Legendary drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, LAST IN LINE) was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the “One On One With Mitch Lafon” podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the songwriting process for “Heavy Crown”, the forthcoming debut album from LAST IN LINE — the band featuring DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell alongside fellow founding DIO members Appice and Jimmy Bain, plus singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB:
“We just went in a room and started… You know, it started off with jamming. As far as writing the new songs, we got in a room together and jammed a lot, and that’s the way we did ‘Holy Diver’. We jammed, we recorded things. Sometimes Viv or Jimmy had a riff they wanted to work on. No one came in with a full song, and that’s exactly the way we did ‘Holy Diver’. So we just took things we liked, some of the riffs that we liked, and put ‘em together and then tried different arrangements of it and came up with the parts that we needed to make a song. And then Andy was there not all the time, but when he was there, it was a lot easier and quicker, ‘cause he would come up with some basic melodies or where he can sing and then we were able to really move along, knowing where the vocal is. And then there were times when he wasn’t there and we would just put together what we thought was the skeleton of a song and send it to him — he’s in [Las] Vegas, we’re in L.A. — and he would write some stuff and record it and send it back, and then we’d go from there. That’s the way we put this whole thing together, and it came out really quickly. Just getting in a room together and jamming, and the creativity was there; everybody had ideas. And the cool thing is, it’s totally open. ‘You have an idea? What is it? Let’s try it.’ Whether it’s crazy or whatever. We tried everything. So the whole creativity process was very smooth and it really flowed well. As soon as the three of us and four of us got together, it was amazing.”
On whether he is interested in playing drums for BLACK SABBATH on the band’s upcoming “The End” tour in 2016:
“I’m in touch with Tony [Iommi, BLACK SABBATH guitarist] here and there, with e-mails. I always check on him, how he’s doing, and I think about Tony a lot since he was sick. These are all my friends, and people are getting sick, and it’s awful. So I keep in touch with Tony. He’s got my contact. I don’t call up… Everybody goes, ‘You should call up and let ‘em know…’ And it’s, like, I never did that. They’ve always called me when they were wanting me to play with them. So no one’s called. I’m not counting on it or… You know, I know they’re [still] using, probably, Tommy [Clufetos]. But the problem becomes, it’s a different band, there’s different people around them, different managers… It’s a whole different family. So I think that might have something to do with it. And then we played together with Ronnie [James Dio]. It was me and Tony and Geezer [Butler, bass] and Ronnie. So if I was in the band, it’s like me and Tony and Geezer and Ozzy [Osbourne, vocals]. Some people take that as weird. You know, ‘Oh, it’s HEAVEN & HELL with Ozzy.’ So I don’t know what’s going on. I would love to play with them. I think what they should do is have everybody play. It would be cool. Like, Bill [Ward, original BLACK SABBATH drummer] comes out and plays. And then I play a couple of songs, and then [have] Tommy come out and play — just have [him] as a special guest. ‘Cause this is the last tour, or the last thing they’re doing. There’s so much history to the band. But I would, of course, love to do it. I would be honored to do it.”
Appice joined BLACK SABBATH in 1980 during the “Heaven And Hell” tour and appeared on the albums “Live Evil” (1982) and “Mob Rules” (1981) . In late 1982 he left BLACK SABBATH with vocalist Ronnie James Dio and formed the band DIO. They recorded “Holy Diver” (1983), “The Last in Line” (1984), “Sacred Heart” (1985), “Intermission” (1986), and “Dream Evil” (1987). In December 1989, Appice left DIO. In 1992, he returned to BLACK SABBATH for the “Dehumanizer” album and tour. He then rejoined DIO and they recorded “Strange Highways” (1994) and “Angry Machines” (1996).
Appice rejoined his BLACK SABBATH bandmates Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi in 2006 as HEAVEN & HELL, touring and releasing one studio album, “The Devil You Know”, before Dio’s death in 2010.