from BW&BK

Vocal legend RONNIE JAMES DIO spoke to BW&BK recently about a number of topics including how he rates the current Dio line-up (guitarist Craig Goldy, bassist Rudy Sarzo, keyboardist Scott Warren and drummer Simon Wright) compared to the 'Holy Diver' band (guitarist Vivian Campbell, bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Vinny Appice):

"As far as the happiness factor goes I think it's a much better line- up" Dio admits. "Rudy Sarzo, for example, he's the best bass player I've ever worked with. Not just from a bass playing point of view. He's a legend all by himself, but also as a person. He has the same ethic as I have. The way he fits so smoothly into this band speaks volumes about what this band is all about. Simon Wright and I have played together for nearly 10 years now. He started very early on with AC/DC when he was 18 years old and he was asked to do nothing in AC/DC. You know, 'Don't play a fill or we'll kill you!'. So what I tried to do with Simon, and with all the people that I've played with, is I try to make them better. I try to give them the opportunity to become something that they never thought they could be, something they weren't allowed to be. In the case of Simon, he's made such leaps he makes Gulliver look like a guy who needed a hovercraft to get from one world to the next. He's come miles. He's also the greatest person I've ever know. He's my dearest friend and I really care about him so much. Yet he gives me whatever I want. As a player he was really underrated for such a long time. I think that's changed an awful lot and this band has made that difference. With Craig Goldy, he's one in a long line of guitar players that seem to come and go inside this band. Craig has always been the greatest interpreter of the music that I've made in the past, of Ritchie's (Blackmore) playing and of Tony's (Iommi) playing. Obviously he's been a contributor himself on three or four albums, 'Magica' being one of them and I consider that to be a great album. He's just a great contributor, a great kid. He has so much incredible talent and he's probably underestimated as well. When you put anything in the context of the band, because that's what it's about, it's a band, it's not Ronnie Dio and a bunch of guys, it has to fit. Craig is that as well. Scott Warren, the keyboard player...well, keyboard players in my band have to suffer a little bit because we're not a keyboard band. I've never considered myself to be a guy who's that into keyboards. I always loved what Jon Lord did, but I've never wanted to be in a band where the keyboard player was as important as the guitar player. Not that I don't appreciate great keyboard players. Of course I do. But this band Dio started as a non-keyboard band. The keyboards were played by Jimmy and I on the first album, and not a lot of keyboards and probably not very well, but Scott has been able to wear that role very well and I've increased his role inside the band. He's a great player and the thing that shows his mettle most is that he's shown that he understands what I have expected from him and taken a back seat so that this all works."

RONNIE JAMES DIO Interview Page 2