Eric Blair of “The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show” recently conducted an interview with vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) about DIO DISCIPLES, the new project featuring former DIO members Simon Wright (drums), Craig Goldy (guitar) and Scott Warren (keyboards) alongside bassist James Lomenzo (MEGADETH, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, WHITE LION) and singers Owens and Toby Jepson (LITTLE ANGELS, GUN). You can now watch the chat below.
DIO DISCIPLES played its third concert ever on Friday, June 10 at the Sauna Open Air festival in Tampere, Finland. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
DIO DISCIPLES kicked off its European tour on June 8 at the A2 club in Moscow, Russia.
The band’s setlist was as follows:
01. Stand Up And Shout (DIO cover) [vocals: Owens]
02. Holy Diver (DIO cover) [vocals: Owens]
03. Don’t Talk to Strangers (DIO cover) [vocals: Owens]
04. Egypt (The Chains Are On) (DIO cover) [vocals: Jepson]
05. King Of Rock And Roll (DIO cover) [vocals: Jepson]
06. Catch The Rainbow (RAINBOW cover) [vocals: Jepson]
07. Stargazer (RAINBOW cover) [vocals: Owens Jepson]
08. Neon Knights (BLACK SABBATH cover) [vocals: Owens]
09. Straight Through The Heart (DIO cover) [vocals: Owens Jepson]
10. Children Of The Sea (BLACK SABBATH cover) [vocals: Owens Jepson]
11. Killing The Dragon (DIO cover) [vocals: Jepson]
12. Last In The Line (DIO cover) [vocals: Owens Jepson]
13. Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll (RAINBOW cover) [vocals: Jepson]
14. Man On The Silver Mountain (RAINBOW cover) [vocals: Owens]
15. Heaven And Hell (BLACK SABBATH cover) [vocals: Owens Jepson]
16. Rainbow In The Dark (DIO cover) [vocals: Owens]
17. We Rock (DIO cover) [vocals: Owens Jepson]
In a recent interview with Metal Assault, Simon stated about how DIO DISCIPLES was conceived, “I think it was a combination of all of us. We talked long and hard and discussed ‘Should we or shouldn’t we? Is it right? How do we really feel about all this?’ And it just became apparent that we just couldn’t let it go. We’ve been in Ronnie‘s band for such a long time and he taught us so much, he was an inspiration and we learned so much from him about being on the road, being in the studio… We just came to the conclusion that we just couldn’t let it go and we needed to keep the songs going for the fans; that’s the most important thing we’re doing here. We’re not trying to kid anybody here; we’re just doing it from the heart and continuing his legacy. It’s really as simple as that.”
Regarding DIO DISCIPLES‘ touring plans, Tim said, “We picked Europe first and the main reason is the summer festivals. So we go there first and we’re working on U.S. dates [for September]. We’re trying to take it one step at a time; we’re trying to build this thing and [do it right].
“I tour a lot during the year solo — seven months out of the year — and once I was asked to do this, I moved anything I had scheduled; I had Australia scheduled in the summer — I moved those instantly and I put anything [that would prevent me from doing this] on hold. ‘Cause once I was asked to celebrate Ronnie James Dio‘s legacy and his music, there was nothing that I had that I wasn’t gonna move to somewhere else in the future — or lose; which I had lost a few thing as well — because [doing DIO DISCIPLES became] my main [focus].”
On the topic of DIO DISCIPLES setlist, Simon said, “The problem that a lot of bands have is that they’ve got a strong batch of hits, so we still have to do songs that are like that — we have to do ‘Heaven And Hell’, ‘Rainbow In The Dark’, ‘Holy Diver’, ‘We Rock’… So we’re doing those, but we’re trying to throw in as many curveballs as we can at the moment. As we progress, I think we’ll be throwing in more songs from Ronnie‘s catalog, which should be a couple of surprises — songs that maybe were never played live, or that were played live but a long, long time ago. Because, like I said before, we wanna make it something special for the fans and they all have everything different songs that they love. We can’t do them all, but we’re gonna try and fit as many of them in as we can.”
Added Tim, “I don’t care what band you’re in, it’s hard to make a setlist. And when you have someone like Ronnie [whose recorded work] goes back a long ways, you’re not gonna please everyone, but every day we rehearse, we’ve added another song in there, trying a different song.”
German “metal queen” Doro Pesch will be filling in for Owens on the following DIO DISCIPLES tour dates:
June 29 – Milan, Italy @ Magazzini Generali
July 01 – Bilbao, Spain @ Rockstar Live
July 02 – Madrid, Spain @ Heineken
July 03 – Barcelona, Spain @ Bikini
Owens will be unable to make the Italian and Spanish shows as he will be attending his daughter’s wedding.