Zach Shaw of Metal Insider recently conducted an interview with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN HELL, KILL DEVIL HILL). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Insider: You previously admitted that it would be “hard” to turn down the opportunity to play with BLACK SABBATH again. I hate to be so direct, but have SABBATH contacted you about possibly filling in for Bill Ward, or at least for the shows they have planned so far?

Vinny: No, I haven’t heard a peep. And that’s why, even when I’m communicating with Tony [Iommi, guitar], it’s on a friendship level. I never write in, “Hey man, what’s happening?! Hey how you feeling? Feeling good? Oh, good! Hey, what’s going on with the band? I’d love to do that!” I never do that. I never did that with SABBATH at all, or with DIO. I’ve always been asked to be in a band. I’m not that kind of guy to hound somebody and say “Hey I could really use the money or the gig!” [laughs]. I never did that… But nobody’s said anything, and at this point, it’s cool. I can understand because we also did four years of HEAVEN HELL. If I was in the band, it would be like Ozzy [Osbourne] touring with HEAVEN HELL. People could take it possibly as that, even though it’s bigger than that. And then there’s all of these political things involved. But with SABBATH, you can never figure out what’s going on anyway. So at the end of the day, who knows what happens. There might be a call going “OK, this guy is not working out, would you maybe come back?” That’s what’s happened in the past. I’d like to see Bill do it. I think Bill being in the band makes it the original band, and how many original bands are left from that era that had such influence? So I’d love to see Bill in there. I love Bill, and I’d love to see the original band. And that’s what the fans want to see obviously.

Metal Insider: I hate to press further on this, but if they were to call you asking to join them, what would you say?

Vinny: That’s a hard one, because my heart’s in KILL DEVIL HILL and I want this band to be successful. And the SABBATH thing, it’s hard to turn down something so legendary, like “Hey, you want to play on the next or last BLACK SABBATH album?” It’s part of history. So it would be hard to turn down. I would just make it work with both bands coexisting. If I had to do that, I would do it. But maybe it would help KILL DEVIL HILL. Maybe we’d open the tour, if they were touring? If it was like this is going to take the next three years and you can’t do anything else, then I would have to think about it. But my main thing is KILL DEVIL HILL. The SABBATH thing, that would be hard for anybody to turn it down. And I’m not talking about money or anything, I’m just talking about being a part of the history of the band and rock. It would be a great opportunity for anybody. But it’s not even going to happen. They’ve gone this long, they’re obviously playing and writing. I heard that they were in the studio by March. I don’t know who’s doing it. I heard maybe Tommy [Clufetos] from Ozzy‘s band doing it. But I must say this, it was really funny reading all the Internet stuff because when Bill came out [with his statement], people were writing in going “Vinny should do it! Vinny‘s the next in line!” Then people go “Fuck Vinny! He doesn’t belong up there! Bill should be up there!” Then all of a sudden Tommy‘s name came up, they were going “Fuck Tommy! He doesn’t deserve to be up there! Vinny should do it!” It just went down the line. And I was cracking up, like “Damn!” You can’t win or lose.

Metal Insider: That’s one of the big downsides of the Internet. You just can’t win sometimes.

Vinny: Nah, you can’t win. Things get out on Blabbermouth, people commenting. People like to rag on people. That’s what happens. There’s some cool people that make sense and write cool things, but then there’s people that just want to vent their anger. You’ve got to read it with a grain of salt. If it’s good, you go “Cool,” and if they tell you [that] you suck, you go “Cool.” [laughs] You can’t let it affect you.

Metal Insider: As you touched upon earlier, you’ve had the chance to work with a broad range of musicians, from Ronnie James Dio to John Lennon. Is there one particular artist that you worked with who really made an impact on you?

Vinny: It would have to be Ronnie. Ronnie was an incredible person, and I loved that guy. I was fifteen years or so younger than Ronnie, and he was like a father figure to me. He was smart, an extremely bright, sharp person, creative. I watched him a lot. I tried to learn from him. He taught me a lot of things, and he was just really influential in my life. And besides being one of the greatest singers in rock, if not the, he was a cool guy to start at a young age with. He was such a professional, and just seeing him go out onstage and belt it out no matter what happened before or after the show. Whether he’s feeling good or not feeling good, he went out and he just killed it. And the way he treated his fans, he loved his fans, and it was just about the fans and the music. A true die-hard person, and it was amazing to be around something like that.

Read the entire interview from Metal Insider.