Vinny Appice has outlined the differences between DIO DISCIPLES and LAST IN LINE.
Launched in 2011, DIO DISCIPLES is made up of former members of DIO, along with a rotating lineup of vocalists, including ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens and LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan. LAST IN LINE, on the other hand, was formed in 2012 by Appice, guitarist Vivian Campbell and bassist Jimmy Bain, all of whom were part of DIO's first incarnation.
During a recent interview with Jacky BamBam of Philadelphia's 93.3 WMMR radio station, Appice was asked to specify the things that separate the two projects.
"Well, in a nutshell, they play all the songs, they know the songs; we know all the notes," Vinny said (hear audio below). "That's it in a nutshell. We wrote those songs with Ronnie [James Dio]. As much as Ronnie got credit on certain songs as a sole writer, he didn't write those songs by himself. And if you think about it, how does the song 'We Rock' come up? Ronnie can't play guitar like that. So it was more of a political thing with, 'Okay, I'm taking how many songs by myself, no matter who wrote 'em.' And that's the politics of the business. And when we started the band, it was just Ronnie and I. There was no guitar player; there was nobody else — we were just starting. And we were playing 'Holy Diver'; we were just playing parts of it. And some of the accents and ideas came from me too. He was on bass, I was on drums, and I said, 'Why don't we do some accents?' That song wasn't entirely Ronnie either, but that's the way it works.
"We wrote the songs, we created the [DIO] band," Vinny continued. "We wrote 'Rainbow In The Dark', we wrote all those songs together — we wrote everything… together. Then Craig [Goldy, guitar] joined Ronnie after Viv left; he's the only one that really came in early. Then later on, I left and Simon [Wright, drums] played with Ronnie. The rest of the guys, I don't think any of them really played with Ronnie except for Scott Warren, the keyboardist."
Appice went on to call DIO DISCIPLES "a tribute band. I could hear songs they play and other bands play, and it's great, but it doesn't sound like me and Viv playing it," he explained. "'Cause we're the ones that recorded it and played it and created the songs. So there's always a difference."
DIO DISCIPLES is fully supported by Dio's widow Wendy, who also manages the band. The group includes three former members of the DIO band — Wright, Goldy and Warren — along with bassist Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Owens and Logan.
When DIO DISCIPLES was first formed, Appice told the "All Hail Hair" show on Fightin' Words Radio that he thought it was "disgusting" that the band was going out on the road and paying tribute to Ronnie James Dio. "I mean, why are they even doing it?" he said. "Plus, [Ronnie has] not even been passed away for a year. And, you know… It's kind of… I don't know. It's kind of weird, man. It's weird."
In a 2016 interview, Vivian slammed DIO DISCIPLES, saying that the band has "zero credibility" as a Ronnie James Dio tribute project.