Tim "Ripper" Owens says that he has performed in more places since he left JUDAS PRIEST than he did while he was a member of the legendary heavy metal outfit.
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 after being discovered when the band's drummer was given a videotape of him performing with the PRIEST cover band BRITISH STEEL. JUDAS PRIEST at the time was seeking a replacement for Rob Halford, who has since rejoined the band.
Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before Halford's return to the group.
Speaking to Trevor Joe Lennon about how he managed to move on from being in PRIEST, Owens said (hear audio below): "Leaving JUDAS PRIEST — you hate to leave the name JUDAS PRIEST. I think that was the one thing. It's, like, 'Oh, you're out of JUDAS PRIEST.' People still say to me, 'Man, you're out of JUDAS PRIEST. What have you done since you were [in the band]?' I've toured more places — even within this past year — I've toured more places than I ever did with JUDAS PRIEST. And it's kind of nice.
"Nowadays, people expect you to hand them something that you've done," he explained. "Years ago, in the '90s and '80s, you would get a paper, a magazine, you'd go to the local store, you might go to the person's web site. Nowadays, people just [go] on social media and [expect] to be handed, here's what you do.
"You know what I tell people? [When they ask me] 'What are you doing [now]?' I say, 'Google me.' It's not hard. [People will] send me messages on my Facebook, and they send me personal messages, saying, 'So, what are you up to?' I'm, like, you're sending me a message on my Facebook Messenger, where everything is on my Facebook, what I'm doing. I don't know what else to tell you. Everything is on my Facebook, and yet you're sending me a message on my Facebook asking me what I'm doing. It's, like, man, the days of us going to the local record store and picking up the magazine and seeing what was going on, the local magazine, [are long gone].
"People still say, 'After JUDAS PRIEST, where did you go?' I'm, like, 'Man, I've done…' Last year, I put out three records — THE THREE TREMORS, A NEW REVENGE and SPIRITS OF FIRE… So, it's, like, listen, I'm pretty busy."
Tim told The Metal Voice in 2016 that he "wouldn't have quit JUDAS PRIEST." But he clarified: "I wanted to leave JUDAS PRIEST, 'cause I had already recorded the ICED EARTH record ['The Glorious Burden']. So I wanted out of JUDAS PRIEST, 'cause I wanted to do other stuff, but I never would have quit. 'Cause I was great friends with them, and I was the singer of JUDAS PRIEST. But to make more money and to do more things, I had to branch out and do other things."