Vinny Appice is a drummer from Brooklyn, New York and is the younger brother of Vanilla Fudge founding member Carmine Appice. Following in his brothers footsteps, Vinny started playing drums at an early age and by the time he reached his teens, he was a major force in the local music scene. While making a demo tape one night at the Record Plant in NYC, a producer asked Vinny and his band to do some hand claps over a song he was producing. The song turned out to be "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" by John Lennon. John would occasionally come in and watch Vinny's band rehearse and asked them to back him at a show at the New York Hilton. As a result, Vinny wound up playing John Lennon's last live performance. Rick Derringer had a listen to Vinny's demo and approached him with the prospect of forming a band. For the next few years they made three albums and did a lot of touring, playing large clubs, arenas, and opening for bands such as Aerosmith. After moving out to the west coast to record a new project, Vinny got a call to fill in for the ailing Bill Ward in Black Sabbath. This led to a long fruitful relationship, culminating in many albums and world tours with Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven and Hell. As a seasoned pro, Vinny constantly expands his horizons and creativity, by playing with many different artists through the years such as: Rex Brown, Jeff Pilson, Uli Roth and many others. Currently you can find Vinny teaming up with his brother Carmine in Drum Wars and making guest appearances at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp as well as making new records. I recently synched up with Vinny.
R.V.B. - Hello Vinny?
V.A. - Yeah it's Vinny. How are you doing.
R.V.B. - Not too bad, Robert von Bernewitz from New York. How are you?
V.A. - I'm good. I was trying to figure out if I was calling you or you were calling me?
R.V.B. - Hey, how come you don't have the Brooklyn accent?
V.A. - You know I moved out of Brooklyn... shit, in like 1977.
R.V.B. - You lost it. Now you sound Californian.
V.A. - Yeah, because I've been living out here all these years. When I go back to New York it gets heavier. (Hahaha)
R.V.B. - Do you still visit the old neighborhood?
V.A. - When I go back, I'm usually in the city. I see Carmine and I stay at their place there, with him and his girl. Once in a while I'll go to Brooklyn. Last year I took my girlfriend to see the old neighborhood. It was pretty cool, but it was raining and a shitty day. It was cool to go back and see what's going on.
R.V.B. - Does it still look the same?
V.A. - No, it's totally different. When we there, it was more Italian. They fix the houses up differently and it's a different vibe there now. It still kind of looks the same. Everything looks small after you've been out here for a while.
R.V.B. - Now when you started playing the drums... you played in the house over there right?
V.A. - Yeah, the house that we grew up in had a front room, and we always called it "The Porch". There were windows in the front and when we grew up... that's where Carmine had his first band. I don't know why they didn't play in the basement?, but they used to rehearse in the front, and people would stop in the front, on the sidewalk and listen. It was funny... and the next house was only a couple of blocks away. Carmine was out of the house by then and I put the drums in the basement. So I played in the basement.
R.V.B. - With the heavy hitting that you guys do... it must have drawn a crowd.
V.A. - Yeah, but we didn't play that hard back then. (Hahaha)
R.V.B. - (Hahaha) You developed that through the years?
V.A. - I started playing with Rick Derringer in 1976. So in about 1975, I started concentrating in getting a lot of power. I figured if I could build up power now... when I get older it would be easy to play with power. Rather getting a little weaker when you get older and you don't have the power. Now it's easy for me to play loud.
V.A. - Well the way I started is, I played with a lot of people in the neighborhood. Luckily, my sisters who are a few years older than me and her boyfriend Louie was a drummer and he knew all these musicians. I was on par with him even though I was like five years younger. I was taking lessons and I practiced a lot and I used to jam around a lot. Eventually I had a couple of bands together and at an early age of sixteen I did some work with John Lennon. One of the bands that I was in... the guitar player knew Jimmy Iovine and Jimmy produced us. He brought us to the Record Plant studios and produced a demo for us of about four or five songs. Then the owner of the studio loved us and signed us to a management deal, so we had a free rehearsal room in Manhattan, whenever we wanted. It was our room. So we used to rehearse up there and then one night Jimmy called and said come down and do hand claps... he's working on something. So we came down and there was John Lennon in the studio, and we did hand claps on "Whatever Gets You Through The Night". That's me and my band on that song.
R.V.B. - That is awesome. As a sixteen year old kid, you must have been on top of the world.
V.A.- Yeah it was like unbelievable, and then a couple nights later we were rehearsing and John comes walking in and he hangs out... he sat down and watched us play. We smoked a couple of joints with him and got to know him. He kept coming down and watching us play. There was a pool table in the next room and we used to go in there and play pool with him. Then he asked us to do a live gig, and we did a live gig at the New York Hilton. It was a wide world TV special on channel 7 ABC. We played three songs with him and from what I found out, that was his last live show ever... last live appearance.
R.V.B. - Is there a video of that that exists?
V.A. - Look on the internet and search John Lennon and BOMF. That was the name of the band. It stands for "Band of Mother F'ers"
R.V.B. - (Hahaha) Is that what it means?
V.A. - Yeah, I don't know why? Who knows?
R.V.B. - Now Elton played on that song "Whatever Gets You Through The Night?".
V.A. - Yeah, He's singing on it also.
R.V.B. - Was any other members of John's band hanging around or was it in the production stage?
V.A. - They had the song down and it was just John there. I recently found a reel to reel tape from the Record Plant. Somebody recorded a cassette of us doing the hand claps and you hear the tape winding up from the tape machine, and then you hear John go "OK, let's take it again". There's us clapping and then you hear him on the voice again. It's pretty amazing.
R.V.B. - That does sound pretty cool. So how did you hooked up with Rick and started playing with him?
V.A. - The cool thing was... the demos that Jimmy recorded led to Rick hearing them in the studio. He worked there too. Rick asked him "Who is that? Who's the drummer?". Jimmy told him who it was. I was Carmines little brother at the time. Then I met Rick there one night and he said "Hey man, I'm putting a band together in about six months... give me your number, I'll call you". So that's how that happened. He called me six months later and we got together and it all worked out.
R.V.B. - Did you do extensive touring with him?
V.A. - With Rick... we did the first album and just to get the band in shape we did like a month of clubs around the east coast. Then we went on tour with Aerosmith. We opened up for the "Rocks" tour.
R.V.B. - That was a good tour to be on.
V.A. - That was a good tour to be on... that was my first arena tour and I was like "WOW". A big stage and it sounds different... a different vibe. That taught me a lot of stuff about what to expect when you're playing these big places. From there we did more dates. It was 1976 where we co-headlined a club with Journey and we did a place where Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers opened for us. (Hahaha). That's how long ago that was. We did some dates with Boston when they first came out. They got big real quick.
R.V.B. - Was "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" in the set when you played live?
V.A. - Yes, That was recorded before the records I was on, and yes we did it in the set.
R.V.B. - Now I know that Carmine had his people that he was influenced by and studied... did you have anyone different? Who were your influences?
V.A. - Obviously Carmine... as a kid I used to listen to all his stuff and try to learn the licks and then he'd show me stuff. I would listen to and was overwhelmed by: John Bonham, Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich, and Mitch Mitchell. All of those guys have in common one thing. They didn't just play the beat in the song... they went for it. They played some drum licks within the songs. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world, rather than listening to some straight "Zim Bam" where the drummer's just playing the song. That got into my head. When I started making records... I always wanted to put things in there where the drummers would go "Wow that's cool... I want to learn that". Something for them to learn or something for them to try... steal, whatever they want to do. That got me into that form of recording... that type of recording.
R.V.B. - Right... now I know that you're known for a heavier style of drumming but what do you think of the artsy style that Ringo played. Do you think Ringo gets the credit that he deserves.
V.A. - Absolutely not! and that's a great question. As a matter of fact on the weekend, we just went to see The Fab Four, which is a Beatles tribute and they play at the casino down here where I am. They draw like 1.500 people and the place is packed... it's a beautiful theater. They're a great band and they got it down. They don't use any backing stuff or bullshit click tracks and stuff. It's great to watch the drummer play Ringo's parts. He played the exact parts on the record but to see somebody do it you go "Wow. that's really weird. I wonder why Ringo really played that? It's so good". What a different approach... it was amazing. I love Ringo's stuff. What the cool thing about the Beatles was... you listen to those drum fills and they're so melodic and the drums stop a lot. Then they come back in. If you notice sometimes in records, the drums are mixed loud. Then when the voices come in, they pull the drums back. They actually mixed the drums within the songs. It was just brilliant stuff and Ringo's parts were amazing. They're not technical parts but the creativity to think "ok I'm gonna stop here... I'm gonna play this on the floor tom because this is the kind of rhythm". Anybody can play 2/4 through a song... that's brainless. To do what Ringo did took a lot of creating, thinking, feel, all of that stuff. I think it was great.
R.V.B. - Right... now when you were up and coming did you get Carmine's hand me downs?, or did you get your own set?
V.A. - I got some of Carmine's hand me downs, and then eventually at probably 14, I was doing little gigs here and there... so I had enough money to buy a set of drums. I wanted to buy the maple kit like Carmine had, because I had a maple bass drum. At that time Japan was buying all the maple wood in the U.S. to build bowling alleys. Bowling was becoming really big, so I couldn't get maple drums... I couldn't order them. So the next choice was the Buddy Rich marine pearl white drums. So I got four toms of that color. They were concert toms. I would rather have the wood because those were cooler and more rock.
R.V.B. - Did you have a van? How did you get your drums around to gigs?
V.A. - Well in the early days, I was playing a couple of weddings and little parties and stuff like that. My father would help me in the car. We used to throw the stuff in the car. Later on, I had a buddy who had a car when I was a little older. It was a small set so it was easy.
R.V.B. - Now I think the first time I saw you play was the Black and Blue show that you did, which became the movie from the Nassau Coliseum. Where were you when you got the call to join Sabbath?
V.A. - Well, I'll go back a little further... a couple of months before that call, I got a call from Sharon Osbourne about joining Ozzy's band. She said Ozzy's putting a band together and they heard about me and they'll fly me to England and go hang out with Ozzy and see how it goes. I said "Wow, this is cool". I was like 19 or 20 years old. I knew at that time Ozzy was drinking still, and he was pretty crazy. So I asked Carmine "I got this offer... what do you think? They wanted to take me to England and I didn't even know where England was at that point. He said "Ozzy's pretty crazy... I don't know.". So I called back and I didn't take it. I said I couldn't do it, so I actually turned it down. Then a couple months later Sabbath called.
R.V.B. - That must have been hard to do... that must have been hard to turn down something like that.
R.V.B. - He did have a few issues back then. That was back in 79 right?
V.A. - Yeah, 79. A couple of months later, I got a call from Sabbath's tour manager and they said "We're in town and we're looking for a drummer. We heard about you. If you're interested you can come down and meet Tony Iommi tomorrow night at the hotel and then see how it goes.". "Great"... so I went down and Tony had one of my early albums of a band called Axis. He said "Yeah this is good"... he liked the way I played. He said "Come on down to rehearsal tomorrow? So the next day, I went down to rehearsal, which was in LA, and I met Ronnie, Geezer, and Geoff Nichols, who was on keyboards. The first song we played was Neon Nights. They liked what I did and they said "Ok, that's good. Now let's go to the pub". (Hahaha)
R.V.B. - Did you have a chance to go over stuff before you played your first live gig?
V.A. - Well the first day we were kind of fiddling around with some stuff, and we did go to the pub. They were so happy they found somebody, they went to the pub. The next day, we had to go through these songs and I had to start listening to everything. We didn't rehearse that much. A couple hours a day and then we went to the pub. Well they went to the pub and I stayed back listening to the stuff. We only had four days rehearsal and by the time the gig was there... the gig was in Hawaii in a 30,000 seat arena, Aloha Stadium. I had a book with some charts and some notes and I was referring to that, and we pulled it off. It was pretty good and from what I heard, everybody was really nervous, because they never played with another drummer at that point.
R.V.B. - Well it was kind of a shock to the fans also because even when I saw you, I wasn't expecting you to be there. I don't know if the word got out? They didn't really publicize it.
V.A. - Yeah, it's not like today, if you fart and everybody knows you farted... you know. It's fucking crazy now. But then, they would have to release to the press "Hey Bill's not in the band anymore. He's been replaced by Vinny, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.". So I don't know what they did?
V.A. - The tour was pretty long... maybe nine months long. The whole thing was... I joined the band and they were expecting Bill to come back. I was told "You're in doing this, but if Bill comes back, he's gonna be in the band". "Ok, no problem"... this is cool. The tour went on and on and on as Ronnie would say. Then the tour got close to the end and they said "Alright, well Bills not back but we're gonna do another album... so let's do it". So we took a month off and then we started writing for The Mob Rules.
R.V.B. - How did the writing process work with something with that? Did Tony bring a riff in and you guys work out a song and then Ronnie put words to it? How did the writing process go?
V.A. - The writing process was... there was a lot of jamming, and I wound up recording the jams and riffs. Then we'd make a riff tape and listen to it, and figure out what we'd like to work on. Tony always had a million riffs. He would just play and a cool riff would come out... even at sound checks and stuff. A lot of the stuff was written like that, and Tony would come in with a couple of changes and different parts. No one ever came in with a full song at that point. We'd record it, and then once we'd put together what sounded like a good arrangement... Ronnie would... he'd be sitting there, and sometimes he'd get up and start jamming with it, and then sometimes he'd be sitting there writing lyrics, and he'd get up he'd try some things with us. Then it evolved into a song. It was pretty cool.
R.V.B. - Do you remember which one you did first? That you personally recorded first with them?
V.A. - The first song was Mob Rules, because on the Heaven and Hell tour... Warner Brothers was doing a movie called "Heavy Metal", and they asked us to do a song for the movie. So they told Ronnie what it was about. Ronnie wrote the lyrics for Mob Rules, and then we had a couple of days off from the tour and we went into John Lennon's house... which was owned by Ringo at that point. "Big, big" mansion in England, and we went in as a studio. We set the drums up in this big mansion, in the hallway with all the wood. It was very cool. We wrote together. Tony had the riffs and we put them together. Mob rules was written there at John Lennon's house. We recorded it, and that version was on the Heavy Metal album. It's not on our album. Our album is a new one we did, when we did the album. That was another reason I was in the band, because they heard was it was like to record with me... and it sounded great. It was a really cool song. The energy level was great, and it worked well. So that convinced them "Good, we don't have to worry. the next album is gonna be good". That was the first thing we wrote together.
R.V.B. - One on the song on the album that I love is "Sign of the Southern Cross". Is there any story behind that song? It's a long song.
V.A. - Yeah, It's kind of longer song. Tony had the riff. We experimented a lot with the bass line. We tried different effects and different ideas. I remember that. It's just so far back that it's hard to remember exactly what we did. As we played it, it came together. It's a great song and we still did it up until the last tour.
R.V.B. - Right... I saw you guys at Jones Beach twice on the last two tours. Now things change, and things split up, and you went with the Dio side of things... and again there were more classic records that were made like: Holy Diver, The Last in Line and others. Was it a different vibe or business as usual?
V.A. - Well it was a different vibe... because with Sabbath, you were under the umbrella of Black Sabbath. It was different working with Tony, Geezer, and Ronnie. They were established, and things had to be in that style and flavor... which was fine. When we formed Dio, it was just me and Ronnie starting it... anything can happen. There were ideas and anything could work. There wasn't anything hanging over our heads saying "we have to do it a certain way". It was a new and challenging creative thing to do. Me and Ronnie would go into the studio and play Holy Diver with the riffs we had from it. (he words the Bass beat) (Bum Bum Bum)... him on bass and me on drums, until we started auditioning guitar players. Eventually calling Jimmy Bain, who got Vivian Campbell, and we jammed and that was it. So it was a totally different vibe.
R.V.B. - Did you audition a lot of guitar players?
V.A. - We auditioned about six or seven guitar players with one of them being Jake E. Lee, who sounded great, but Ronnie decided he wanted to go with somebody from Europe... keep the flavor of the band more like what he was in previously. Like Rainbow was always people from different countries... and Sabbath, Tony and Geezer were from England. So he wanted to keep it in that flavor as opposed to having an all American band.
R.V.B. - I think Elf was an all American band.
V.A. - That was the very beginning.
R.V.B. - Was the creative process basically the same with that outfit?
V.A. - Yeah... nobody ever came in with a written song. It's better if we have strong players like that, because everybody can get into the meat and potatoes of the song and let it develop, with all the talent around it. We smoked a lot of pot during Holy Diver, and we would get up and start jamming on riffs. Ronnie would get up and all of a sudden he'd be inspired and start singing great lines. We'd record everything and listen back and go "Wow...cool, let's work on this". We were just all involved in putting all of those songs together. A couple of those riffs came from Viv's old band that he was in... Sweet Savage. I think Stand Up and Shout was a Sweet Savage riff. We used some of the old riffs and turned them around all over the place, and made a new song. It was a great time and we had a lot of fun. It was a great window of creativity and it shows because it became a classic album. We were just having a good time... we didn't know what we were doing (hahaha).
R.V.B. - With all the shows that you've done in your career, and you've played a lot of great places... do any of them really stick out where you really thoroughly enjoyed yourself?
V.A. - Well, I remember I played Madison Square Garden once with Derringer opening for Aerosmith. So that was a thrill, and only about two and a half years later I was playing Madison Square Garden with Sabbath... headlining. It was a totally different vibe. That was a cool gig, and I'll always remember that. I'm from New York, and to play Madison Square Garden that's sold out... it's pretty awesome. Some of the other one's are when you got some platinum records. We played LA, and the record company gave us some platinum records. In the middle of the show they came on stage with the records. It was pretty amazing and thrilling to be able to experience that.
R.V.B. - How about some festivals where you were teamed up with a bunch of other bands. Was there a place where you got to hang out and meet everybody.
V.A. - Well, a lot of times at those festivals, even to this day... you go over to play festivals and everybody's from New York or LA. (Hahaha) You're back stage in Sweden, and most of the members of the bands are from New York and LA. Back in the day, there were a lot of bands here like Motley Crue, Van Halen, that were playing the festivals with us, so we all knew each other and we'd hang out a bit. Everything is run on time at those festivals, and it's just amazing how big they are. The last one we did in 2009 with Sabbath was Wacken Festival. There was like 75,000 people. It's amazing to see that especially sitting from where I am, sitting on the drum stool. It's pretty cool.
R.V.B. - How did you wind up in LA? Why did you move there from New York?
V.A. - When we went on tour with Derringer, we played out here in LA and I'd never even seen a palm tree before and went "Wow". The guitar player and I had a band previous to Derringer called Axis, and that's the album Tony had. We didn't do the album yet at that point. So we came out here and we loved it, and when we left Rick Derringer to form our own band Axis. We got a record deal and it was in LA, so the record company paid for us to move out to LA. We thought it would be easier to do stuff out here... cheaper, easier, so that's what we did. I've been here ever since.
R.V.B. - Did anything ever go wrong on stage, in the middle of part where you really didn't need it to happen?
V.A. - Well, two things were funny that happened. One was a show in England, which I think was on the Heaven and Hell tour with Sabbath. We were playing Stafford Hall, which was near their home town of Birmingham. The place is sold out... packed... a big shed, and we're playing the song Black Sabbath. The smoke machines go off. At that time he smoke machines were dry ice thrown into hot water, and that would create smoke. So during that song, we get to the loud part and they'd throw the shit into the water, and the fucking thing blows up behind the drums.
R.V.B. - (Hahaha)
V.A. - The water shot up like twenty feet in the air, and all the kids are going crazy like it's part of the show "Yeaaaahh". Then all the water comes down on me, including the fucking dry ice which went down the back of my pants on my ass.
R.V.B. - That had to be uncomfortable. (Hahaha)
V.A. - Then it starts burning. So I'm sitting there on the kit, and I hit the drums and there full of water and there's no sound coming out. Tony, Geezer and Ronnie are laughing. They can't believe what happened. All of a sudden it's burning my ass, "Oh Shit...Ahhhhh". I tell Ronnie "I'll be right back". I run off the stage and they get the medics. They have to peel the stuff off your skin because it sticks to it. They had to put cream on and they had to wipe the whole stage down and get everything in order. They came to me and said "Are you able to play? Do you want to finish the show?". I said "Fuck yeah". So I went up with a pillow. Ronnie introduced me, he said "His ass is burned, and he's got his pillow". We continued, and everybody went nuts. That was a good one, and then one time in Alaska with Dio. We had rented equipment, and so we played, and then there was a guitar solo. I come off the stage, and I'm behind the drums with a hair dryer and I was drying my hair. So the guitar solo is going on, and I'm drying my hair, and all of a sudden it started to become silent. I blew the fucking circuit out... (Hahaha) with the hairdryer. Everybody started panicking. I said "Calm down, calm down. It's something to do with this hairdryer". So they sit down and they finally fixed it and they continued the guitar solo. So that was a first.
R.V.B. - That's funny. So you started playing with a variety of people afterwards. I see you played with Tim Bogart, Rex Brown, Duggie White...
V.A. - From there I went with Dio and then back to Sabbath.
R.V.B. - You did Dehumanizer.
V.A. - Yeah, Dehumanizer... but before that, I was with a band called World War III with Jimmy Bain. Then we did Dehumanizer.. then we did Dio again.
R.V.B. - You did two versions of Time Machine also right?
V.A. - Yes, there are two versions of that. It's the same, like The Mob Rules. One was on the movie soundtrack and one on our album. Time Machine was recorded in England and that's on the soundtrack album and the other one was recorded in Wales and that's on the Dehumanizer album
R.V.B. - i was one happy camper when I heard that song come out on the radio. "They're Back"
R.V.B. - After that it seems like you experimented with a few projects at that point?
V.A. - I was back with Dio again and then that got old, and then I actually wound up playing with Sabbath and doing some stuff with Ozzy on a European tour because Bill had a medical problem. After that I took some time off and eventually started doing an all star band and different sessions, trying to get something going. Eventually that's when the Heaven and Hell thing came back up. We did the tour and album and a couple of tours. After that was "Kill Devil Hill" with Rex Brown.
R.V.B. - Now I see that you have your Drum Wars that's current, and you do that Rock and Roll Fantasy camp?
V.A. - I do Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, and there's one coming up on Thursday with Joe Perry at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut. David Fishof the owner, is a good friend, and he got me involved in this and I love doing it. It's a really cool experience, so I've been doing a lot of those. I'm doing the thing with Carmine "Drum Wars". We just released a new CD, and we got some dates coming up in February on the east coast. Also in the works is a new Dio record with the original band with a different singer. It's called "The Last In Line" and we're finishing that up this week. So I got a lot of new stuff and nice things to do.
V.A. - The Iridium is actually where the Drum Wars CD was recorded. I'm actually doing another tour with Uli Roth, Vinny Moore, Craig Goldy who are some friends of mine. It's like a guitar tour. I'm gonna do some shows with them and We're playing B.B. Kings sometime in February. So I'll be in New York then.
R.V.B. - I'll have to check that out. Now this Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp is not open to the public. That' not like a show you can go and see. How does that work?
V.A. - It's a great thing, because people that pay for this usually are musicians who didn't get anywhere. Luckily, they started a company and are making millions of dollars. (Hahaha) It's funny... some of the stories. some of them are like that, and some of them just saved their money and want to be able to play. They have different camps, featuring different people. Some of them are Gene Simmons... this one's Joe Perry and there's a number of other people. Steve Morse is a guest star... so they have stars and guest stars that appear. Then they have rock star counselors, like Rudy Sarzo, me, Phil Soussan, and different people. What you do is, you pay and you join, and what happens is, we put bands together and each counselor is in charge of a band. Within that band, some people can play and some are beginners. It's an interesting mix of musicians. We start rehearsing, and coming up with songs, because the goal is to play a couple of gigs. We played The House of Blues there. So we got to rehearse, and we can even write a song... and keep rehearsing. Then we play two shows, and whoever the guest star is like Joe Perry... we'd learn an Aerosmith song, and they'd get up and play with Joe Perry... or they'd get up and play with Roger Daltry or Alice Cooper. It's a thrill for these people who are never around for things like this, and to be in an environment of all music. The day starts at 11 o'clock and goes until 9 at night... so all day you're playing, and you don't think about your problems at work, and you dive into a world of music. It's pretty cool. It's a very good concept.
R.V.B. - How often do you practice?
V.A. - I practice when I have gigs coming up. I just bought a new house and I got a little studio inside of it so I got drums, where I'm able to just hop on and loosen up. So that keeps me in shape. I should sit down more and practice, but usually I just sit down and warm up and come up with all sorts of things and work on them. I try to play a couple times a week to keep in shape.
R.V.B. - Do you have any private students?
V.A. - I have students on and off. There'd be somebody "Hey I would love to take lessons from you" and I'm home and we'll do a couple of lessons. I like teaching, so I enjoy it.
R.V.B. - I guess the last thing is, do you have buddies who you jam with on occasions just for fun and go out and play a gig just for fun.
V.A. - Not really. (Hahaha) Sometimes I'll go out to a place and there's a band there and there playing some songs and when they're finished they'll come over and say "You're Vinny" and I'll get up and play a song with them. Mainly everybody that I work with does this professionally, so if we get together, it's because we're doing a project. It's not like years ago when you're young and you jam with people and things like that.
R.V.B. - Now this new Dio thing that you talked about that's almost ready... it's the original band members from the early stuff? The Last in Line and Holy Diver?
V.A. - Yeah, it's Vivian Campbell who plays with Def Leppard and Jimmy Bain. It's the original three of us. Claude Schnell is on keyboards... who played on the original tour and some of the later albums. The singer is Andy Freeman. He's a singer is a show called Rock Vault in Vegas. He's an old friend of mine and he sings his ass off. So he's singing on it, and it sounds absolutely great. It's on Frontier Records and it'll be out toward the fall I think. It's coming out great.
R.V.B. - Very good. Thank you very much for taking this time with me and congratulations on your career.
V.A. - Thank you.
R.V.B. - You've really went a long way, and the music community loves you. I've seen you six or seven times.
V.A. - Thank you so much Robert
R.V.B. - Have a nice day.
V.A. - you too. Bye bye
Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz
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