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Tim Owens has no hard feelings over Halford's return

Former Judas Priest frontman Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens says he wasn't upset at leaving the band in 2003 following the return of Rob Halford - but reveals he still prefers his work with the group.

He left when the Metal God returned to the fold but insists the split came at the right time – and says he discovered he was out of the group via email.

He tells Uber Rock: “I always knew the reunion would come some day, but I’ve said it before, I wasn’t upset – I really was ready to be out. Looking back now, if Halford’s name had have been on Jugulator, it would probably have been hailed as a masterpiece.

“I had just finished recording Iced Earth’s Glorious Burden when I told my wife, ‘I almost wish Judas Priest would fire me,’ because I’d never have quit. I got home and I got the email.”

Owens went on to join Iced Earth full-time and insists the transition between the bands was seamless.

He continues: “The record was done so joining Iced Earth was seamless. Each time I get fired by bands, it’s been a blessing. But joining Judas Priest was the biggest blessing.”

Owens appeared on two Priest studio albums Jugulator and Demolition and while he says he likes the material they’ve released since he left, he still prefers his work with the band.

He adds: “I preferred Jugulator but Rob’s going to prefer what he did. Rob and I are good friends – we’re still all good friends and we can always joke about that. But Redeemer Of Souls is getting back to their roots. What’s great is they’re a band that can release an album like Nostradamus. When they released Turbo, people didn’t like that. They’ve always experimented throughout their career.”

The singer has been on a solo tour playing the whole of Jugulator and select tracks from his work with Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio Disciples, Charred Walls Of The Damned and Beyond Fear.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.