Professionally filmed video footage of DIO DISCIPLES the new project featuring former DIO members Simon Wright (drums), Craig Goldy (guitar) and Scott Warren (keyboards) alongside bassist James Lomenzo (MEGADETH, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, WHITE LION) and singers Tim "Ripper" Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) and Toby Jepson (LITTLE ANGELS, GUN) performing at this year's edition of the Graspop Metal Meeting, which took place June 24-26, 2011 in Dessel, Belgium, can be viewed below.
DIO DISCIPLES pays tribute to the legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio and is fully supported by Dio's widow/manager, Wendy, who recently posted that "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."
DIO DISCIPLES completed a month-long European tour in June/July and is expected to announce U.S. dates shortly.
In an interview with Metal Assault, Simon stated about how DIO DISCIPLES was conceived, "I think it was a combination of all of us. We talked long and hard and discussed 'Should we or shouldn't we? Is it right? How do we really feel about all this?' And it just became apparent that we just couldn't let it go. We've been in Ronnie's band for such a long time and he taught us so much, he was an inspiration and we learned so much from him about being on the road, being in the studio We just came to the conclusion that we just couldn't let it go and we needed to keep the songs going for the fans; that's the most important thing we're doing here. We're not trying to kid anybody here; we're just doing it from the heart and continuing his legacy. It's really as simple as that."
Regarding DIO DISCIPLES' touring plans, Tim said, "We picked Europe first and the main reason is the summer festivals. So we go there first and we're working on U.S. dates [for September]. We're trying to take it one step at a time; we're trying to build this thing and [do it right].
"I tour a lot during the year solo seven months out of the year and once I was asked to do this, I moved anything I had scheduled; I had Australia scheduled in the summer I moved those instantly and I put anything [that would prevent me from doing this] on hold. 'Cause once I was asked to celebrate Ronnie James Dio's legacy and his music, there was nothing that I had that I wasn't gonna move to somewhere else in the future or lose; which I had lost a few thing as well because [doing DIO DISCIPLES became] my main [focus]."
On the topic of DIO DISCIPLES setlist, Simon said, "The problem that a lot of bands have is that they've got a strong batch of hits, so we still have to do songs that are like that we have to do 'Heaven And Hell', 'Rainbow In The Dark', 'Holy Diver', 'We Rock' So we're doing those, but we're trying to throw in as many curveballs as we can at the moment. As we progress, I think we'll be throwing in more songs from Ronnie's catalog, which should be a couple of surprises songs that maybe were never played live, or that were played live but a long, long time ago. Because, like I said before, we wanna make it something special for the fans and they all have everything different songs that they love. We can't do them all, but we're gonna try and fit as many of them in as we can."
Added Tim, "I don't care what band you're in, it's hard to make a setlist. And when you have someone like Ronnie [whose recorded work] goes back a long ways, you're not gonna please everyone, but every day we rehearse, we've added another song in there, trying a different song."