Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens to Haters: “They Need to Open Their F*cking Ears, Because I Can Sing Just About Anything”
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Established heavy metal vocalist Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens has long been respected as a singer—currently for KK’s Priest—and as the guy who can fill in for just about anyone, from Iced Earth to Yngwie Malmsteen to Judas Priest. Ripper has never stuck around these projects for long, though, and it seems like the chip on the singer’s shoulder has only begun to nag him more as the years go on.
In a new interview with the Heavy Metal Mayhem radio show (transcribed by Blabbermouth), Ripper discussed the controversy generated by posting about politics on social media, despite the fact that he claims he is neither a Republican or a Democrat.
“I think the problem is I use a lot of humor [when I do interviews or post things on social media]. It’s funny, you say something 10 years ago or five years ago, and people still talk about it.
“Nobody knows me. They don’t really know me politically. They don’t know me personally. They don’t know what I do [or] who I am. They just know the Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens who does these interviews.
“What gets me in trouble is I kind of like to use a lot of humor, so I’m always saying something funny, and the next thing you know it’s taken out of context.”
He continued talking about his beliefs on politics and social media for the next part of the interview, segueing into the way that social media users often take advantage of the platforms to judge or bully others before revealing his insecurities about people who think he can’t sing very well.
“Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a guy that talks [publicly] about politics. I used to like posts or say a few things in the past, but I don’t talk [publicly] about politics, just because it doesn’t matter if you’re left or right or middle, whatever you say, the left, the right or the middle is gonna attack you. So it’s kind of a silly thing. But whatever you say, that’s just the way it is nowadays. People, they like to hate; they’re never positive. But with that being said, that’s five to 10 percent of the people. I mean, it depends on the headline on social media, because that might be more, but a lot of times, what happens is you happen to gravitate toward the negative stuff that people say about you more than the positive stuff, and I think that’s the bad thing.
“When people say to me, ‘I don’t like you. You suck. You can’t sing. You have a bad stage presence,’ this and that. But that’s not true. That’s not true. If you just said, ‘I don’t like it. I don’t like his singing,’ okay, I can live with that. That’s fine — I can live with that. You don’t like me. That’s fine. There’s a lot of singers I don’t like either. But I wouldn’t say that, though. The difference is I don’t go on somebody’s page and go, ‘Jesus, look at you.’ Or, ‘Man, that’s a terrible record.’ I don’t do that. I’m not that stupid. But when people say I can’t sing, they need to open their fucking ears, because I can sing just about anything.”
It’s a mildly-amusing idea that anyone would seriously consider Ripper’s ideas about politics when seeking serious analysis, but it’s just sad that the singer has this much insecurity about his voice today. The man fronted Judas Priest! His latest EP, Return to Death Row, is out now.