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Vinny Appice Interview

Interview with the Heaven and Hell, 3 Legged Dogg and former Dio drummer

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Vinny Appice
Vinny Appice
Vinny Appice is a legendary drummer who has been a member of many bands over the years including Black Sabbath and Dio. Appice is the drummer on the upcoming Heaven and Hell tour, which reunites the Ronnie James Dio era Black Sabbath. He’s also involved in a new band called 3 Legged Dogg along with vocalist Chas West (Bonham, Lynch Mob), guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), guitarist Brian Young (David Lee Roth) and bassist Jimmy Bain (Dio, Rainbow). The band recently released their debut album Frozen Summer. Appice was a great interview, and we talked about Heaven and Hell, 3 Legged Dogg, some of the memorable moments from his long and illustrious career and a lot more.

Chad Bowar: How did you become involved in the Heaven and Hell album and tour?
Vinny Appice: I heard about it last year, and I heard Bill Ward was doing it. That was cool, but it was the Dio era, and I played on more albums than Bill during that time. I decided to wait and see, because anything can happen with that band. Sure enough, in November I got a call saying Bill isn’t going to do it and asked if I wanted to do it. I said sure! The next day I was on a plane to London. I went there and played on three new songs that are going to be on the Black Sabbath/Dio years best of album. That was fantastic. Now the tour has been booked and everything is going great. Radio City Music Hall in New York sold out in 45 minutes. We were overwhelmed.

What do the new songs sound like?
The new songs sound very Sabbathy, very heavy and dark. Everything is playing great and Ronnie James Dio is singing great. It sounds fantastic. It’s very heavy.

How was the chemistry in the studio?
The funny thing is these days when you do a track, nobody else is there. You play to the existing guitar, bass and vocal tracks because they already recorded a bunch of stuff.

How did the 3 Legged Dogg project come together?
The way it started was that we had a band called the Hollywood All Starz. We put it together for the Great White fire benefit gig. It was me playing drums, Carlos Cavazo on guitar, Jeff Pilson on bass and Chas West got up and sang. We did 5 or 6 songs and people liked it and a couple of clubs around town wanted to book us. We played a couple gigs and it evolved into a full time thing. Eventually Jeff Pilson left and joined Foreigner and we got Jimmy Bain, my bass player from Dio, and it became the band it is now. We’ve been doing a lot of gigs with that band, playing songs from our past and having a good time. We started writing some original material about a year ago. We also wrote with Brian Young, who was a guitar player with David Lee Roth. We did all the pre production at my house, then recorded in a studio at Jeff Pilson’s house and another studio. We then got a deal and put the album out.

Where did the name 3 Legged Dogg come from?
It was a stupid thing. At our rehearsal space there was a three legged dog there. He was amusing running around with three legs, but he got around as well as if he had all four legs. We called ourselves 3 Legged Dogg temporarily and said we’d think of something else later. We never came up with anything else and just kept the name.

What are your expectations for the album?
So far it’s been getting great reviews and selling well. I’m hoping that it keeps going. It’s available on the internet at Perris Records. It’s more of a slow build doing it this way than with a major label. We had an offer from a major label, but we didn’t like the deal and couldn’t negotiate it. We maintain full control of everything. We’re getting ready to do a video to promote the album. Hopefully it will last for a while and we’re planning on doing another CD toward the end of the year.

With everyone’s schedule, will 3 Legged Dogg be able to tour?
We were scheduled to do a tour, then the Heaven and Hell project came up, and that’s obviously going to take up most of my time. There will be breaks in that tour, and we’ll try to squeeze in some gigs and get out there and play.

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