Don de Leaumont of The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with powerhouse Norwegian hard rock singer Jorn Lande. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Did the surviving members of HEAVEN & HELL/BLACK SABBATH give you any grief for releasing the Dio album [the 2010 release "Dio", a tribute to the late BLACK SABBATH, DIO and RAINBOW singer Ronnie James Dio]?
Jorn: At the time, it was really a bad time but the good thing for me was when I felt really bad about it in the beginning, like when I got the call from Tony Iommi, when these guys said, "Jorn, don't worry about it." Most of the people in the SABBATH camp that were around Ronnie, even though they had mixed feelings, they were not blaming me for anything so I felt a lot of acceptance. That was a great confirmation and helped me not take things too personally and to move on and do my own thing.
The Great Southern Brainfart: When Ronnie James Dio started to really get sick, were you ever called in as a standby?
Jorn: When Ronnie was sick, I was asked to do some shows that they had already booked. I never really asked anybody in the camp this question, but as far as I know, it was Ronnie's decision that he wanted to go through with the shows regardless of his treatment. When Ronnie got weak and got into a really bad shape, the band discussed the possibilities of doing, if not all the shows, some of them. They asked me if I would be up for it to do some songs and then Ronnie would be on stage to sing some songs so we would just go back and forth, just so they could make the shows happen. A few weeks later, I got the message that Ronnie had passed. It was kind of strange and thinking back now, I'm honored that I was asked at the time. Don, you are actually the first person I'm ever telling this to.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Jorn, I'm honored to hear this.
Jorn: Thank you, Don. Honestly, most of my connection with that I just usually kept it to myself for many years. Mostly out of respect and also because I didn't want people to misunderstand things. I kept it to myself to just secure myself and to know in my own heart that I didn't go out there and talk about a lot of it in detail to upset all the fans of Ronnie and BLACK SABBATH. I just kept it to myself and kept a low profile. Still, there was a lot of shit going but now that years have passed, I'm so glad I did it. I'm really grateful for the experience and I owe a lot to Tony and Geezer [Butler] and everybody in that camp. They were always so nice to me and treated me with respect.
The Great Southern Brainfart: After Dio passed, you joined HEAVEN & HELL on stage to perform some songs in Dio's honor (at the High Voltage festival in England; see video below) and it totally made my heart soar. I was so sure that either you would join HEAVEN & HELL or maybe do another project with them. Did this ever come up?
Jorn: Actually, I did some demo things with Tony back around 2005. After that, HEAVEN & HELL happened so we already have done some stuff together that has never been released. Nobody told me back then about the plans for them to do HEAVEN & HELL.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Was it somewhat disappointing that Tony and Geezer chose to go back with Ozzy [Osbourne] rather than move forward doing something with you?
Jorn: Looking at it now, it was obvious that BLACK SABBATH had a plan to finish and they had to look at their legacy and their health. On one side, I wish we could've played some more shows or I wish we could've written some more stuff together. Maybe it will even happen, but who knows? It's not something I expect. I have inner peace that I am doing my own thing and I'm fine that whatever happens in the future happens will happen. If it's the right time in the future and it happens, that's fine, but I'm also fine if it doesn't happen.
Read the entire interview at The Great Southern Brainfart.