Former DIO Guitarist ROWAN ROBERTSON Talks About Past And Future

Crashtest of Metal-Rules.com recently conducted an interview with former DIO and current DC4 guitarist Rowan Robertson. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Metal-Rules.com: Well, you know we need to talk about it, even though it was more than fifteen years ago... your time in DIO. The legend goes that you sent in your demo, didn't hear anything for about six months, so you called the fan club and sent them the demo. You ended up getting a couple of auditions based on that and then you were in. Now how much of that is true and what have I left out?

Rowan: That's almost exactly how it happened, only the first time I sent it I sent it to the record company in England. They gave me the standard reply about how they weren't looking for any acts, so then I sent it to the fanclub. Then Wendy [Dio] called me up about six months after I sent it. I had forgotten about it. Very shortly after they flew me out for an audition and after the second audition they told me I had it. Two weeks, or a month, after leaving from England.

Metal-Rules.com: So I guess it was Ronnie's [James Dio] wife that sort of discovered you, in the sense that she presented you to the band?

Rowan: Well, no. I guess it would have been between Ronnie and the guys in the band that had been looking through the tapes.

Metal-Rules.com: Obviously you wouldn't have sent your demo to them if you weren't a hug fan of the band. So what was it like to fly a quarter of the way around the world and play in front of somebody, I assume, that you idolized?

Rowan: When I got the phone call, I was a bit shocked. Then they told me when I was gonna be flown out and I was really nervous. So my dad said, "You're getting a free trip to America and you're playing with some of your idols, which is already great, so treat it as just that and make sure you have fun." That was good advice and that's how I looked at it.

Metal-Rules.com: How long were you actually in DIO and how did you feel when Ronnie decided to rejoin BLACK SABBATH?

Rowan: Just two years. We did the album and toured for about six months, I think. Then Ronnie decided to go back to BLACK SABBATH for that album.

Metal-Rules.com: Did he say that he was disbanding DIO or did he say it was just on hiatus to see how this goes?

Rowan: Nothing was said, really. It was just sort of, "Well, Ronnie's gonna do this and all of you are still in the family." Wendy tried to get me some auditions with WHITESNAKE. It didn't actually pan out, but I think at the time... well, once again, I was so young. The reality of life is, if something happens like that to you at thirty, you're thinking, "Oh god, what am I gonna do now... I better parlay this into something to keep my career going." At that age I looked at it as somewhat of an opportunity to do some more music. If everything had been this easy up until now, I was sure it was going to be easy from then on. Which wasn't really true, but I wasn't really too shocked about it because I had some money in the bank and I was still "in the family."

Metal-Rules.com: As it turned out, that SABBATH reunion was rather short-lived and DIO reformed. Three years later they released another album. Did Ronnie call on you again or had you just decided to move on? What happened?

Rowan: There was no reason for him to call me because we were already in touch anyway. I was still pretty much involved in the every day life of those people, with Wendy and everything.

Metal-Rules.com: So was there an opportunity for you to rejoin?

Rowan: There could have been, had I asked him, I think. But I had a record deal with another band by then, with Oni [Logan], the singer from LYNCH MOB. So I had a lot invested in that and Ronnie didn't ask me anyway, so it didn't ever really happen.

Read the entire interview at Metal-Rules.com.

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