Tim “Ripper” Owens on Jon Schaffer: “He’ll Pay the Price Forever” for Role in Capitol Riot
Former Iced Earth frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens (also ex-Judas Priest and currently KK’s Priest) admonished his former bandmate Jon Schaffer earlier this summer for the latter’s role in the January 6 Capitol riot, displaying surprising good sense for a Trump supporter and casual racist. And now, wouldn’t ya know it, he’s done it again! But it’s qualified by some gross “very fine people on both sides”-type BS that doesn’t require a doctorate to see right through.
Speaking to MisplacedStraws.com, Owens was asked if he’d been in touch with Schaffer prior to his arrest. He responded that he hadn’t, and continued that Jon “messed up and he’ll pay the price.” But then he likened the Capitol riot to recent civil unrest in Portland, OR, which conservatives have been painting as violent, unjust riots despite the obvious differences between people of color demanding justice after centuries of repression and a bunch of white idiots with bear spray and head-dresses storming government property on false claims of election fraud.
“I didn’t have contact [with him] before [he was arrested]. It’s funny, everybody comes out of the woodwork and said, ‘Tim’s just like Jon,’ and blah blah blah. It’s, like, listen, he kicked me out of the band five days before Christmas. I don’t hate the guy, but it’s not like we talked [in the years that followed]. Jon messed up and he’ll pay the price.
“Everybody knows my belief on riots that are still going on in Portland and all over America all the time that everybody still seems to think are fine. Any time you break the law and you riot or have an un-peaceful protest, it’s wrong. I don’t care who you are and what you are, it’s wrong.
“It’s funny how we still talk about January 6th all the time, but we don’t talk about everything that’s still going on in America non-stop. Portland’s a fucking train wreck; they took over city blocks and we act like it’s fine. It’s all wrong. And Jon was wrong, like everybody else is. He’s just as wrong as the people burning down mom-and-pop stores in Baltimore. They all put ’em in the same category. If you’re breaking the law, you’re breaking the law. That’s what I look at. When anybody sticks up for any side, I think they’re breaking the law.
“Listen, Jon could have stood outside and protested all he wanted. That’s fine. Stand outside and protest all you want. Once you guys go inside and once you do things, you broke the law. And that’s just the way it is. And Jon did something wrong, and he’ll pay the price forever for it. But still, you know what? People are still buying his records, so he’ll still get to have his big house and his cars. It’s gonna be a little different.”
If there’s one thing Ripper and I agree on, it’s that second-to-last sentence: I don’t have access to Iced Earth album sales numbers, but their Spotify streams seem to be doing just fine. And I’m willing to bet that once the smoke clears — legal and otherwise — he’ll be able to pull an audience live. Wait long enough, the old saying goes, and all is forgotten, for better or worse.
Schaffer reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in April and walked out of jail after three months in detention. The deal will see him cooperate with authorities by sharing information with them about other conspirators in exchange for a lessened sentence, which has yet to be handed down.
You can watch the chat below if you’re so inclined. Ripper is currently promoting the admittedly pretty good new album from KK’s Priest, the band formed by ex-Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing.