Tim “Ripper” Owens Takes Michael J. Miller Band’s Hard-Rock Hedonism One Step Further With “Live It Up”

The hard-rock juggernaut known as MJM has more than enough party favors in their stash to throw one heck of a blowout. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to fling open their doors in welcome when a true legend shows up wanting to join in. Just cock an ear toward the room-shaking new remix of MJM’s most recent single, “Live It Up,” now with a killer lead vocal by esteemed metal mouthpiece Tim “Ripper” Owens.

Beloved by headbangers across the globe for his peerless wailing on the Judas Priest albums Jugulator and Demolition—and currently rocking the mic for fellow JP alumnus K.K. Downing in KK’s Priest—Owens has taken the time to lend his immaculate voice to a simply wild reimagining of the track that elevates its gleeful excess to a whole new level. With a throat full of razor blades and an unmistakable devotion to the cause, he hurtles headlong into the song’s admonitions to carpe the hell out of that fabled diem:

Life can change in a New York minute
It’s a battle, we’re in it to win it
Live it up, flying high, having some fun
Live it up, it’s a wild ride, as we circle the sun

This is hedonistic anthemry like they just don’t make anymore—a party number that stomps and struts as if there is still nothing but a good time. The classic, AC/DC-inspired riffing and huge chorus soar on the wings of call-and-response verses that fight valiantly for their own right to party.

To hear Owens tell it, he was more than happy to apply his leather lungs to the remake.

“I loved singing on it, and I love doing things that are a little bit out of the box for me,” he says. His final verdict? “A real fun and good hard-rocking tune!”

Having Owens along for the ride, even temporarily, is a major step in the upward trajectory of MJM guitarist and creative kingpin Michael J. Miller. Formerly the brains and fingers behind the cult metal acts Rapid Tears (whose albums Honestly and Cry for Mercy are now distributed by European label Sonic Age Records) and Adrenalin (heard on Dedicated, released by Germany’s Long Island Records), Miller founded MJM to better convey his keen musical vision. With a lineup that’s rounded out by bassist Zsolt Henczely, drummer Tom Eakin and vocalist Stephany Dudas, the Toronto-based quartet has released four full-length records of its own—three of them that balance lyrically poignant singles with guitar-based instrumentals, and a fourth that’s made up entirely of hard-hitting wordless explorations.

Their most recent collection, MJM IV—a loose concept album about the consequences of space travel—led into the more straightforward mayhem of “Live It Up,” which was produced by Tom Atom at TomAtom Recording Studios in Toronto and is now getting a new lease on life thanks to Owens’ amped-up reworking.

“The lyric concept is ‘life is short,’ Miller explains. “‘Live It Up’ is about having a good time and keeping a positive outlook on the challenges we face. We’re in it to win it!”

And MJM know something about winning, having earned Best Rock Song honors 14 times at the Akademia Music Awards in Hollywood. Over the past five years, they’ve also netted the competition’s Akademia Executive Award, Artist Vision Award, Rising Star Award and (both in 2022) its Outstanding Legacy Award and Rock Artist of the Year award. In 2023, the band was inducted into the Akademia Music Hall of Fame.

With a new album on the way, the success streak—and the party—look like they’ll never stop. Seize the day, and don’t forget to invite the neighbors!