& HELL "The Devil You Know"
VINNY APPICE INTERVIEW:
a seventeen year hiatus from the studio the gates of
have opened once again as the DIO
fronted BLACK SABBATH; now christened as
HEAVEN & HELL
from the line-ups first release in 1980, bear a new offering
to the metal masses “The
Devil You Know”
which dropped on April 28th.
After two highly successful world tours in support
of the DIO YEARS released in 2007 the band formerly known as
BLACK SABBATH once again assembled to spawn “The
Devil You Know”.
the name may have changed,
HEAVEN & HELL deliver a lucid
collection of ten new tracks of sonic scripture.
The legendary masters of metal lead by one of Hard
Rocks high priest RONNIE JAMES DIO along with original
BLACK SABBATH members guitarist TONY IOMMI and bassist
GEEZER BUTLER prove that evil never rests as the devil
gets his due.
Providing the potent pulse once again is pulverizing
APPICE hammering the Hi-Hats from
The Brooklyn born
APPICE, younger brother of
CARMINE (Vanilla Fudge), has been Mashing Metal as one of the
premier Rock drummers of his generation. He joined SABBATH
stepping in for BILL WARD during the “Heaven
and Hell” tour prior to
taking over permanent studio duties for the
albums and has been a fixture behind the kit for all things DIO
The Rock Rapport
had the pleasure to speak with our bud dynamic drummer
in between rehearsals as HEAVEN
prepares to kick off their world tour on May 5th in
as always great to speak with you. Western New York had the
pleasure of your company on a couple of separate occasions last
year. You visited Club
with the boys in
followed by a two night stand with your very first band the
line-up at the Seneca Niagara Casino, capped off with a
HEAVEN & HELL
tour stop at the Erie County Fair.
You just can’t get enough of the area, ever consider a
Damn, I didn’t even realize that I guess I really do get around. I
had a great time on every visit; you guys really took great care
of us. No question Rock ‘n’ Roll will never die in Upstate
Congratulations of the long awaited new
Devil You Know”.
we’re all really happy with the finished product, overall we seem
to be getting pretty positive feedback.
I assume the album title relates
to the fact that this is the first official release from
HEAVEN & HELL
formerly known as BLACK SABBATH, or is there another
sinister story behind it?
correct, actually GEEZER came up with that idea he’s full of them.
The album artwork is very cool is
that the bands vision of
VINNY-It is very cool
isn’t it; I have to say that RHINO Records has done a phenomenal
job from top to bottom on the entire project.
I read that DIO said that
the song “Bible Black”
was the catalyst track for the record and the rest of the
album was built around that.
was in fact the first song written together when we decided to
record a new album.
The process with this band is pretty straight forward,
we get together and let it flow and try not to compare it to
anything else we’ve done together or individually.
Once in a while after 5 or 6 songs are
done we might go back to try and avoid any repetitive tempos or
something that may sound familiar to another song.
Speaking of tempo one of the
standout tracks on the record is called “Rock ‘n’ Roll Angel”, it has a unique
tempo unlike anything done before in this band, tell us about that
was one of the last songs written for the record; in listening
back to it we thought this is really an unusual sound for this
band so we went with it. I guess you could say it’s as close to a
ballad as HEAVEN & HELL will ever come.
I love the song in the respect that it
challenged the band musically, I really dig the chorus too, not
every song we do has to flame out at eleven you know.
There’s a short but sweet drum
intro on the album’s first track “Atom
tell us about that song?
VINNY-That song was a great way
to kick off the record; it’s one of RONNIE’S songs with the
patented moody dark DIO vibe. We mixed a couple different drum
fills and ended up choosing the one you mentioned.
The band has spent the last
few years on the road with a couple of sold out world tours when
did this develop into a full blown reunion?
VINNY-It started out
with the SABBBATH:
DIO YEARS release which we followed up with a tour
at which point everyone in the band got
along exceptionally well.
Things went really smoothly no issues or
problems, musically we reached a point on the tour were we felt as
tight as we’d ever been on every level as a band. I think it was
in Japan when RONNIE and I were walking around when he told me
that he and TONY had discussed working on new material for an
album, I immediately said RIGHT ON let’s do it.
The band returned to Rockfield
Studios to record “The
Devil you Know” the site
where 1992’s “Dehumanizer”
was recorded, was that the game plan from the start?
VINNY-That was part
of the equation it also had to do with scheduling as well. We
wrote most of the songs in
Angeles at RONNIE’S house which is also where GEEZER and I live.
Every time we’d have a writing session TONY would fly over from
England for five weeks and we would get together just about
everyday to collaborate.
Going back into the Rockfield Studios made sense since we had done
things there before and it also gave TONY the chance to actually
settle in at home for a while after doing all the traveling for
the writing sessions.
like everything else since we had gotten back together things went
really well once we hit the studio, we even finished ahead of
Since we hadn’t recorded an album in so many years it
was our first time using Pro Tools which really helped speed up
Most of the record was completed in demos at RONNIE’S
house in L.A. which allowed us individually to take the demos and
work in whatever it was we wanted for our respective parts.
Could you have ever imagined when
that those virtual visions to the opening track “Computer
God” would have a hand in the
long awaited follow up record “The
Devil You Know”
some seventeen years later?
VINNY-Yeah that does
have a touch of irony to it doesn’t it.
As you alluded to the studio sessions went really well completing
the record in about three weeks with the help of the
aforementioned technological advances; do you think that’s what
gives the record the live vibe it posses?
VINNY-Most definitely, having
the ability to work the songs out on a demo it’s almost like
practicing your overdubs and individual parts. For instance when
RONNIE went to lay down the real vocal tracks he could reference
back to the demo and chose which harmonies he felt worked best in
that particular song; it really helped the recording process move
We were scheduled to be in the studio for
five weeks, I think it was the middle of the third week when
RONNIE, GEEZ and I finished up; at that point it was just a matter
of TONY laying down a few more guitar tracks from home.
We decided to mix the record back in L.A. at Total
Access Studios with
DAVIS, the whole experience was great from top to bottom, we are
really looking forward to taking the songs out on the road, they
flow really well with the classic tracks.
That leads to my next question as
HEAVEN & HELL
will be heading out to South America this week for an extensive
summer tour that runs through the end of July. How have the
rehearsals been going?
VINNY- Awesome, we’ve
been going through rehearsals for about a week, tomorrow we go
into full production rehearsal with stage, lights a full dresser.
I’m really stoked; I’ve got a brand new DW drum kit if you can
believe it’s even bigger then the one I used on last summer’s
The first leg of the tour is going to be
very exciting; we’re playing several places the band has never
performed before, including
will we be able to see you behind that mammoth kit?
thing is a monster, it’s like something out of the new Terminator
movie it’s going to be amazing. You may not see me but you’ll most
certainly hear me for miles around.
Since we caught you knee deep in rehearsals any surprises for fans
in the setlist this summer?
you’ll get a dose of “The Devil You Know”, probably three or four
new songs that mesh really well with the classics from the “Mob
Rules” & “Dehumanizer” albums.
Be sure to get to the shows early to check out COHEED &
CAMBRIA as they’ll be opening up the shows for us on this first
As the summer tour winds down in August in
will fans in the U.S. get the chance to see any tour dates in the
VINNY-Hold tight we
will be back in the States but I’m not exactly sure when. Ross I
don’t even know where I’m going till I get there and sometimes not
It looks like you’ll be on duty for the devil with
HEAVEN & HELL
through the rest of this year. Any other irons in the fire
for 2010 in the APPICE
VINNY-Yeah looks like the HEAVEN
& HELL thing will roll late into the year which is cool. As you
mentioned I really enjoy playing with
LYNN TURNER (Rainbow, Deep Purple), PHIL SOUSSAN (Ozzy) and CARLOS
CAVASO (Quiet Riot) in BIG NOIZE.
SIMON WRIGHT (AC/DC) is filling in for me while I’m out
with HEAVEN & HELL he’s an amazing drummer.
time allows I also really enjoy presenting my drum clinics, it’s
great to connect with aspiring drummers and fans in such an
Metal maniacs &
drum demons can visit
for the SKINny on
would like to Thank
for his valuable time. Be sure to visit
for everything that is brewing in
Rapport would also like to Thank
Jason Elzy of Rhino Records for hooking us up.