Who needs one band when you can sing for everybody? Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens is arguably the busiest vocalist in metal. From touring with Dio Disciples, Hail! and Beyond Fear, to recording albums with Yngwie Malmsteen and Charred Walls of the Damned, to doing guest spots on a dozen new records a year as well as tribute albums–Owens is everywhere.
Ripper does it all for the love of the music, and his love of the fans who support the music. That’s why when Wendy Dio asked Tim to lend his voice to Dio Disciples, he could not say “yes” quick enough. Owens calls the band a “celebration” of Ronnie and his music. The band does not care for the term “tribute”. The disciples include many of Dio‘s regular bandmates including longtime guitarist Craig Goldy, former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, former Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rudy Sarzo, and longtime keyboardist, Scott Warren. Little Angels vocalist Tony Jepsen has also been lending his considerable talent, and lately former White Lion, Megadeth basist James LoMenzo has been filling in for Sarzo. Other vocalists have also stepped in, including Doro Pesch. The project is like watching the children of Dio, his extended family, celebrating the man, the voice, the legend that he is.
I caught up with Owens as he was running around prepping for the U.S. tour which is whipping through the Mid-South this week, (to amazing reviews, I might add). He shared his thoughts on Dio Disciples, talked about the second Charred Walls of the Damned album, Cold Winds on Timeless Days (which comes out October 11th on Metal Blade), and after considerable thought picked the song he would have put on Judas Priest‘s soon to be released album, The Chosen Few. Lastly, he was polite enough to share his passing thoughts on KK Downing’s departure from the Metal Gods.