Art Imitates Life For Judas Priest Frontman

In Tim "Ripper" Owens' surreal world, life provides many surprises. It wasn't long ago he literally went from cover band singer to frontman of Judas Priest, replacing Rob Halford. Now, his improbable

In Tim "Ripper" Owens' surreal world, life provides many surprises. It wasn't long ago he literally went from cover band singer to frontman of Judas Priest, replacing Rob Halford. Now, his improbable story has resulted in the feature film "Rock Star," which opens in U.S. theaters next weekend.

On the surface, the release of the new Judas Priest album, "Demolition" (Atlantic), appeared to be the perfect early promotional tie-in to "Rock Star." However, Owens tells Billboard.com the opposite was true.

"We had nothing to do with it," he admits. "Obviously, in some weird way we do but the album was actually delayed a little bit more than we wanted. It came out July 31 and actually, I think the movie was supposed to be out a long time ago. We definitely don't want to be involved with the movie so we definitely would have never done that. We don't want anyone to even think that this movie is about us."

Owens says the movie is only "loosely based" on the band. "It's got it from me making the band and other than that it has nothing to do with anything."

"Demolition" marks the band's second album with Owens, who has emerged out of the shadow of Halford unscathed by critics and accepted by fans. "The thing that people have to realize is that I'm a huge Judas Priest fan," Owens says. "I was one of those people who was going to look at a new singer and say, 'No way.' But I know what I would have wanted and I think I do exactly what I would have wanted."

Any anxiety Owens had regarding Halford was dispelled last summer when the former Judas Priest leader invited his replacement to come out to his show at Blossom Music Center, located near Owens' home outside of Akron, Ohio. The meeting was a positive one for Owens, who now feels as though he has the blessing of his idol.

As for Priest's upcoming tour, Owens says, "Definitely expect a powerful, power-packed Priest show." The 22-date trek begins Sept. 14 at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles.