What’s been happening in your music world lately?
Well, I’m always busy. I released two records last year and I toured solo. Now I’m doing Ronnie James Dio Hologram Tour which has never been done before, so it’s a new thing. It’s exciting and something new. We were good friends with Ronnie. Then, after the tour, I go home and finish new records for next year.
Would you say that music is a way of life, your lifestyle?
Yes. It’s all I do. I play music and tour... Music is my lifestyle.
What words would you like people to use to describe you Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens?
Well, I’m trying to be a perfectionist when I go on stage. I want people always see me able to sing live like I sing in the studio. Live singing and live shows are really important to me. That’s why I rest so much on the tourbus. Just like last night: when the rest of the band was drinking, I was sleeping. I am a perfectionist and I always give 100% of me − this is what I would like people think and say about me.
What emotions does playing live evoke in you?
It’s always full of emotions. Now, singing Ronnie James Dio’s songs is really great because we were friends, the same for the rest of this band’s members. It brings really a lot of real, deep emotions. As a singer I want make the songs I sing get across people in the audience. It goes the other way too − watching people’s emotions is even better. It affects me and makes me emotional.
What way does it affect you?
When people are very serious, sometimes I think why is it so? Also I’m not sure what to think, when people look all the time at screens of their phones. Or if they’re talking in the back. I want to point them out and ask what they are doing. But then I see those, who are into the show very much: sometimes they are so excited that they are crying. It means a lot to me. That’s because I’m still a fan too: even when I play live on stage next to some musicians, they are still my heroes and I’m their fan, I’m a fan of music. So I know what my fans may feel.
How do all the different places you travel and perform differ from each other?
Yes, people are different everywhere. They are all great in different ways. Some fans are crazier, some fans are more serious. I think that I meet a little bit more serious fans in Germany, while they are more ease in Poland. I play South America a lot and there are really crazy and loud people. I would say they are so in both Americas. Everyone has a different way of approach when a song begins. Some people get quiet and they focus on listening and some go really crazy from the first tunes. But all my fans are really great. You can read a lot from their faces with every song I sing.
What was the moment when you knew you wanted to be onstage forever?
I think it wasn’t until I made it to Judas Priest. I was just a fan of Judas Priest and I kind of did music but I had a regular job too. When I joined Judas Priest, it was the time when I thought that it could be so for the rest of my life, that I wanted to make a career. I was lucky.
This is a dream-job for many people…
Yes, and not too many of them make it. Also I think that when Judas Priest got back their original singer, Rob, and I went another way, my career went busier. Everything went better as I went on. When I finished singing for Judas Priest I didn’t think: ‘OK, this is it’. I’ve been able to continue my career. I’m happy and proud of it at the same time.
You are very active on Twitter and Instagram, you feel what social media is about. What about real world: what's your typical reaction when fans approach you?
Absolutely, I love social media. The same about meeting my fans. I’m so amazed by my them that they come to my tour bus and ask for a photo or an autograph. I’m thankful to them that they come to my shows, they know all lyrics and sing all the songs with me. They are amazing!
What was the most beautiful complement that a fan paid you?
I’ve heard a lot great complements from my fans. People come to me and talk a lot ever since. They tell me about their hard times during which they were listening to my music and it was what made them make it through the bad periods of their lives. I think these stories are the most beautiful ones. I have a couple songs about losing somebody. People come to me and share their stories about such situations − very hard ones. When a song touches you personally, helps you get through dark times, it’s something that I find really beautiful.
What is your earliest memory of music?
My first music memory probably is hearing Elvis from some of my dad’s records. My parents had a lot of Elvis’ records. I remember finding this music is pretty amazing. As well as some other Southern American rock’n’roll.
If you could tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?
Whenever you do something, you have to do it the best you can. You’ve got to be the best. When you sing something you want to put on YouTube or you do a karaoke, your job is to blow people away. Even when you’re five years old, you start thinking: ‘I can do something really great? Someone may see me.’. I tell to my kids that it takes one person to see you do something and go, if you’re pretty amazing. I think that’s it. You don’t have to be the best but you need to be your best. That’s what I would tell my teenage self.