Andrew Freeman is prepared to be regarded as “the world’s most hated singer” when he replaces Ronnie James Dio in a reunion of Dio’s original lineup.
Guitarist Vivian Campbell recently announced he’d jammed with keyboardist Claude Schell, bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Vinny Appice, and it had gone so well they’d decided to work together again.
Now Schnell confirms they’ll perform under the name Last In Line, by way of a tribute to Dio, who died two years ago.
The keyboardist also reveals the reunion came about after Def Leppard axeman Campbell jammed with Steel Panther.
Schnell tells MusicLegends: “Viv had done an impromptu play with Steel Panther and he was energised to the point of saying, ‘We should get together.’
“It was initially supposed to be a fun hang. It turned out to be more than just fun. As chance would have it, it actually sounded quite good.”
But the musicians shared a sombre moment when they jammed Dio classic Holy Diver. Schnell says: “The song starts with just the instruments alone. I think all of us had kind of a memory anticipation of the next thing we were going to hear being Ronnie’s voice. Other than the obvious and notable absence it sounded exactly as it sounded back in the day.
“On the one hand it felt great to be playing this great music again – but Ronnie being no longer with us to sing it became painfully obvious as we progressed through the session.”
Despite those emotions, Schnell says former Lynch Mob singer Freeman did a great job. “If he didn’t, I don’t believe we’d be pursuing the project with him,” the keyboardist explains. “His online comments about ‘preparing to be the world’s most hated singer’ notwithstanding, I think he’s going to do a ver credible and impressive job of covering this material.”
When Dio returned to Black Sabbath in 2006 the lineup called themselves Heaven and Hell after one of their albums, to distinguish what they were doing from Sabbath’s output. That’s a leading reason why the former Dio men came up with the name Last in Line – the band’s second album but the first to include a keyboardist in the band.
“It’s been getting a very good response,” says Schnell. “It’s a subtle nod to Ronnie. The first album on which we all played, me included, was The Last in Line. And I think it works better than Holy Diver does anyway.”
Video release a tribute to Ronnie James Dio on the 2nd anniversary of his passing
Songwriter and Pianist Micah Sheveloff Teams up with Meliah Rage Singer Mike Munro to Release Heaven and Hell Duet
Micah Sheveloff, cofounder of The Voodoo Jets, has announced that he will be releasing a collection of piano-based songs called Exhibitionist on July 1st, 2012, featuring a host of guest artists. The first track to be unveiled, a piano and voice cover of Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell recorded with Meliah Rage singer Mike Munro, will be released on YouTube to commemorate the second anniversary of the legendary Sabbath singer’s passing. Official release date for the video is May 16th, 2012.
“This rendition of Heaven and Hell has been percolating inside my head since the song was first released over 30 years ago,” Sheveloff said. “I wanted to maintain the dark feel of the track on solo piano, staying away from anything too flowery while layering in some interesting chord changes—and the huge voice of Mike Munro seemed like a perfect fit. I am so thankful we were able to work together.”
Sheveloff’s release contains ten songs encompassing a wide array of mood, tempo and lyrical content. There are eight original compositions plus the Black Sabbath track and another cover duet with legendary Boston singer/songwriter Rick Berlin. Berlin sings Sheveloff’s piano arrangement of Cheap Trick’s Heaven Tonight. “I had several fundamental goals for this record—the first was to sing my own songs, establish my own voice,” Sheveloff explained. “I also wanted an opportunity to mix in the personalities and creative sensibilities of some gifted musicians, and everyone who participated in the project was amazing. I think recording live to 2-inch tape was a big part of it—I kept computers out of the equation until the mixing stage and that process allows great players to shine. I think we captured a lot of genuine human energy on this record,” Sheveloff added.
Drummer Greg Trabandt and bassist Clint Amereno anchored Sheveloff’s original songs, with guitarist Ed Vick sizzling on five tracks. Sheveloff also enlisted noted guitarist Marc Shulman (Suzanne Vega, others) to impart his ethereal style on two of the original songs. “I played a session some years ago and I remember asking the producer—who played those tasty guitar tracks? I’ve been looking for an opportunity to work with Marc ever since,” recalled Sheveloff.
Rounding out the guest list is renowned Vermont guitarist Paul Asbell and vocalist James Mix who teamed up with Connecticut jazz rhythm players Steve Clark (bass) and drummer Paul Mills on a song called Too Many Times.
Exhibitionist is an honest record. The writing is uninhibited; the players played, the singers stepped up to the mic and sung the songs. Recorded at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 using a 9-foot concert Steinway and a vintage Hammond B3, Exhibitionist is meant to be an intimate experience. Release date July 1st, 2012.
DEF LEPPARD/ex-DIO guitarist Vivian Campbell recently revealed plans to perform with original DIO members, stating: “I met up with the original Dio band guys, (drummer) Vinny Appice, (bassist) Jimmy Bain and (keyboardist) Claude Schnell again last night. Now that I’ve brushed-up on how to play those solos again, we’re planning to jam some more and plan to do some gigs, too. We found a great singer who can really do justice to RONNIE’s (JAMES DIO) parts.”
A new update from Campbell states: “Although there have been a couple of inarticulate naysayers, I’m happy that most of you are supportive of my plans to play with the original Dio band. However, in the meantime there’s Def Lep business at hand as we’re gearing up for the summer tour. Rehearsals start in just over two weeks and the monkey is all fired up!”
Stay tuned for updates, and find Vivian Campbell on Facebook at this location.
Ronnie James Dio’s stellar musical career was matched by very few, and what turned out to be the last-ever studio album released by his solo band, Dio, will be issued as a picture disc on June 5th. ‘Master of the Moon’ will be released via the Niji Entertainment Group, and is the first time the album has been issued as a picture disc in the U.S.
Featuring the stellar line-up of Ronnie James Dio – vocals, Craig Goldy – guitar/keyboards, Jeff Pilson – bass, Scott Warren – keyboards, and Simon Wright – drums, ‘Master of the Moon’ features such Dio classics as “One More for the Road” and the title track. Also included is “The Eyes,” which the late singer once noted was one of his all-time favorite tracks recorded by the Dio band.
The tenth Dio studio album overall, ‘Master of the Moon’ was the perfect way to close the solo career of one of hard rock/heavy metal’s all-time great vocalists. Featuring artwork by horror/science fiction artist Marc Sasso, this striking picture disc is a must-have for Dio collectors. And soon, fans will get the opportunity to rediscover and experience this classic album like they never have before!
‘MASTER OF THE MOON’ TRACKLIST:
“One More for the Road” – 3:18
“Master of the Moon” – 4:19
“The End of the World” – 4:39
“Shivers” – 4:15
“The Man Who Would Be King” – 4:58
“The Eyes” – 6:27
“Living the Lie” – 4:25
“I Am” – 5:00
“Death by Love” – 4:21
“In Dreams” – 4:26
Rainbow’s 1978 studio effort, ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was a very significant album for the band, as it signaled the last Rainbow release to feature the legendary Ronnie James Dio. But despite Dio’s imminent departure from the band, the album has become not only one of Rainbow’s best, but one of the best hard rock/heavy metal releases of all time, as evidenced by the inclusion of such classics as the anthemic title track, as well as “Gates of Babylon,” “Kill the King,” and one of rock’s most gorgeous ballads, “Rainbow Eyes.”
And on April 21st, Niji Entertainment Group will be celebrating Record Store Day by reissuing ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ as a numbered/limited edition picture disc, which features the album’s classic cover art on the front of the disc, and a crowd shot (originally featured in the gatefold of the original album) on the back. Additionally, this release will sport much-improved sonics from the original, as it was remastered under the supervision of long time Dio engineer, Wyn Davis.
Dean Schachtel, Sales & Marketing Manager for the Niji Entertainment Group, says, “I feel very confident that this will be one of the more popular Record Store Day items, as only 2,500 deluxe picture discs were made, and each LP is individually numbered. And to top it all off, this is the very first picture disc from Rainbow.”
The last Dio-related picture disc to be released on Record Store Day (‘Killing the Dragon’) sold out its 2,500 pressing in less than a week. So act quick to secure your copy of this one-of-a-kind Rainbow/Dio release!
Many people know of Tracy G from his days in Dio and perhaps a few older fans may recall one of his earlier projects WWIII. However, what some casual fans may not realize that Tracy G. is not only alive and well he is kicking well into the new millennium. Entrepreneur, business owner, musician, producer and author Tracy G has had a long and prolific career in the music industry.
We are delighted to have the chance to speak to him in our special two-part interview. Part I will focus on his past and in the Spring we will catch up with Tracy again for Part II and talk about his new book and new album.
JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford, MOTÖRHEAD’s Lemmy Kilmister, DEEP PURPLE’s Ian Gillan, ALICE COOPER, GLENN HUGHES, SEBASTIAN BACH, CHRIS JERICHO and FOO FIGHTERS mastermind Dave Grohl are all on board for a RONNIE JAMES DIO tribute album.
“I’m letting them pick the song they want to do and the way they want to do it,” Wendy Dio tells Artisan News. Check out the report below:
HARD ROCK LEGENDS AND METAL GIANTS COME TOGETHER TO ONCE AGAIN CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF DIMEBAG WHILE HONORING ANOTHER HERO
Monster Energy Presents DimeBash 2011 Featuring Many of the Hard Rock World’s Biggest Names As They Join Together to Celebrate the Music of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and Metal Classics He Loved with all Proceeds Benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund
(Los Angeles, CA – December 8, 2011) – Metal guitar legend “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott’s influence on the music community can never be fully estimated, but if the collection of artists and players at this year’s DimeBash 2011 is any indication, his legacy is as far-reaching and deeper than ever before. On December 14th, the world of hard rock and metal come together in a communion of thunderous songs and stories to tip its collective glass to one of the true masters of not only guitar, but music as a whole. “Today marks the 7th year, which still doesn’t seem like a reality to me”, states Rita Haney, longtime girlfriend of Dime and the person who knew him best. “Sometimes I think, “Boy this sure is a long ass tour”, but then I focus back in and realize what I’m working on at this moment and I just have to smile and be thankful for all the amazing people that surround me – thanks to him. I hope everyone enjoys this event as much as we like bringing it to them. It’s nothing more, nothing less, than “About a damn good time!” – one of my favorite Dime pastimes and phrases. There are no words to express my thanks to all the artists who make this event special and give “us fans” a night to remember two truly amazing people and the music they created! I am forever at your beckon call, so c’mon out and experience the evening with us. It’s going to be quite magical!!!”
The Key Club Hollywood plays host to all-star jams featuring the vocal talents of heavy hitters like Jerry Cantrell, Dave Draiman, Duff McKagan, Serj Tankian, Mike Muir and Sebastian Bach; the guitar fury from players like John 5, Scott Ian, Phil Demmel, Warren DeMartini, Ben Harper, Chris Howorth and Tom Morello; and the ground-shaking rhythms of Doug Pinnick, James Lomenzo, Ginger Fish, Brian Tichy and Joey Jordison, with many more superstars lending their vocal and playing skills to the metal proceedings – with the whole shebang being emceed by That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk and his co-horts, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson. In addition, kicking off the event will be Kill Devil Hill, featuring the legendary Vinnie Appice and Rex Brown. Also on deck are Dio Disciples featuring the great Rudy Sarzo and vocalist Tim Ripper Owens with a special appearance by Glenn Hughes.
It will truly be a special evening of hard rock featuring luminaries from some of the biggest bands in the world: Pantera, Anthrax, Disturbed, Slipknot, Rage Against The Machine, System of a Down, Machine Head and many more, all in the name of all things Dimebag – with 100% of proceeds from the event benefitting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund. Additionally, attendees will be able to land some limited edition merchandise and purchase Monster Energy cocktail drink specials with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the cause as well.
Without question, Ronnie James Dio was one of the greatest vocalists in hard rock/heavy metal history, who built a fanatical and devoted following during his multi-decade career. And in the coming months, Dio collectors will have the opportunity to pick up some truly one-of-a-kind releases – a limited edition picture disc of Elf’s self-titled debut album, a deluxe picture disc of the Dio release ‘Master of the Moon,’ and a limited edition and deluxe numbered super secret Picture Disc that will make HISTORY for RECORD STORE DAY 2012!
As a reminder, just released is the amazing, “And Before Elf……. There Were Elves” featuring both live in the studio and live on stage tracks from 1971 from The Elves featuring a young Ronnie James Dio on vocals! The packaging is spectacular! The CD comes housed in a digi pack with a custom Lenticular cover! When you turn the cover to the right, you see an image and when you turn it to the right, you see a completely different image! This CD is in stores now!
December 13th will see the release of the very first Elf album, as a deluxe numbered picture disc. Originally issued in 1972, the album shows off Dio’s vast vocal talents, as he handles honky tonk, blues, and rock, rather than the mega decibel rock that would later become his trademark. This release will be issued in the USA only, and each LP will be individually numbered from 1-2,500.
The next release, the ‘Master of the Moon’ deluxe numbered picture disc, will be released on March 13, 2012. The album was originally issued in 2004, was Dio’s tenth studio solo effort overall, and featured such renowned rock names as Simon Wright on drums, Craig Goldy on guitar, Scott Warren on keyboards, and Jeff Pilson on bass. Unlike the other two aforementioned releases, the ‘Master of the Moon’ deluxe picture disc will not be a limited edition release.
And lastly, on Record Store Day 2012 (April 16, 2012, to be exact), The Niji Entertainment Group has something very special that will sell out instantly! We don’t want to give it away yet, but trust us, fans will be waiting in line at participating Record Store Day locations to scoop this release up! Dio fans will be the first to know about it, so joing the Official Ronnie James Dio Fan Page On Facebook!
Also recently launched is the Official Dio Store, where fans can buy shirts, CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-rays and more from Dio, Heaven & Hell and other artists signed to the label: officialronniejamesdiowebstore.com/content/
Don’t wait long to pick up these three beautifully assembled Dio releases! These releases will be sold in local record stores across the US as well as online music retailers like Amazon.com and the Official Dio Web Store! The Official Dio Fan Page on Facebook gets over 25,000,000 visitors a month, and once the word is spread about this project, fans will be waiting in line overnight to get their copies. Get ready for some vintage Dio rock…with a sleek new look!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: ronniejamesdio.com facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio officialronniejamesdiowebstore.com/content/
The UK’s finest Heavy Metal Warriors Conquest of Steel unleash a feast of visual steel in the form of their new video to support the new 7″ single ‘Victorious in Defeat’.
The featured track is ‘Man of the Dragon’ – a Ronnie James Dio tribute track and sure fire headbangin’ live favourite.
The footage is taken from the 7″ launch party held at Conquest Towers earlier this year. The video is close up metal action at it’s finest and has a raw, in your face feel with real headbangful intensity!
Some fans figured that with the passing of Ronnie James Dio in 2010, one of metal’s greatest voices of all-time had been silenced forever. But Dio’s music will live on forever, and many of his friends and/or former band mates are making sure of it, as they have reunited as Dio Disciples – a concert celebration to the former singer of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Elf (and successful/respected solo artist). And while Dio Disciples has already performed overseas, US fans have waited patiently for their chance to catch the group. Soon, their wish will be granted.
The band (which is comprised of singers Tim “Ripper” Owens and Toby Jepson, guitarist Craig Goldy, bassist Rudy Sarzo, keyboardist Scott Warren, and drummer Simon Wright) has announced a string of dates (with more to be announced), which as of now, kicks off on September 22nd at the Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY, and wraps up on October 9th at Trees in Dallas, TX.
Keep your eyes peeled to Dio Disciples’ Facebook page for announcements regarding additional US tour dates.
Touching upon almost every era of Dio’s stellar career, you can expect to hear faithful and heavy renditions of such classics as “The Last in Line,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” “Holy Diver,” “Heaven and Hell,” “Neon Knights,” and “Man on the Silver Mountain,” among countless others.
And Dio Disciples have been receiving rave show reviews, including the Planet Mosh website, which gave a recent London performance a 10/10 rating, and proclaimed, “The performance was a fitting tribute to the memory of the great man himself. I’m not sure there is a better way of keeping the legacy alive, than by witnessing this group of men with such outstanding ability pour every ounce of their being into delivering Dio’s music so perfectly.”
Get ready US fans, as it will soon be time to “Stand Up and Shout” to an evening of Dio music once again.
CONFIRMED US TOUR DATES [more to be added]:
9/22/2011 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
9/23/2011 Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony
9/24/2011 Springfield, VA Jaxx
9/26/2011 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom
9/27/2011 Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar
9/28/2011 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
9/29/2011 Chicago, IL House of Blues
9/30/2011 Medina, MN Medina Entertainment Center
10/6/2011 Baton Rouge, LA Varsity Theatre
10/7/2011 Houston, TX Scout Bar
10/8/2011 San Antonio, TX Sunken Gardens
10/9/2011 Dallas, TX Trees
Over the years, legendary singer Ronnie James Dio fronted some of the most popular/enduring hard rock/heavy metal bands of all-time, including Rainbow, Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell, and Dio.
But before all of these bands, there was Elf. Described as a “Rock/Honky Tonk/Blues band,” a forthcoming release, ‘And Before Elf…There Were Elves,’ will prove that Ronnie could easily handle other rock-related styles.
Released on October 11th via the Niji Entertainment Group, ‘And Before Elf’ will feature twelve previously unreleased tracks (all from 1971), comprised of both live in the studio and live on stage tracks.
The album will feature a striking Lenticular/3D/Hologram cover, that when you turn it, you will see two alternating images – Ronnie from the first Elf LP, as well as a vintage group shot from 1971. And although these recordings are 40 years old, the sonic quality still passes the test, as longtime Dio engineer Wyn Davis remastered the original tapes.
Formed in 1967 in Cortland, New York, The Elves also featured other members that would carve a niche for themselves in the hard rock world!
Guitarist David “Rock” Feinstein (Dio’s cousin) would go on to front the Rods. Elf would last for a trio of albums, before Ronnie exited the group in 1975, to co-form Rainbow with ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
Ronnie James Dio always had the golden touch as a masterful singer and frontman.
And upon hearing ‘And Before Elf…There Were Elves,’ you’ll discover he possessed his one-of-a-kind voice from the very beginning of his career.
Legendary metal maven, DORO PESCH, will perform a special show in New York City this Fall. Scheduled for September 9, 2011 at the Gramercy Theatre, the show will mark the official U.S. screening/release party for DORO‘s 25 Years In Rock DVD, set for release in North America via Nuclear Blast on September 13. Released in Europe late last year (also via Nuclear Blast), the epic 2 DVD/CD set includes DORO‘s 25-year anniversary show in its entirety as well as out-takes from her 2,500th concert and so much more. Tickets for the show will go on sale July 6, 2011. For more info, point your browser HERE.
In related news, professionally filmed video footage PESCH’s entire Hellfest performance in Clisson, France can be viewed HERE (courtesy of Arte,a Franco-German TV network).
For the next three nights, the German metal queen will be filling in for singer Tim “Ripper” Owens on the following Dio Disciples dates:
Dio Disciples is the new project featuring former Dio members Rudy Sarzo (bass), Simon Wright (drums), Craig Goldy (guitar) and Scott Warren (keyboards), along with Owens and additional singer Toby Jepson, who pay tribute to legendary vocalist, Ronnie James Dio. Owens was unable to make the Spanish shows to celebrate his daughter’s wedding.
Commented Pesch: “I’m so excited to be a part of this tour. I listened day and night to Ronnie James Dio’s amazingly wonderful song and I will try me very best to do a good job with them. I feel so honored and blessed to be a part of this and to keep Dio’s music and magic alive. He was truly the greatest rock and metal singer of all time. We love you, Ronnie. I will sing my heart out for you and the fans. ”
More DORO news, including additional U.S. dates, to come. In the meantime, be sure to check out DORO‘s new (and official) fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/DoroOfficial.
Legendary BLACK SABBATH/HEAVEN & HELL members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have issued the following brief statements regarding the one-year anniversary of the death of their friend/bandmate RONNIE JAMES DIO who lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 67 on May 16th, 2010:
Iommi: “A sad day, Ronnie you might be gone but will never be forgotten “
Butler: “I can’t believe it’s been 12 months. RIP, Ronnie.”
Shortly after Ronnie’s passing, the staff members of Metal-Rules.com put their heads together and proposed that in one year we should pay tribute to Ronnie by presenting comments and quotes from artists that worked with him, those that knew him, and those that were influenced by his powerful, huge, and unforgettable voice. Of course I gave my blessing as no metal icon is as deserving of such a tribute.
So here are the interviews clips (video/text) from everyone that we could get in contact with over the past year. Long live heavy metal and long live Ronnie James Dio!
Orpheus Spiliotopoulos, the co-host of MTV Greece‘s “Headbangers Ball”, has published an audio interview online with the late Ronnie James Dio, titled “HEAVY METAL MEMORIES: Interview with Ronnie James Dio (DIO, ELF, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL)”.
“My fondest memory of a true legend, one of rock/metal’s greatest voices of all time, the magnificent Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010). The interview was taken backstage at Rockwave Festival, on June 29th 2007, in Greece. The interview was translated and published via the Greek Rock Hard magazine and was also broadcasted on my online radio show at http://www.hardrockradiolive.com. This is the unedited/uncut version of the interview. R.I.P. Ronnie. You were an amazing human being. It was an honor to meet you” commented Spiliotopoulos.