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Tim Ripper Owens – Singer for Beyond Fear and Iced Earth, once with Judas Priest joined by Beyond Fear guitarist John Comprix.

Date: 3/17/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



1. Do you think the critics and fans are giving Beyond Fear a fair listen, or do you think they just see it as a side project while Iced Earth is not active?

TIM: They never give it a fair listen, I don't think they ever do. I think most judge it before they actually listen to it especially with people on the internet. I don't see how people can't give it a fair shot, I mean I have been saying that this is a band and not a side project. I didn't try to sound like anything its just Heavy Metal. Its your basic in your face Metal with a Sabbath/Priest/Pantera influence. My guitarist John and I wrote the music. You can tell the music I wrote had a more basic approach and John's influence is more aggressive. Europeans felt the music had a very Priest and Iced Earth feel to it.

JOHN: I like to listen to bands like old Testament, Metal Church, Exodus and I play in a hardcore band as well so that's where that influence comes from in Beyond Fear. My picking style is very aggressive and modern at times.

2. Were any of these songs submitted to Jon Schaffer for Iced Earth?

TIM: No they weren't. I would never submit music to John, he would pass out, Hahaha , I will write lyrics and melody parts with John for Iced Earth. That's the great thing about Iced Earth is there is a variety to their music. If I'm going to write stuff its not really for Iced Earth because that's Schaffer's thing.

3. So you have said Beyond Fear is a band. Are you approaching this as a full time gig?

TIM: Yeah we are. John and I began writing a while ago for this record. We weren't sure when we started working together and writing if this was going to be a Ripper Owens solo album or something else. But then when I thought about it I said this had to be a band. I think the way we are working this album people can see this is not just a side thing. We want to make this as big as we can. I mean when its time for Iced Earth to get going again then it will be full on Iced Earth.

4. I hear both elements of Iced Earth and more so “Jugulator” Judas Priest in Beyond Fear. What do you guys hear?

TIM: I hear both I think. I basically hear a lot of classic Heavy Metal in it, “British Steel” I think that's what I was going for. The good thing was bringing in John and working with his aggressive guitar style that's what I was really going for. The Pantera, Testament, Hatebreed….I wanted that style that John has. He's into a lot of hardcore.

JOHN: Well I hear both as well even though I didn't listen Iced Earth much before. I have a band called 13 Faces which is kind of a Metalcore you can say and another called Law of Destruction that more old school thrash in style so that's the kind of sound I have brought to Beyond Fear . Tim and I met when one of my bands opened for Priest and we collaborated from there.

5. What, if anything, have you taken from Judas Priest and/or Iced Earth and brought into Beyond Fear?

TIM: The only intentional would have been was when I thought of Judas Priest I wanted to capture what they did with “British Steel”, and that's what I wanted them to do when I was in the band . I wanted to bring that into 2006 beefed up and a little heavier for Beyond Fear. This is how I sing on this record and I didn't have to worry about anybody else telling me how to sing the songs.

6. Who came up with the artwork for Beyond Fear?

TIM: It was just part of a list of names we had written down and thought it was very fitting for a metal band. The artist named Jeremy Morgan from Atlanta had submitted a lot of artwork, one was the devil walking down a path holding a child's hand but we didn't use that. We thought it was very cool and maybe can use it in the future but it just didn't fit at this time. I like simple artwork like Black Label Society's logo, with the basic skull and the biker feel. Motorhead also are very basic with their artwork too. I wanted to see Beyond Fear the same way, simple and recognizable. I'm not too artsy with covers.

+ interviewer interrupts adding that's what Children of Bodom have done with their covers with the reaper on each with a different color for each album.

TIM: See, fuck, Hahaha. They had our idea all along, those drunk guys, Hahaha.

7. Any progress with the new Iced Earth?

TIM: Yeah John has been working on it. Its taking some time because its continuing the story of “Something Wicked this Way Comes”. We will get together when he has some more concrete ideas. I won't be involved with the creative aspect at all. This is John's story, its way too deep for me and pretty cool. The story is very involved, I cant help out, sorry.

8. Do you know who will be playing on the next Iced Earth cd?

TIM: I think Bobby Jarzombek will be playing drums and that's all I really know right now. He's concerned with getting the majority of the album written as of right now because he has a lot to do for it.

9. What are Beyond Fear's plans for 2006?

TIM: We hope to play some of the European festivals over the summer and we start the Anthrax tour soon. Tour as much as possible. Iced Earth will not be doing any touring or shows until next year.

10. Any promo videos for the albums?

TIM: we are shooting a video while we are tour with Anthrax but we cant decide which song because we don't want to edit the songs. “Scream Machine” would be perfect but we would have to edit some of that down because of time. “Words of Wisdom” was a consideration. That happened with Priest when we shot “Burn in Hell” which we had to cut because of length. I don't like doing that.

11. Any dates in the States?

TIM: I wouldn't be surprised if we don't tour here because I don't think we will get the support honestly. We did play here last year for the BWBK Six Pack festival and that was our first time playing live. We did three covers songs “Metal Thrashing Mad” by Anthrax and “War Pigs”/ Neon Nights” from Sabbath which came out great. We were actually thinking of becoming a professional cover band, Hahaha. We were going to include a cover of “Metal Thrashing” on the album and Scott from Anthrax was going to play guitar but when we were recording the album we had enough good originals so we didn't do it. There are different kinds of songs on the album so that's why we didn't find a need for a cover song right now.

12. Last question….Do you feel you time and work with Judas priest was given the respect it deserved or do you feel people just saw it as something to hold them over until Rob Halford returned?

TIM: I see both sides, maybe it wont get the recognition it deserves. Like when Ozzy left Sabbath the albums Dio recorded with them may get the respect from the real Heavy Metal fans but not the masses. I came into Priest at a much later period in the band so it may be different. Every day people tell me that was their favorite Priest so when you hear that it makes it worth it. That was a great time in my life and I was happy to me there. I love the records I did with them and I am still friends with the guys.

Official website: www.timripperowens.com

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