Jeff Cramer of the Stone Cold Crazy blog recently conducted an interview with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN HELL, KILL DEVIL HILL). An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Stone Cold Crazy: Out of all the people who played with [Ronnie James] Dio, the one who seems to have the most hostility toward Dio is [former DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist] Vivian Campbell. No one else who worked with Dio has that much animosity as Vivian does. I mean I’ve interviewed Craig Gruber, before Ronnie‘s death, and he had nothing but nice things to say about him. Sounds like something really bad had happened between the two.
Appice: Yeah. Well, it was chalked down to business. There was a lot of business decisions that weren’t the best for the band, and as far as the way things were cut up and stuff, so Viv had a problem with that, and Viv was more hostile toward fighting and getting what he wanted. So, he didn’t see eye to with Ronnie. Eventually, that got worse and worse and worse until Ronnie said, “I’m gonna get rid of Viv. I’m gonna get somebody else.” I didn’t think it was a great decision, because Viv was part of that band, part of the magic, and a great guitar player, but it was Ronnie‘s band. So, yeah, it just got worse and worse and worse until one day, it was the bubble burst, boop, Viv‘s out. So that was crazy. But they didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, and didn’t work together. It was more down to business. It wasn’t a musical thing. It wasn’t like DIO was gonna start playing disco songs, you know?
Stone Cold Crazy: Then you guys went on with Craig Goldy, to do “Dream Evil”, although I did notice on “Lock Up The Wolves” there is a bunch of songs that were credited to you, even though by that point you and Jimmy Bain are credited on several songs, but by that point, you guys aren’t even in the band anymore.
Appice: No, but “Lock Up The Wolves”, we wound up writing — I rehearsed with the band and we wrote all the stuff that we wrote together, and so all my parts were there and my drumming was there, and, actually — and I think Simon Wright will tell you the same thing — that he copied some of the drum parts that I had because there were certain things that I played and he wound up playing the same thing, so I wound up rehearsing and writing with the band for the whole time. Just about when we were gonna go in the studio, that’s when I left, I left the band. And Jimmy was there, but not as long as I was, so I forgot when Jimmy was actually not there.
Stone Cold Crazy: What made you leave DIO at that time?
Appice: Well, it was a little different people in the band. It was like Rowan Robinson, Teddy Cook. And they were all young, and it was like, “Wow, this is like an underage band almost.” It was like, “Jeez, it’s not the same band that I’m used to with Viv and Jimmy and Claude Schnell.” So it was so changed that I thought maybe now it’s time that I leave and I was hooking up with my buddy Jeff Pilson. He had a band called WAR PEACE. And he was putting something together and I thought, “Okay. Let me hook up with him and try spreading my wings a little bit here.” So that’s what I did. So I decided to leave.
Read the entire interview from Stone Cold Crazy.