In a new interview with “The SDR Show”, Rob Halford explained why he has yet to listen to the two albums JUDAS PRIEST made with his replacement, Tim “Ripper” Owens, 1997’s “Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition”.
“Those two PRIEST records, it’s not just because it’s not my voice, because that would be a silly thing to say; Tim is a very good friend of mine,” he said. “I think it’s just that with connecting with music, particularly with PRIEST, I know my place and I know where I wanna be. And so there’s never really been a sense of [wanting to listen] to those records. Having said that, though, numerous times I’ve been asked would I ever do a song from ‘Jugulator’, would I ever do a song from ‘Demolition’. Well, absolutely, I would, because those two albums are just as valid as everything else in the PRIEST catalog. So who knows? That day may yet come.”
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 after being discovered when the band’s drummer, Scott Travis, was given a videotape of him performing with the PRIEST cover act BRITISH STEEL. JUDAS PRIEST at the time was seeking a replacement for Halford.
Owens recorded the two aforementioned studio albums with PRIEST before Halford‘s return to the group.
Last year year, Owens told Ultimate Guitar that he believes his era of JUDAS PRIEST is largely overlooked.
“Yeah, I think it definitely deserves more [attention],” he said. “I mean, they don’t do anything. [Laughs] It’s kind of amazing that they just totally erased it that they won’t play… I mean, ‘Burn In Hell’ [off ‘Jugulator’], the crowd would like to hear ‘Burn In Hell’.
“They don’t have to give me a tribute or anything, but it would be nice to play a song from… You know, that was a pretty big thing, I did two studio records, two live records, and a DVD, starting from ’96 to 2004. So it’s kind of crazy that it’s just been erased and they won’t even play a song from it live, because it is JUDAS PRIEST.”
In October 2019, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner said that “Hell Is Home” is one of his favorite songs from the Owens era. The PRIEST guitarist, who joined the band in 2011 as the replacement for K.K. Downing, offered his opinion during a live video chat. He said: “I was listening to the Ripper albums the other day, and ‘Hell Is Home’ is such a great track. It’s really heavy and the vocal melody is really great. I think Ripper sings it really well. It’s probably one of my favorite PRIEST songs of the Ripper era. ‘Hell Is Home’ — I really like that.”