Patrick Prince of Powerline conducted an interview with drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, DIO DISCIPLES, UFO, RHINO BUCKET). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Powerline: You stated in an interview recently that the DIO DISCIPLES solidified when musicians involved in Ronnie James Dio's music had the feeling that they "couldn't let go" after Ronnie's death. Can you elaborate on that feeling a little bit more?
Wright: After Ronnie passed, it felt like the best thing was to start the band and remember him and his music. It was just a feeling that we all had. We felt like we had to do something. We couldn't just forget it, you know. We needed to do something because he meant so much to us.
Powerline: I think fans like tributes like this, too.
Wright: It seems that way. So far we've played quite a few shows and the fans seem to like what we're doing and they seem to appreciate what we're doing, too. Because we're doing this out of total respect, remembering our friend.
Powerline: There's some criticism that it's just an opportunity…
Wright: Well, we were expecting that. Not everybody's gonna like it for some reason or another. But Ronnie was like a father to us, so … the best thing I could say to people who are kind of dubious about what we're doing is to come and see and check it out for yourself. We're doing this with total respect and that's really the bottom line.
Powerline: Well, even with good deeds people will say something.
Wright: It's very true. I mean, it is. You can't please everybody all the time. We know why we're doing this, you know. And that's the important thing.
Powerline: Is it hard to maintain a supergroup of sorts without all the egos getting in the way? How is this different than the day-to-day experience of, say, a traditional band like AC/DC?
Wright: Well, first of all, with DIO DISCIPLES, there's absolutely no egos going on. We're all doing this for Ronnie, so it's not really about us, it's about him. The only difficult thing about DIO DISCIPLES is getting everybody together. Everybody's got different projects. I've got different projects going on the side. Tim ["Ripper" Owens, vocals] does stuff. Craig [Goldy, guitar] does stuff … and sometimes it's difficult to get everybody together and actually do this.
Powerline: In another interview you said that the band might throw in a few curveballs — dig a little deep in Ronnie's catalog.
Wright: Ronnie left such a massive catalog of great songs. We try to delve into there and try to do stuff that is not the norm. Obviously, we have to do the hits: "Rainbow In The Dark", "Heaven And Hell" and "We Rock" and stuff, but we like to try to mix it up. Because we try to think like the fans and we are fans even though we were in his band. You know, it's a bit of a treat for us to go back and look at his catalog. On the last tour we did, we played a song called "The Shed" which is a RAINBOW song [off 1978's "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll"]. I don't think they ever did that live. So we try to think like that and make it as interesting as possible.
Read the entire interview from Powerline.