Former Judas Priest singer Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens recalled the time when he was replaced by Rob Halford during a recent appearance on Iron City Rocks.
Back in 1996, Ripper replaced Halford and recorded two studio albums with the band, ‘Jugulator’ and ‘Demolition.’ In 2003, Judas Priest and Rob Halford announced the reunion as the band fired Ripper.
In the talk, Ripper pointed out that it was one of the worst times for metal music when he joined Judas Priest because grunge was taking over the industry. In Ripper’s words, it made everything worse for him and Priest.
Moreover, Ripper admitted that he knew Priest was going to replace him with Halford because they both needed each other to survive. However, he didn’t want to leave Judas Priest and that’s why the band fired him instead of making an agreement for his departure.
Additionally, the singer said in the conversation that they had lots of fun together during his time with Priest and stated that they are still friends and get along well, even with Halford.
Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens expressed his feelings about getting fired from Judas Priest:
“I knew it was coming. And I understood why. Rob needed Judas Priest, and Judas Priest needed Rob. And I understood that. I would never quit Judas Priest, so they fired me.
And I wanted to do other things as well. That’s why I recorded that Iced Earth record. I kind of started wanting to do some other things. ‘Cause, we have a lot of downtime. I just felt like it.
Judas Priest was just so much fun, and the guys were such great friends, and it was such a great time. I didn’t burn any bridges. I left and I don’t talk bad about ’em. Other than me saying that they’ve erased my time.”
“I mean, my era of Judas Priest. But on a personal level, the guys are friends, the management, Rob — everybody. We all get along. I knew it was gonna happen. And it was always something that was there.
The only bad thing about when I joined Judas Priest is it was possibly the worst era of heavy metal ever. It was at the end of grunge, during grunge kind of, that whole thing.
And ’96 were playing clubs — I don’t care who you were, what bands you were; you were playing smaller venues. So that made it even worse that here I am joining my band, which hasn’t been around for five years, joining Judas Priest in the worst part of heavy metal.”
You can listen to the podcast below.