, some mascara… the normal stuff. But I’ll tell you, he treated me really good, to be honest. Every time I got off stage, if I didn’t have a good night, he’d be, like, ‘Man, you fucking were great.’ And he told jokes all the time. I’m not saying he treats everybody great. But I actually enjoyed my time being around him. Listen, he is bigger than life, man. His demeanor and his jokes were even just told like it’s on stage, you know. And he loves to play the guitar. He sits with a guitar, playing blues, jazz… whatever it is. He is playing the guitar non-stop. And I learned from that. And he looks the part all the time as well, whereas me, I’m wearing a baseball hat and I just go out looking normal.
“There’s a lot of things that I just really thought was cool, and one thing was that I don’t always see is somebody who loves playing; he loves it, man. So when people try to get dirt from me about Yngwie: ‘How was he? I heard he’s an asshole.’ I’m, like, ‘Listen, man. He was great to me. I had a good time.’ I just didn’t have the time to do it. I thought he could get some young kid that could blow me away, pay the kid five hundred bucks a week on a tour and be happy with it and make the show better.”
On being a hired gun as opposed to touring with his own band:
“I’ve gotta be honest. It was kind of comforting [to be singing in Yngwie’s band]. I didn’t have to do all the interviews at all the shows. Well, I didn’t have to do any interviews, ever — not even one. But it was actually kind of nice, instead of being the guy that does all the interviews. And it started off where I sang about seven songs a night. Then, as I was in the band, he got excited and he started… I think I [was doing] about fourteen [songs] by the time [I finished touring with Yngwie]. Because it would be a song, and then you had the long solo section in the song, and then it would be the solo song next, and then it would be a solo section and then… But, you know, some of that stuff… Having to end the night with ‘I’ll See The Light…’ ‘Cause you’d go off stage for about fifteen minutes. It was tough, because you would keep shutting your voice off and then going back out.”
Owens recorded two albums with Malmsteen: 2008’s “Perpetual Flame” and 2010’s “Relentless”.