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D.X. Ferris of the Cleveland Free Times recently spoke to vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, ex-JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) about Tim's forthcoming solo debut, which he has been recording in Los Angeles. Tentatively due in early 2009, the album will include guest appearances by Billy Sheehan (ex-MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH), Rudy Sarzo (DIO, ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE), David Ellefson (F5, ex-MEGADETH) and many other veterans. Bob Kulick (KISS, W.A.S.P.) and Chris Caffery (TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, SAVATAGE) collaborated on material with Owens while John Comprix, Tim's BEYOND FEAR bandmate, plays rhythm guitar and co-wrote some of the songs. Mike Callahan (DISENGAGE, EARSHOT) also contributed.
"[The solo record] was my management and label's decision," Owens told the Cleveland Free Times. "I think they want to show I can do this on my own. If anything, it proves that BEYOND FEAR is a band, and this is my solo record."
Read more from the Cleveland Free Times.
Massachusetts metallers SHADOWS FALL are rumored to have lost their European record deal with Roadrunner Records, which released the band's latest effort, "Threads of Life". The group's U.S. deal with Atlantic Records is also said to be on shaky ground, with "Threads of Life" having only shifted around 98,000 copies in the United States since its April 2007 release — a fraction of the 308,000 sales total achieved by its predecessor, 2004's "The War Within", which was released by Century Media.
In a June 2006 interview with MTV.com, SHADOWS FALL singer Brian Fair spoke about jumping ship from Century Media Records to Atlantic for the band's most recent studio effort.
"We were friends with [the folks at Century Media] before we signed with the label, and they definitely went above and beyond what we thought an indie label could possibly do," he said. "They did offer us a great deal [to stay with the company before we signed with Atlantic], but we wanted to ... see if we could take it to another level. . . It was a tough decision [to sign with Atlantic], but one we felt we really needed to make. We've been together 10 years, so we came with a contract and we knew exactly what we wanted. If people weren't into that initial thing, we knew we could cut them off right away. We weren't settling. We were brutally honest right at the beginning, and it stopped a lot of those dinners right away."
He added, "These labels knew they weren't signing BRITNEY SPEARS. They were just getting a bunch of Masshole metalheads. We were just psyched to get some free pizza and beer."