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 yesterday (3/29) 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 world famous and have impressive resumes.
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 quite an energetic professional guitar player, having played in numerous bands over the years, such as Ratt, the Vince Neil Band, Alice Cooper etc, & he is currently Night Ranger’s full time touring guitar player. James Kottack is everybody’s’ favourite beat-man, 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 THE Rudy Sarzo. I won’t explain anything about Rudy because if you don’t know who he is, you need to either spend 10 minutes reading his Wikipedia or stop reading this article. No joke. (haha).
Anyway, I was able to snag a couple of phoners Thursday with Keri and Ripper. This is kind of how it went; although I may be all over the map juggling two interviews in one piece so please bear with me.
When I contacted Ripper via the number I was given, early on in the conversation I heard a constant clicking; I had to ask and it was confirmed that this interview was being conducted via Bluetooth as he was carpooling his soon to be 16-year-old son and soon to be 15-year-old daughter from school.
It must be pretty cool for especially your son to have his rockstar Dad picking him up from school right? “hmm, ah not really “ (laughter) was his reply.
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 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 a singer who is strictly a heavy metal hard rock singer (from the East coast), and you can tell the little subtleties between us and our writing” …R/O
When I asked Keri the same question about an hour earlier, his response was
” 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 more 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” K/K
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 then asked Ripper if he could give 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 ( I’ve heard that before about a billion times haha ), 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 going back to Scorpions and Kingdom Come, and Keri….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 and he is THE marketing guy, I mean in the past with Project Rock, when we did meet n greets, I mean we wouldn’t charge extra and he 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.”
Check out this clip from A New Revenges debut album Enemies & Lovers CLICK HERE
Below are some interesting (to me at least) excerpts form 35 minutes plus of audio with the dynamic duo.
What is something that the average Keri Kelli fan wouldn’t know about?
“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/
Being in so many bands and projects at any given time would mean to me that you (Ripper) are very disciplined so you must take care of yourself and make it a priority; do you exercise, meditate, do Yoga? or…
“Well, yes actually I do, 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 but 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”
Ripper also confides he has never really been a big drinker, and that is probably why his voice is still so strong (IMO).
Staying with Ripper, he tells me aside from his other side projects he has like The Three Tremors, he is leaving for South America on Monday or Tuesday for 6 solo shows, and when he returns he will be gearing up for a bunch of shows via the Dio Hologram which showcases the music, talents, and life of the late great Ronnie James Dio.
Back with Keri ; I will be lucky enough to meet Keri and the Rangers next week when they play the Island Resort and Casino (Harris Mi). during two sold-out shows April 5/6th. Keri is going to be pretty busy as well, as Night Ranger, if not headlining, will be supporting Sammy Hagar or Foreigner up until at least the end of September.
Among the influences that helped develop Ripper’s chords (vocal), were Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford and Joey Belladonna (Anthrax) he relayed to me.
A couple of other things for ya’all; I asked Keri what his last real day job was….
“we’ll that’s gonna be a real easy one (laughter)……I never really had a job besides a paper route when I was about 11 years old. Since I was a teenager, I was playing 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”
One more quick thing; Ripper says he will be doing some reading during his South American tour as K.K Downing’s book Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest is in his backpack and “K.K keeps asking me if I read it and ……I did take it with me during my last tour with The Three Tremors but I didn’t get to it, so I think I’d better this time (laughter)”
thanks for reading my scrambled eggs report this morning.
Next weekend, I will be featuring a Killer article on the Killer Dwarfs who will be Blasting the Soo with Rock and Metal Saturday, April 27. Tickets are on sale at Northland Music, Four Seasons Sports Collectibles, SSM Community Theatre Kiosk (Station Mall) and at http://www.sooblaster.com