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UG Exclusive Premiere: Spirits of Fire, Feat. Ripper Owens, Launch New Song and Video ‘It’s Everywhere’

Last year, a brand new supergroup was formed by Frontiers Music Srl, featuring guitarist Chris Caffery of Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, bassist Steve Di Giorgio of Testament, drummer Mark Zonder of Warlord and Fates Warning, and the well-known 90s Judas Priest vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens. Called Spirits of Fire, the group will be launching their debut record on February 22. So far, they’ve released two tracks – “Light Speed Marching” and “Stand and Fight” – but as the release date is getting closer, they teamed up with Ultimate Guitar for the premiere of their new song and video. Titled “It’s Everywhere,” you can check out this brand new song and video in the player below.

Here’s what Chris Caffery had to say about the whole thing:

“‘It’s Everywhere’ is the second video that we shot and the third single we are releasing for the debut record of ‘Spirits of Fire.’ The first two singles presented songs that had a similar feeling, influence and metal sound to a lot of songs from all of our pasts. ‘It’s Everywhere’ has its own distinct personality that sets it apart from those a bit. Just when you thought you knew exactly what this record will sound like, it will give you some twists and turns. Still traditional to our roots but presenting a sound that is uniquely identical to the Spirits of Fire!”

When it comes to working with producer Roy Z, Caffery explained:

“My influences for writing on this record were the bands that we were and are still in! I wanted to write songs that [Judas] Priest, Savatage, Testament, and Fates Warning fans would like. But, I wanted them to have a personality of their own as well. To give it a vibe that was SPIRITS OF FIRE! I grew up listening to Judas Priest and spent 30 plus years working with Jon Oliva and Paul O’Neill with Savatage and TSO. Many years playing Criss’ music. These influences for me came naturally! Especially because I’m a fan of all of our bands!

“This was the first time that I ever worked with Roy and it was so much fun. I have been a huge fan of his work for a long time. He’s written music, played on, and produced some of my favorite metal albums ever. He had a difficult job bringing this all together and I can’t think of anyone that would have been a better producer and co-worker for this album!”

In a recent exclusive interview with UG’s David Slavković, vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens said this about the creative process for this new record:

“Well it was fun, I actually had a lot of fun recording it. Because Chris would send me ideas. Some songs he had vocal ideas that he thought might work, some songs he just sent me the song and I wrote all of the vocal lines…

“I think the great thing is, a lot of the stuff Chris sent me with his vocal ideas – I really, really liked it. It was different to what I would do, so it was fun to do that.

“I think only a few songs had my idea, which I know Chris probably liked his idea better. But it was fun. He would send me the ideas and I would sit in my studio in my house and just sit down and sing to it, write to it, then come back the next day and change it. So really, it was great to be able to do that.”

He also added:

“Everybody did come to the table with ideas. Obviously, Roy wrote music and would send me the ideas and I’d write to it. And they would tell me whether they liked it or not. They would say, ‘Yeah, I don’t like that.’ Then we can go back and redo it.

“And the thing about Steve and Mark is, they’re so unique and their style is different. Their music, what they play, brought things to the table. Mark’s drumming is amazing on parts and he’s such an amazing drummer. And obviously Steve with the fretless bass. I couldn’t wait to hear what they put down, it made so many of the songs better.”

TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS And CHRIS CAFFERY Joined In New Project By STEVE DIGIORGIO And MARK ZONDER

Frontiers Music Srl has signed a handful of American metal musicians to collaborate on a new musical project. The songs that will comprise the first album are being composed by guitarist Chris Caffery (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) and vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED). Enlisted to help with the writing and to produce the entire venture, including recording and mixing, is Roy “Z” Ramirez (BRUCE DICKINSON, HALFORD). Completing the lineup is the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Steve DiGiorgio (TESTAMENT, DEATH, SEBASTIAN BACH, CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED) and drummer Mark Zonder (FATES WARNING, WARLORD).

Regarding how his collaboration with Caffery came about, Owens told Metal Express Radio: “Chris and I have been friends for years, and he wrote a song [‘The Shadows Are Alive’] with me on my solo CD [2009’s ‘Play My Game’], and we’ve always wanted to write together and do something. And he gave me a shout and we’ve signed a deal with Frontiers. It’s gonna be like a cross between SAVATAGE and JUDAS PRIEST kind of stuff. [Frontiers] is a fantastic label, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST  “Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition” — before the band reunited with Rob Halford.

Ex-JUDAS PRIEST Singer TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS Joins Forces With SAVATAGE Guitarist CHRIS CAFFERY

Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim “Ripper” Owens is collaborating with SAVATAGE and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA guitarist Chris Caffery on a new project.

The duo is currently writing material with producer Roy “Z” Ramirez (BRUCE DICKINSON, HALFORD) for an album that will be released through Frontiers Music Srl.

Regarding how his collaboration with Caffery came about, Owens told Metal Express Radio: “Chris and I have been friends for years, and he wrote a song [‘The Shadows Are Alive’] with me on my solo CD [2009’s ‘Play My Game’], and we’ve always wanted to write together and do something. And he gave me a shout and we’ve signed a deal with Frontiers. It’s gonna be like a cross between SAVATAGE and JUDAS PRIEST kind of stuff. [Frontiers] is a fantastic label, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Owens also talked about the current status of PROJECT ROCK (formerly ROCKSTAR), the project he formed several years ago with guitarist Keri Kelli (SLASH’S SNAKEPIT, ALICE COOPER, RATT), drummer James Kottak (SCORPIONS, KINGDOM COME), bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO) and keyboardist Teddy “Zig Zag” Andreadis (GUNS N’ ROSES). He said: “Keri Kelli is the main one in the band that spearheaded it. We wrote a record and it’s finished and ready to go. We were gonna release it, but at the last minute we were gonna change the name and James didn’t wanna change it so we pulled the record… [we took] the deal off the shelf. But it’s really good. It’s straightforward rock, and I really like it a lot, actually… It’s sitting there, ready to go.”

Owens added that it’s frustrating not being able to release the PROJECT ROCK album after spending so much time putting it together. “Especially for Keri and myself, ’cause we are the ones who did all the work, especially Keri — he really worked his tail off,” he said. “But him and I went back and forth with the songs forever and I flew out there and met with him and we did some stuff. We did a lot of it, so it’s a shame that it’s sitting there.”

“Here’s To Us”, the first-ever original song written and recorded by PROJECT ROCK, was premiered in 2013 on Russia’s “Drive Time Morning Show with Evgeny Shtoltz”. It was expected to appear on the band’s debut album, for which the group had reportedly signed a deal with Cleopatra.

Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST“Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition” — before the band reunited with Rob Halford.

This handwriting is from none other than Jon Oliva – The Master!

This handwriting is from none other than Jon Oliva himself!!I have a new album project I’m working on…details will come out soon. The deals are signed and the record should be released mid 2017…No, Jon isn’t singing or in the project, it’s not a new #savatage record…so that should keep you guessing, but he is helping me write a few things. It feels great to create with the master again!

The project is great friends and amazing musicians and one brilliant singer with an amazing metal producer…and yes, I’m a tease!

More details soon!

??????

Awesome day today!

Awesome day today. They broke the attendance record at 2pm! My last known count was 12,500 people!

This photo is a lil harder to find Wilbur! And no…he’s a 1 year old Metalphant…he wasn’t drinking!

We did reach over 110,000 on the live feed! Check it out tomorrow on the RFD Facebook page we will be live again all day!

CHRIS CAFFERY Pays Tribute To Guitar Tech KYLE SABEL – “Far Beyond My Guitars And That Stage He Was My Friend, Truly My Brother”

Guitarist Chris Caffery (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) has posted a tribute on Facebook to his long time guitar tech Kyle Sabel, who recently passed away.

“For 16 years I had the privilege of having the most bad ass guitar tech on the planet. Not only was he my tech he was my friend. Truly my brother. I spent the last 16 Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years with Kyle. While most other people were home with their families, we were together somewhere in the world in some hotel being each other’s family. Kyle was the guy everyone turned to when life at home wasn’t the rosiest or life’s problems caught up with you. He made the days on and days off a lot easier just by always being able to make us smile and laugh. Many times when he was crying inside.Many people knew and loved Kyle. He was one of the funniest and nicest people I had ever known. He was what we always considered a great road guy. Meaning he did his job well but he also always made people smile. Made people who were away from home at the holidays feel like they were home. I did over 1000 shows with him as my tech and I think maybe something went wrong w my rig 3 times. And it was never his fault! I may have been out of tune less times than fingers on one hand.

Every single guitar I had built for me it would be a constant text communication about specs, colors, pickups…then what straps would I use and what guitars do we leave home this tour. There were a couple guitars that he was like. ‘When we retire that’s mine…’ Playing those will have a new meaning from now on!

Far beyond my guitars and that stage he was my friend. We laughed and cried together for almost two decades. We mourned the loss of our friends, band mates and families together. We never once so much as even had a single argument.

Other than my own mother, Jon Oliva, Igor, Jeff Plate and my own brother I have not spent more time with any single individual in my life. It’s really hard to express exactly what I’m feeling right now but there will definitely be a huge void in many people’s lives with Kyle gone away with the Angels.”

Read the complete tribute to Kyle here.

SAVATAGE AND TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA DISCUSS GIGANTIC COMEBACK SHOW AT WACKEN 2015

 Last night, at the Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) festival in northern Germany, Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) and Savatage wowed 80,000-plus attendees with a never-before-attempted music festival performance. They talk about their gigantic comeback show in the new video interview below:

Following a 40-minute Savatage set and a 40-minute TSO set, TSO and Savatage band members, across two of the festival’s main stages, performed a perfectly coordinated set of fan-favorites. This ambitious feat, both musically and logistically, was helmed by Paul O’Neill. Al Pitrelli led TSO on the “True Metal Stage” and Jon Oliva headed Savatage on the “Black Stage.” Beyond the unprecedented act of two bands hitting the stage at the same time, this show was also memorable as it marked progressive metal originators Savatage’s first show in over a decade, TSO’s first European festival show, as well as the only live appearances of both bands in Europe in 2015.

At 9:45 PM, Savatage, including members Oliva, Pitrelli, Johnny Lee Middleton, Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, Zak Stevens, Bill Hudson, plus several backing musicians (including TSO’s Vitalij Kuprij), ripped through such Savatage songs as “Gutter Ballet,” “Hall of the Mountain King,” “Edge of Thorns,” “Jesus Saves” and more.

As the Savatage set came to a close, guitarist Pitrelli raced to the other stage to join TSO for a fierce performance including songs from their upcoming release Letters From The Labyrinth – “Prometheus,” “Toccata/Carpimus Noctem” from the platinum-certified Night Castle and more. For TSO’s first set, the band consisted of John O.Reilly and Jeff Plate (drums), David Z and Middleton (bass), Angus Clark and Caffery (guitars), Mee Eun Kim and Derek Wieland (keyboards), Asha Melvana and Roddy Chong (strings). Vocal duties were handled by Jeff Scott Soto, Kayla Reeves and Andrew Ross, with the group bolstered at times with dancers, background vocalists and more.

At 11 PM came the portion of the performance that left the crowd astonished: all band members took to their respective stages and began an hour-long simultaneous performance playing the same songs concurrently. They stormed through the set containing such songs as Savatage’s “Turns To Me,” a rousing version of “Believe” with a duet featuring Oliva and Robin Borneman along with TSO favorites including “A Last Illusion,” “Requiem,” “Beethoven,” and “King Rurick” from TSO’s forthcoming release. A united Trans-Siberian Orchestra featured four guitarists, four keyboard players, two drummers, two bassists, a string section, and multiple vocalists (including the addition of TSO’s Russell Allen and Savatage’s Stevens to the above). It was a sight to behold, with several generations on stage: from teenagers taking their first steps on an international rock stage to seasoned veterans who have toured the world.

Throughout the two-plus hours, along with an unprecedented sonic storm, fans were treated to an incredible pyrotechnic display estimated to have cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. As anyone on site could attest, it was an unparalleled auditory and visual experience.

Check out some fan-filmed footage below:

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