HEAVEN AND HELL — the new band featuring legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW) alongside original BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, plus new addition Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH) — was interviewed earlier in the week in England by VH1 Classic VJ Eddie Trunk for a program that will air sometime in January. [Check out a photo of Dio, Iommi, Butler and Trunk, taken on November 21, 2006, at this location.] During his weekly radio show, "Friday Night Rocks", on New York's Q104.3 FM last night (Friday, November 24), Trunk offered the following recap of his chat with the members of HEAVEN AND HELL about their upcoming recording and touring activities (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
"There was a lot of speculation that this band was now being called HEAVEN AND HELL and not BLACK SABBATH because of something to do with legalities or Sharon Osbourne or whatever the case may be. That is NOT the case. Tony Iommi owns the name BLACK SABBATH, and he and Ronnie James Dio decided that it would be best to call this lineup something else because they felt that after SABBATH with Ozzy went into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it would probably be a little bit disrespectful and a little bit confusing to that name and that band that's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to call their reunion with Dio BLACK SABBATH again. So they decided — it was strictly up to them; it was their decision internally — to instead call it something else. That's why the live shows are being billed as HEAVEN AND HELL. But it is a little bit confusing because the record that is gonna come out is gonna be called 'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years' [to be issued via Rhino Records].
"Now, here's the other misinformation that is out there: Everyone is calling this a box set — it is not; it is a single-CD collection. And it'll have on it songs from 'Heaven and Hell', 'Mob Rules' and 'Dehumanizer' and also at least two new songs that the band are recording as we speak; they were doing it while we were there in England. Also some speculation out there as to who the drummer's gonna be. I know that Bill Ward was not part of our TV interview. I don't have any confirmation just yet as to who the drummer will gonna be — Bill or Vinny Appice; there's conflicting information about that. But I can tell you that Geezer and Tony and Ronnie had written three songs, they were gonna record three — one was a slow song, one was mid-tempo and one was a fast song. They are gonna pick two to put on this album. So it's not a box set. Somewhere down the line there probably will be a box set that'll package all the Dio-SABBATH albums together, but this is not it — it's a single-disc collection with tracks from the three studio albums previous and also the two new songs and it'll be out sometime in February, with a tour under the name of HEAVEN AND HELL to follow in Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
"It's exciting news to have these guys working together again, and I can tell you, talking to Iommi both on camera and off, he is extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Dio again and do a long set — he wants to play a two-hour shows live because — quite honestly, without saying it… I mean, let's be honest, there are limitations as to what Ozzy can do these days as a vocalist; there are zero limitations when it comes to a guy like Dio. They may or may not do Ozzy-era material; that's also being worked out."
Eddie also mentioned that an exclusive New York City concert date for HEAVEN AND HELL has already been booked but that he was unable to divulge the exact details because he has been "sworn to secrecy." Additional U.S. dates are being scheduled for late summer 2007.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET exclusively reported on November 23 that drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH) is currently in the U.K laying down drums on the two new tracks that will be included on "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years". In addition, Appice will be manning the drums on the upcoming HEAVEN AND HELL tour, which is slated to begin in March in Canada. An official statement regarding Appice's involvement in the project is expected shortly.
Appice, 49, joined BLACK SABBATH in 1980, and appeared on the albums "Mob Rules" (1981) and the album recorded on that tour, "Live Evil" (1983). In late 1982, before "Live Evil" even hit the shelves, he left SABBATH with vocalist Ronnie James Dio and formed the band DIO. He appeared on the DIO albums "Holy Diver" (1983), "The Last in Line" (1984), "Sacred Heart" (1985), "Intermission" (1986), and "Dream Evil" (1987). In 1992 Appice returned to BLACK SABBATH (with Ronnie James Dio) for the "Dehumanizer" album and tour.
As previously reported, Dio recently revealed to Classic Rock magazine that HEAVEN AND HELL will likely headline next year's Monsters of Rock festival.
Monsters of Rock returned to the U.K. festival scene at Milton Keynes Bowl this past summer, with DEEP PURPLE as headliners. Now it looks like it will return in 2007, with HEAVEN AND HELL on the bill.