There’s no denying that when it comes to metal vocalists, Tim “Ripper” Owens is one talented motherfucker. You don’t go from tribute band weekend warrior to Judas Priest frontman without being able to absolutely tear shit up on the mic, after all. And while he’s got his way of doing things as a vocalist and everyone else has their own way of doing things, Owens apparently thinks he knows what’s best for everyone.
During a recent interview with The Metal Mixtape, Owens complained that too many vocalists were switching things up in their delivery during their live shows. According to Owens, if you can do it in a recording booth, you should be able to recapture what was done on the album.
“I’m so sick of watching singers… And I don’t care, I’m 56, I’ve seen singers in their 50s that still couldn’t do it. I’m so sick of watching singers — I know they can do it, but they change their songs. They lower it, they make new melodies and they hit a high note for a second. And it’s, like, ‘Dude, sing what you wrote. Sing what you wrote.’ I understand it gets tougher. But I can sing Sermons of the Sinner. And these songs, the KK’S Priest songs are harder to sing than the classic Priest songs, except maybe ‘Metal Meltdown.’”
For those that don’t know, artists sometimes switch things for a couple reasons. For some, like Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine, have the band tune down to meet his vocal range as he gets older. In other instances, vocalists will just sing a different tune with the lyrics to spice up the song or make things interesting for die hard fans who’ve seen the band live a buncha times.
Still, when asked why some vocalists have a hard time singing their songs in a live setting, Owens simply suggested that some people just can’t hang on stage or the songs you hear on the album are only possible through the use of technology.
“They’ve made up their own version to make them be able to sing — which is fine, because there’s gonna be times where I’ll have to do that to a song or I might lower a word, but I try to stick to it. I mean, you would see singers like Ronnie [James] Dio. He wasn’t going off… If he changed the version, he probably made it harder. He would sing it live.”
So what do you think? Does Owens have a fair assessment here or is this just a case of “old man yells at cloud?”
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