Rock News & Interviews

Ripper Owens and A New Revenge

Ok, here we go; A New Revenge is the latest hard rock & heavy metal hitting band to form and release a studio album this year.
Enemies & Lovers was released March 29, via Golden Robot Records. Before getting into the deep end, let’s just wade in a bit. First of
all, every member of this supergroup are the creme de la creme of the music, and certainly hard rock circles.

Lead singer Tim “Ripper” Owens came out of nowhere on the international stage and replaced Rob Halford for about 7 years as the
frontman for Judas Priest. Guitarist Keri Kelli is an energetic professional guitar player, having played in numerous bands over the
years, such as Ratt, the Vince Neil Band, Alice Cooper etc. Currently, he gets his exercise as Night Ranger’s full time touring guitar
player. The elusive James Kottack (inside joke haha ) is everybody’s’ favourite lightning bolt on the drums having sowed his oats with
the Scorpions, and currently is back in the lineup with Kingdom Come on their 30th-anniversary tour…., and finally last but least….on the
bass guitar, we have THEEEEEEE Rudy Sarzo. I won’t explain anything about Rudy because if you don’t know who he is, you need to
either spend 15 minutes reading his Wikipedia or stop pretending you like hard rock. Rudy is like the soil to the earth or air to the
atmosphere.

“Well last but not least”......is actually not accurate; band photo pics show Rudy at times and Phil Soussan at other times. Due to the
possibility of scheduling conflicts with Rudy who works full time touring with The Guess Who band, Phil was tapped to tour when/if the
dates get aligned. Phil, as we all know, has decades of experience as the go-to guy for Ozzy, Billy Idol, Steve Lukather and many more.
Either way you slice it, this band is full of elite talent.

I recently had the chance to chat with Ripper about the new material and early on in the conversation, I had to ask him if he was in his
vehicle as per the constant click click of what appeared to me was the signal light or hazards sound.

“yes, I’m carpooling my son and daughter from school right now” Well, it must be pretty cool for your son especially to have his
rockstar Dad pick him up right? “Ummm, no, not really” (laughter) he replied. By the way, I confirmed he was Bluetoothing and in no
way involved in distracted driving. There is no need for the PoPo to pull him over as we are in the middle of an important interview.

After some small talk, I asked him to kind of describe the sound of the new album to the readers who haven’t grabbed a copy yet.

“Style-wise, I guess you could say it’s West Coast meets East Coast (hard rock),…Keri has a different writing style as he came
out of Orange County and it has a different flare than mine. I mean he has worked with Slash and Alice Cooper, so he has that
influence.....and then you have me as a singer who is strictly a heavy metal hard rock singer (from the East coast), and so you
can tell the little subtleties between us and our writing” …R/O
I then asked Ripper if he could give me a quick summary of what each of
his band members brings to the table with A New Revenge;
“……ah….they certainly bring EXPERIENCE !! (laughter) I mean the
thing about Rudy is that he is an amazing person and a great guy
(yup, we’ve all heard that before ), and this is the guy that was with
Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio,... I mean it’s just amazing….his
resume…………and then you have James, you know James is solid 
and goes way back with the Scorpions and Kingdom Come, and
Keri….....well Keri really spearheaded the whole thing. I mean it was
him and James that obviously drove the idea and I mean Keri’s work
ethic (is out of this world) and he is THEEEEE marketing guy, I mean
in the past with Project Rock, when we did meet n greets, I mean we
wouldn’t charge extra and Keri would show up in a top hat and just
sign stuff and hand out stickers, I’d say Keri really brings a great
work ethic for sure.”


Due to the fact that Ripper is known for multi-tasking and being in
numerous bands at one time (the last count was 68 ), I thought it
would be a fitting question to ask him about what he does to maintain
his voice, energy and overall health. I commented that he must be quite
disciplined, and asked him if he was into Yoga, healthy eating, and/or
weights.

“Well, yes actually I do (maintain a healthy lifestyle), I go to the gym every morning, so I actually do that, ….so that’s
the one thing...... but at my age, it doesn’t always seem to work (laughter), but you know I do try to semi take care of myself.
I’ve always done it and especially on tour….it was so much easier in the Judas Priest days ….I was much younger then and
we had a nice schedule and we’d check into these really nice hotels and I’d go straight to the gym but now it’s harder when
I am on tour…. but when I am home I make it a priority”

I asked him about elixirs on his vocal cords and the industry and well, the short of it is this.

“well I’m pretty lucky, I’ve never been a big drinker, I may drink a couple of beer after a show, .......but lately actually I’ve
loosened up....... I may ask someone to bring me a beer during a show a couple of songs in......but.....in the Judas Priest
days I never drank before or during the show......I may have had a couple after but that’s it. Now, if I do go out other than
music, I’ll go to the Mexican restaurant up the street and if I had a couple of beer and too many Margarita’s...it would take me
(literally) four days to recover and so I can’t have that interfere (with my life/career) and so I have to be vigilant.”

Earlier in the day...actually about an hour earlier, I spoke with Keri Kelli to get his perspective on things and put his stamp on how he
describes the new album. He responded this way;

”Well, I think it’s actually a hard rock, classic rock, sounding album,…….and the great thing is we recorded it over a chunk
of time, about two years, and so we weren’t rushed or anything. It’s really a classic sounding commercial type hard rock
sound with some killer guitar riffs and great melodies,... and Tim did an amazing job, I mean he is a Lord vocalist man and
the singing (on Enemies & Lovers) is melodic, but there are the big screams and the metal stuff that people would expect,
but it’s not all the time (constant)…… so I think it’s a bit different and something people are not expecting”

I asked Keri if he thought there was a resurgence of hard rock and metal these days as former Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot members
have also just got together and our doing gigs under the name Rough Riot in the L.A circuit or has it always been there but the ease
of recording with home studios has made it easier to bring it back to the forefront once again.

“Yeah, I think that’s it and a great answer, you said it; these days with home studios, and this project we did it that way, it
makes it easier for friends to say hey dude let’s make a record and have some fun and create some art….. and they don’t
have to go and get some 1 or $200,000 record deal and spend $3000 (day) for the recording studio (time/rental).”

I decided to slip in a couple of questions a bit off topic so I asked Keri what is something that the average Keri Kelli fan wouldn’t know
about, and what was his last day job.

“Well in the rock circles, they obviously know me for playing in numerous bands for the past
20 years, but maybe they wouldn’t know that I own a couple of scratch kitchen/ restaurants/ (craft beer etc) in Las Vegas
where we make everything from scratch every day…I mean there are no freezers, it’s all made
fresh each day……so I’ve been doing that for 10 years now” https://www.acesandales.com/
“well, that’s gonna be a real easy one (laughter)......I have never really had a job besides a
paper route when I was about 11 years old. Since I was a teenager, I always played in bands
and kind of stopped going to school (laughter)....and I don’t condone it (laughter) but believe
it or not......that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.”

Well, there you go folks, A New Revenge is out there and the album rocks. I picked up my copy the
other day and make sure you get yours!!
Here is a little sample https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHD3Iz7kcUk

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