During a recent interview with Jaxon of the 93.3 WMMR Rocks! radio station, HALESTORM frontwoman Lzzy Hale was asked how she feels about the fact that a holographic version of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio is being prepped for a world tour.
"All of my friends are split down the middle with this," Lzzy said (hear audio below). "The tried-and-true person in me is, like, 'Ah, screw this hologram. It's a fake Dio.' But at the same time, to introduce your music to a whole new generation and an audience, and maybe people get to experience the gift that he bestowed on the world, that didn't get to see him when he was alive, that's kind of cool too. I think I would err on the side of as long as his family is cool with it and his wife thinks it's something that Ronnie would have wanted, then cool — I'm down with it."
The former vocalist in BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW, who died in 2010 at the age of 67, is now the subject of a touring show in which his three-dimensional representation is backed by members of his band DIO.
The Dio hologram was created by a company called Eyeillusion and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
The Dio hologram production uses audio of Ronnie's live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens and ex-LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
After the tour's initial seven-date run was completed in December 2017, Ronnie's hologram is undergoing "some changes" before the launch of the next leg of the "Dio Returns" world tour, scheduled for 2019.
Former DIO guitarist Doug Aldrich recently said that Ronnie James Dio would be "pissed" about the fact that a holographic version of him is headlining concerts around the world nearly a decade after his death. "Ronnie would be, like, C'mon, let me be dead in peace!'" Doug said. "Ronnie was a no-frills guy. He was not down for stuff like that." Also critical of the Dio hologram was former DIO keyboardist Claude Schnell, who called it a "travesty" and "disrespectful" to the singer's memory.