Tim "Ripper" Owens
Talks Three Tremors, KK's Priest
Tim “Ripper” Owens has been a busy man over the past year. He is the lead singer in the newly formed KK’s Priest, which recently released a new album last month. He is also a co-vocalist for the Three Tremors along with Sean Peck and Harry Conklin.
The Three Tremors just released their second album Guardians Of The Void and they are also about to go on tour. They will be making a stop at the Empire Concert Club in Akron on November 17.
We spoke with Tim right before he was set to hit the road and open up the tour.
Greg Drugan: Hey Tim! Congrats on your new Three Tremors album. How did this record come about?
Tim Ripper Owens: Well, it’s our second record. A buddy of mine, Sean Peck has a band called Cage. He had the idea. I was doing a lot of these shows with different singers. Doing tours with singers like Blaze Bailey from Iron Maiden and Geoff Tate from Queensryche. In South America it was Udo from Accept and a bunch of other guys. Sean had this idea to do this record, but let's do it with a band. Don’t play songs from our recorded history and our past, let’s write a new record. So that’ kinda how it started. We had a couple of singers in mind and Harry was at the top of the list. Let’s get these three singers and let’s go crazy with the high notes!
GD: For sure, and you’ve do that as well. This record is heavy and it's exactly what you would expect from the three of you. Do you have a favorite song on the album?
TRO: I’m not certain. Man, I get to do all kinds of records. I just released K.K.’s Priest record, I do this, that and the other. But this is definitely the heaviest in a traditional, power metal kind of way. I think “I Can’t Be Stopped” might be my favorite song. I usually sing high notes in songs, but I’m not a high singer most of the time. This thing is, oh my goodness. One guy that reviewed said, “It’s too crazy for me!” (laughs) I’m like, that’s what it’s supposed to be. This band and this record is over the top. Sean has made it… the artwork, the music, the singing is all over the top. It’s like a throwback to the eighties.
GD: I got that vibe from it as well. I like that you pay tribute to the soldiers who took out Bin Laden on “Operation Neptune Star.” How did that song come about? Did you write that?
TRO: I didn’t. It’s funny, because that’s the kind of song that I would. Sean writes everything on this, because it’s kinda his baby. Lyrically, he likes to write about, well he’s a comic book fan, he’s a sci-fi fan, he’s a history fan. Like myself, he’s a fan of the military. The songs on here are all over the place in all of those areas. I remember singing “Kryptonian Steel” and I was like, “What the heck is this? Is this some kind of Superman thing?” It’s funny because the song is awesome! I just remember saying, “Dude, I don’t think I can sing this.” The Bin Laden one, I absolutely loved it. I was like, this one is great.
GD: You mentioned the artwork. The album features the great artwork of Marc Sasso, was it his idea to use the Three Horsemen as the theme?
TRO: I’m not sure whose idea it was, probably Sean’s. Marc is such a friend of Sean’s and he’s such a great artist who works with all of these great bands. His artwork is so great for Sean to work with. Obviously we are looking to do things in three’s. We are going to do different releases of this record with different covers. There’s only going to be so many made with this cover and then there’s going to be other covers too.
GD: Very cool I know that you kept busy by playing some solo acoustic and a few electric shows over the past year and a half. I was fortunate to attend a few of those shows at The Sandtrap and The Outpost. I wanted to thank you for that because the fans really needed to hear live music and those shows were great.
TRO: Thank you! I did those acoustic shows for years and then I switched over, when I did that, Outpost show, was that the indoor or outdoor show?
GD: I went to the indoor show.
TRO: Now, I pretty much have my own band. Denny Archer plays drums and I’ve got some local guys. We’ve done some shows on the east coast and we did some shows in Indiana. It was nice to get out there and do those shows. Now it’s nice to get out there with the Three Tremors and hit these venues!
GD: Who else is in the band?
TRO: The Three Tremors band is a band called Cage. Now it’s the Three Tremors band. Dave Garcia, who is one of the guitar players, he writes and produces. Casey on guitar is a throwback from the eighties. My girlfriend, who is much younger than me said “he looks like he’s from the ‘70s and ‘80s!” And he does! Sean on drums, he’s also the drummer for KK’s Priest. It’s a great band and it’s fun to do this.
GD: So you are getting ready to head out on the road. Are you looking forward to going out on a proper tour?
TRO: I am. Really, the most I did was probably three or four in a row. It’s a little nerve racking. We start out on the east coast and we only have a couple of days off. It’s a really brutal trip. It’s going to be nice to play Akron. I don’t usually play Akron. The Empire show wasn’t in there originally. I usually skip Akron and Cleveland. I say to myself that I don’t want to even deal with anybody, let’s skip it. They called and said it would be really helpful if you could play at The Empire. So I said, let’s book Akron and I’m real excited to play in Akron.
GD: You should be, it’s your hometown! After you finish this tour with the Three Tremors, do you have any plans to tour with KK’s Priest?
TRO: We’re definitely going to tour. We end this tour on the twenty-fourth.Then I leave on the twenty-eight for Spain to shoot a video for a band I did a song for. Then I’m going to take the rest of December off. Then in January, I’m going to be doing the Three Tremors again and hit the west coast or Texas. February, I might hang out with KK and do some songwriting for the next record and do some rehearsals and some game planning. In March, I’m in Russia doing some touring there. KK’s Priest is a different animal. It’s bigger stages, bigger venues. He’s not going to play smaller places. I think he’s looking forward to it. We may even record a record in the meantime and have it ready to go. Maybe April on I would look for KK’s Priest. I’m looking forward to it, it’s in the works.
GD: I know a lot of fans are looking forward to that. That is a great record as well, you knocked that one out of the park.
TRO: Yeah, that one has been really well received. It’s out there now and some of the video’s have had over a million views.
GD: I know you are playing Akron here on November 17, but if you do a tour with KK’s Priest you have to make sure you come back to your hometown or at least the Cleveland area because we’d love to see you too.
TRO: I hope so! That definitely would be in the game plan.
GD: It sounds like you have a lot of things planned for the next few months. Do you have any thing else planned for next year?
TRO: Most of the time, before the pandemic hit, I would do a lot of solo touring. That’s pretty much how I made my living. Then the Three Tremors hit. I would probably look for me to do something that I never did, which would be a full on, official summer tour. I would probably look for me to be doing that.
I also have some records coming out. I have a record with a band called Pyramid. It’s like a progressive metal record. I have a record out there on social media called the Leviathan Project, which is a kick ass record. I also have this awesome record with a band called Engineered Society Project. That one is a Dio-esque. All of that is out there, but I stay busy! The main thing to be ready for out there touring is KK’s Priest and The Three Tremors.
GD: Ripper, I wish you the best on your new album and safe travels on the road. I hope I get to see you when you play The Empire on the 17th.
TRO: Alright Greg. Thanks, buddy!
Make sure you check out the Three Tremors new album, Guardians of the Void.
You can see "Ripper" and the rest of the Three Tremors at The Empire Concert Club on November 17th.