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ICED EARTH Frontman Discusses New EP, Upcoming Tour

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  • Robert/Rocknrollcola
    Marko Syrjälä and Arto Lehtinen of Metal-Rules.com recently conducted an interview with heavy metal vocalist Tim Ripper Owens (ICED EARTH, BEYOND FEAR,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2007
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      Marko Syrjälä and Arto Lehtinen of Metal-Rules.com
      recently conducted an interview with heavy metal
      vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (ICED EARTH, BEYOND FEAR,
      ex-JUDAS PRIEST). A few excerpts from the chat follow:

      Metal-Rules.com: You [ICED EARTH] just released your
      new EP, "Overture of the Wicked". With the exception
      of brand new track, what was the reason you decided to
      re-record a couple of old songs for it?

      Tim: Because it's what the story is about, the next
      two records are about. So Jon [Schaffer, guitar]
      wanted to just re-release that, put that out there so
      that people kind of start getting familiar with it
      again. I mean, he wouldn't have done anything else, it
      just fit what we were doing and since the album was
      coming out, he thought while we're here let's do the
      "Something Wicked" trilogy, re-record it. Start the
      story off again; familiarize people before a couple of

      Metal-Rules.com: When will the actual tour start?

      Tim: We're probably looking at starting in October or
      something, I would probably think. Because we do have
      the HEAVEN AND HELL tour we're doing in the U.K. with
      HEAVEN AND HELL, so we'll probably go out before that
      and do a headlining tour. Once you get close to the
      album coming out, we'll probably start then and work
      it hard. We're going to try, I mean, hopefully his
      back will be good. Obviously this time we're going to
      start in Europe and not start in America…

      Metal-Rules.com: Well, after finishing your European
      tour, you're probably going back to the States, do
      some tours there. What kind of following do you have
      in the States, because as far as I know that classic
      albums/classic metal is not that big thing there at
      the moment?

      Tim: Well, we did rather well. We sold out places,
      House of Blues and theaters that we would play here as
      well here. We did well, and we had a good package on
      it, we had CHILDREN OF BODOM and EVERGREY, so it was a
      nice package. So really, it's obviously not the same
      over there. One thing they don't have is the
      festivals, which are the thing. I mean I guess they do
      have big festivals that tour; they have Ozzfest that
      tour and it will probably have 10 to 15 thousand
      people every night.

      Metal-Rules.com: Some old-school fans of ICED EARTH
      still keep on asking why Matt isn't in the band, is
      Tim as good as him and blah blah blaa?

      Tim: Well, you'll always get it. I mean there are
      still fans that liked the singer before Matt. I
      actually still hear that. That's how it is, Matt was a
      good singer, and a good guy and people should do that.
      I think people should always want Matt, but they have
      to still look to the future, and open their ears up
      and listen, come to the concert and listen. But you're
      always going to get it…

      Metal-Rules.com: Did you manage to put your own input
      to the songwriting process of the new songs, because
      the last time, you basically came in and did the
      vocals for the previous album?!

      Tim: It was hard with this one as well, because this
      is Jon's story, it's in his head, so it's hard to come
      in, you know and…The advantage to this record is that
      there wasn't somebody singing on it before me, so it
      was wider open for Jon's ideas, to write material that
      he knew could even branch out something a little bit
      different. But it's a story, that's the great thing
      about it; I said that the whole time. It's a pretty
      complicated story, so it's hard to write melodies for
      something you don't write by yourself...It's
      complicated for Jon to talk about, so you can imagine…

      Metal-Rules.com: So, on the last album, you had "The
      Red Baron", you had some writing credits, so you'll
      have some on this one too?

      Tim: I don't know, I haven't seen the credits yet! But
      the difference was that I was asked to write a song
      about something, or he had the song and I could write
      it about into "The Red Baron", whereas this one I
      couldn't write about something I didn't know about. I
      did give him a couple of melody ideas and we used one
      on one song. I think in the future as we write
      together, he can do that more often and we realize how
      we can do it. Even if he writes some lyrics, he can
      go, "Hey why don't you see if you can put this to

      Metal-Rules.com: Speaking of lyrics, the last time you
      had lyrics about different fighting and war things and
      now it's more about fantasy things. Which kind of
      lyrics do you prefer more to sing about, like war,
      fantasy or realistic ones?

      Tim: I'll sing about anything! I enjoyed singing,
      "Gettysburg" was just awesome to sing, because it's
      such an amazing piece, the three songs were quite
      amazing and to be able to do that live, was pretty
      spectacular, it's not something you pull off. I'm not
      a sci-fi guy, and that's pretty much something with a
      sci-fi type of thing. But it has such a human element
      to it, it's not robots coming down. It's almost like a
      human…you know what I mean? Let's say, its
      non-fiction, put it that way. But I actually like
      singing just about normal stuff myself, something that
      you can feel, understand and know what's going on.

      Metal-Rules.com: So it feels kind of corny to be
      singing about wizards and demons and dragons and

      Tim: Well I did it on the BEYOND FEAR record, I sang
      about it, "Scream Machine", and it was written that
      way to kind of be a little tongue in cheek, kind of a
      JUDAS PRIEST song. It was the last song I wrote for
      the record and I wrote it to be a nod, to kind of say
      to PRIEST that I could've written on the records if
      you asked me to. So I wrote "Scream Machine", which is
      a very JUDAS PRIEST-like song, and lo and behold, it
      became the most popular song on the record. So, kind
      of funny that I'm singing about a metal monster coming
      to get you [Laughs], but that's the great thing about
      heavy metal, you can write a song about anything from
      politics to metal monsters, to demons and wizards, to
      history. And it's also fun that way, and I would never
      limit myself to write about one thing.

      Metal-Rules.com: We would like to ask little more
      about BEYOND FEAR, what is the state of that band now?

      Tim: Luckily we all live locally, so we get together
      and practice and stuff. John Comprix and I already
      threw round some ideas, so we probably have about four
      songs already. My goal is to whenever ICED EARTH tour
      is done is to go right back into BEYOND FEAR and just
      have the album pretty much done. Going home, working
      on some songs, maybe we'll even record stuff while I'm
      on a break from ICED EARTH. I'm looking forward to it.
      It's probably going to a be a little bit more "Scream
      Machine" and "Words of Wisdom" and stuff and stuff
      like that.

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