Tim Ripper Owens Talks The Three Tremors, Dio Disciples & Judas Priest

By Andrew Catania

Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom!” is how the Three Tremors is being described. And when you find out the stellar line-up, there is no denying the mighty vocal power that the newly formed outfit possesses – Tim “Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, DIO DISCIPLES), Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (JAG PANZER, SATAN’S HOST, TITAN FORCE), and Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck (CAGE, DENNER/SHERMANN, DEATH DEALER).

The Three Tremors nourish in heavy metal anthems and feature the illustrious chops of guitarist Dave Conan Garcia, whose tenacity fuels the fire, allowing the music to naturally flow in a complimentary tone. Second guitarist Casey Trask picks up the pace and pushes the boundaries alongside bassist Alex Pickard, who highlights a melodic sensibility giving character to the overall tonality. On drums, the thrashing machine Sean Elg adds in his perfectly placed fills and signature double bass patterns.

The Three Tremors self-titled debut highlights artwork ingeniously created by renowned artist Marc Sasso (Dio, Halford, Adrenaline Mob, Death Dealer), to showcase an apocalyptic battle between demonic hyper-wolves and the Three Tremors, who marched into an underworld overshadowed by evil forces only armed with bullets powered by heavy metal sorcery to reclaim the dystopian lands.

The Three Tremors self-titled debut album will feature 12 new songs that depict monumental stories of time-honored heavy metal themes as written by Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck, focusing on original concepts to highlight three of the most revered and relentless voices in heavy metal.

I spoke with Tim Ripper Owens about the Three Tremors and other subjects.

How are things going on? You’ve got a couple of different things going on with Tenors, Fire with Caffery.

TRO: Yeah, Spirits of Fire, there’s another one that’s going to be coming out, called New Revenge with James Kottak,  Kerri Kelley and Rudy Sarzo. We did a record. It used to be called Project Rock, but that was actually done first. It’s a straight forward hard rock record. Then I did Spirits of
Fire and the Three Tremors. They were recorded in that order. Everyone was like, Man what did you do? How did you do all of this? Well, they were recorded.  I’m a singer. It’s what I do for a living. It’s kind of fun to do all of these different things.

Do you ever think  did you want to stay in one band instead of having multiple projects, or do you like the diversity of going from project to project?

TRO: I would love to stay in one band, unfortunately, people wouldn’t see me or hear me very often. because I can’t afford to tour like that.    I’m not 20 and I have a lot of bills, a lot of
commitments. My kids, you know,.. there’s just no way to do it. Yeah, it would be great to put out a
record but then it would cost me about $30,000 a year just to put a record so there’s no chance in doing that. The only way to really do it nowadays, this is a really different era. Listen, I love it. Here’s the thing, if people around the world wanted me to be in one band, then they would buy that record around the world and I wouldn’t have to worry about it. But they don’t buy enough records to support it anyways. So I can’t afford it.

Most people stream these days.

TRO:  And listen I’m alright with it at least they stream and listen to it. I buy more music now than ever
off of iTunes . I buy more music than I ever did, even in the past. I’m always losing stuff and I
need to hear it. I’m driving around and I can just buy a record while I’m driving.

I’m doing a record right now.  They asked me to do the vocal as a guest and a lot of their proceeds go to the veterans. Now it’s a rock and roll kind of record, totally different from anything I’ve ever done. Totally. But you know what? Why not? They asked me if I’d do it and I said why not? Money goes to the veterans, so why not do this? I make my living as a lead singer, as a musician.  Young bands start off and they try to be in one band, but their young bands who start off not having bills and, you know what I mean?   I couldn’t make a living off of what I made in Judas Priest back then, so that’s just how it is. That’s the way the world is now. It’s totally different. I have to make a pretty good amount of money to make a living.

Even in Judas Priest?

TRO: Well, you know, times change. I mean. I’m busier, I do a lot more and I make a lot more money
right now. I’m not saying bad things about Judas Priest. They treated me well and paid me well. It’s just you get older and you have more commitments and you do more things.   I do a lot of
things and I made a life that I have to be busy. I didn’t make a living on a minimum wage McDonald’s
salary. If I did that, I’d probably be better off. (Laughing) I should have probably not set the bar so high.

You tour with the Disciples too.

TRO: The Disciples tour, not a very big income.  You’re going on a tour with a band and you split the money up with the band.  That’s the least amount of money I make but it’s one of the most enjoyable things that I do. I will put it that way because I I love to go celebrate Ronnie James
Dio with those guys. Ronnie’s friends and my friends. And the paycheck at the end is not a much but it’s satisfying to do and I love doing it. The way I make money is I tour solo around the world with
amazing bands around the world, in parts of the world that back me up and my material.  I then put
records out. But most of it is through touring under my name.

When will the Dio Disciples start recording original music?

TRO:  It hasn’t happened yet. I’m still waiting to see what’s going on. I haven’t had any material sent to
me and I would imagine that I’d be writing material for it. Not sure I want to do a record and not
write the material for the record. So I guess everybody’s guess is as good as mine.  We definitely want to do that, for sure. Last I heard, we were going to be doing a record.  We recorded three or four songs already.  Really cool tunes, too.  I know Craig’s busy, with Dreamchild and stuff, so I don’t know what’s
going on but that’s definitely the idea.

How was it touring with Ronnie James Dio’s hologram? 

TRO:  It’s great! It’s something new and different. The goal is to try and make fans happy and do something different that nobody’s done. Some fans aren’t happy. Unfortunately, it’s the same fans who would talk good about the Queen movie, and it kind of doesn’t make sense to me. Somebody’s making money off of the hologram of Ronnie James Dio and you just went and paid to watch a Queen movie about a dead guy who’s being played by somebody else and somebody’s making money off of that. I’m not quite sure why you’re talking bad about a hologram when it’s not even…I just don’t get it. People aren’t going to like it and that’s cool and I understand that.   I jumped on because I’m a big fan of Ronnie James Dio and I’m a big fan of Wendy Dio; a friend of all of them and we’re trying to make fans happy. This is new, it’s something different. Why not go out and do it?  It’s the first time it was done on a tour and there had to be some changes made but I thought it was a really cool thing, to be honest.

Who came up this idea for the Three Tremors?
TRO:  Sean Peck.  We’ve been friends for a long time. He opened up for Judas Priest and some of my bands and he just called me and said, “I want to do a record. I want to do three singers, metal singers, the whole thing, and I want to do a record.” And that’s what kind of won me over. When he said that, I thought that was…because I’ve done a bunch of things in South America, with metal singers, out on the road down there with me and Udo and Blaze Bailey.  I did one in America with Geoff Tate and Blaze Bailey;

How did you guys divide up writing lyrics?

TRO:  No, that’s the easiest way to do it ever. I went into my studio here and recorded every song, all of the vocals and basically made like it was a record of my own.  Sean had already recorded it and he sent it to me and said this is my idea. Then I just recorded all of the versions as well. Then he witnessed to it after all had done it. And Dave and they just sat there and split things up and listened to it and said, “Ahh, listen to Ripper sing that part. That’s cool. Let’s put him there. And Harry does this one
different…so that’s how they did it. It’s funny because we all have our own version of the record.

How is 2019 going to be looking for you? How are you dividing your time?

TRO:  I’m doing the Three Tremors thing, touring as much as I can. We’re going to try to revamp this hologram.  Do some US tours. Really, we’re going to try to tour all around the world with the hologram. I’m going to try, on my off time, writing and start putting together a solo record and do things like that.

What do you miss the most about your past groups? Do you miss anything about any specific bands
that you were in?

TRO: I tell you what I do miss, the thing about Judas Priest, I miss the guys. I probably would
miss staying in top-of-the-line hotels and tour buses. That was always a cool great thing. Of course, that cost a lot of money to do. That’s probably why we didn’t have much money left in the end. I do miss the guys.  I never was in a band where I felt that we were such friends. We had a bond and they treated me great. We had so much fun together. So I miss just hanging out with them.

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