RockStar Weekly recently conducted an interview with former DIO and current DC4 guitarist Rowan Robertson about DC4, "Rock Band" and the legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW). The chat is now available for streaming below.
Question: It's been a couple years since the first DC4 album. I hear you're at work on a new one.
Question: Will it be similar to the first one or will there be some differences?
Question: How did you guys hook up with Bill Metoyer (SLAYER, W.A.S.P., FATES WARNING, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, ARMORED SAINT, D.R.I.) to produce the record?
Question: I saw your post that GUNS N' ROSES keyboardist Dizzy Reed came to the studio and laid down some tracks. How do you know him?
Question: When are you expecting the album to be released?
Question: Will this be released by you guys again like the first one initially was or is there a label involved?
Question: I hear you guys are hooking up with the "Rock Band" video game?
Question: Have you had a chance to play the game with your song?
Question: You guys have been in some pretty cool bands. So how did DC4 get together and what makes the band special for you guys?
Question: How does it feel being the non-relative in the band?
Question: We lost a metal legend. What do you remember from your days with Ronnie James Dio?
Question: What was your reaction when you heard Ronnie was gone?
Question: Did you write and/or record some stuff with DIO that might have been shelved. Any chances that may surface at any time?
Question: That would be a keepsake for you then.
Question: That's amazing, because you hear of some artists that write 20 songs but only choose the best 5 of them.
Question: You made an instructional video a while back. Any chances we might get an update to that?
Question: What is it about teaching that you really enjoy?
Question: What else are you working on?
Question: You said that you wanted to get back into writing. Do you do a lot of writing and does it come naturally to you?
Rowan Robertson recently posted the following message regarding the passing of Ronnie James Dio:
"I am privileged to have been a part of Ronnie James Dio's life and music. His closest ones are in my thoughts."
In the late 1980s Robertson heard that Dio was looking for a new guitarist. He sent a tape to the record company Phonogram. After six months of waiting, he got a reply that stated that at that moment they were not interested in him. At the encouragement of his friend and fellow guitarist Sean Manning (HURRICANE) the tenacious Robertson then contacted the DIO fan club who then asked him to send his demo tape to them.
Robertson, who was 17 years old at the time, got a great response from DIO after receiving the demo through the fan-club channels. In late January or early February 1989 Robertson was flown to Los Angeles for an audition with DIO. He was auditioned twice. Immediately after the second audition he was invited to join the band. The press-release for the addition of Robertson to DIO was sent out on July 18, 1989 and the press was invited to meet the newest DIO guitarist on July 20, 1989 at Oliver's Pub in New York City.
The first DIO album Robertson started working on with DIO was "Lock up the Wolves". These sessions included Jimmy Bain, Vinny Appice and Jens Johansson. The band had already begun writing and recording when Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice were suddenly excused from the band. They were replaced with Teddy Cook and former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright.
"Lock up the Wolves" was released in 1990, and the band embarked on a tour in support of the album.
Robertson stayed with DIO until Ronnie James Dio rejoined BLACK SABBATH in 1991.
Dio and Robertson had been writing songs for an album to be released in May 1991 which ended up being shelved. When the DIO band was put on ice, Robertson started work on an instructional video for guitar players. It was released on Star Licks in July or August 1991. He then teamed up with vocalist Oni Logan (ex-LYNCH MOB) and drummer Jimmy Paxson (from TRIANGLE) and began to write and record on an album together for Atlantic Records.