German "metal queen" Doro Pesch will be filling in for singer Tim "Ripper" Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) on the following DIO DISCIPLES tour dates:June 29 - Milan, Italy @ Magazzini Generali
July 01 - Bilbao, Spain @ Rockstar Live
July 02 - Madrid, Spain @ Heineken
July 03 - Barcelona, Spain @ Bikini Owens will be unable to make the Italian and Spanish shows as he will be attending his daughter's wedding. In addition to Owens, DIO DISCIPLES features former DIO members Rudy Sarzo (bass), Simon Wright (drums), Craig Goldy (guitar) and Scott Warren (keyboards), along with singer Toby Jepson (LITTLE ANGELS, GUN). Commented Ronnie James Dio's widow and manager Wendy: "There will never be another Ronnie, but we want to keep his music alive and hope you will support the band and become one of the DIO DISCIPLES." In a recent interview with Rocksalt.mx, Pesch spoke about a new song she has written as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio. "I was always such a big [Dio] fan, like so many other people, [I] just adored him and loved him," she said. "But there's one song, we will be working on that and I think it will be wonderful. But I first want to show it to Wendy Dio [Ronnie's wife/manager] and let her listen to it, so that's one thing. I kind of want to make many versions of that song, I think it's beautiful and I like it a lot . . . It's called 'Hero' and it has a beautiful melody and I would like to make many versions of it, like an acoustic version and a full-blown band version and maybe an orchestral version and we are just working on it. I definitely want to take care of that one that song's nice. But first I want to let Wendy listen to it. I'm really hoping but I'm sure she will like it a lot. Every time everybody is listening to it in the studio everybody is crying and so wow so touching."
Because of Sarzo's commitment to BLUE YSTER CULT, James Lomenzo (MEGADETH, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, WHITE LION) will join the band for the European dates until Rudy becomes available. Wright (AC/DC, DIO, UFO, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, RHINO BUCKET) played drums in DIO for 1990's "Lock Up The Wolves" album. He left the band in 1991 when Ronnie James Dio rejoined BLACK SABBATH. Wright returned to DIO in 1999 and remained the band's drummer until Ronnie's death. Vinny Appice was the DIO drummer from 1993 to 1999. On guitar is longtime DIO member Craig Goldy (ROUGH CUTT, GIUFFRIA, DAVID LEE ROTH, DIO) who made his DIO debut on 1987's "Dream Evil" album. On keyboards is 15-year DIO and HEAVEN & HELL veteran Scott Warren. Scott made his DIO debut on 1996's "Angry Machines" album. On bass is the multi-talented James Lomenzo (MEGADETH, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, HAIL!, WHITE LION, DAVID LEE ROTH). On vocals is Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE, BEYOND FEAR, ICED EARTH, HAIL!, CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED). Joining Owens on vocals from Manchester, U.K. is Toby Jepson (LITTLE ANGELS, FASTWAY, GUN, TOBY AND THE WHOLE TRUTH).