Ex-BLACK SABBATH/DIO Drummer VINNY APPICE Says 'It's Very Hard For New Bands' To Survive

September 4, 2016

Mike of the WSOU 89.5 radio station recently conducted an interview with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL). You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the biggest changes in the music industry since he first started playing drums for a living:

Vinny: "[Laughs] What industry? It's a mess. It's crazy. It's very hard for new bands, man, I feel it's very hard for them to get going. They can get some exposure on the Internet, but, man, it's hard to make a career out of it, it seems like. The problem is it comes down to the Internet and it comes down to radio stations. All the radio stations for years started going to classic rock, and they wouldn't play anything new. [How do] you expect, if you're not playing anything new, to sell any records? Everybody's already got the records you're playing ten times a day; they're probably sick of hearing the same old crap that they play. And that's at fault. Years ago, in the '80s, you'd hear new records by people. 'Here's a new band from L.A., man,' and you put it on and you go, 'Wow! That's pretty cool.' Or, 'Here's a new album.' Like when DIO came out with 'Holy Diver', if we came out with that now, you wouldn't hear it on the radio. Back then, I used to freakin' ride around L.A. and I'd hear 'Rainbow In The Dark' playing. 'Holy Diver' is on the radio! Cool!' So how do you expect to sell records if the radio stations don't play anything new? When I was a kid, I heard new things on the radio, the next day I went out and bought the record. And that's the way it was. Okay, [now] you can go on the Internet, but you've gotta be in front of a computer or a phone. If you're driving, you can't do it. And people got used to downloading stuff for free. [And that's] great, but you don't get everything else for free, and it's gotta be supported somehow, because it costs money to make recordings. The record deals now are so small, you basically go in and try to record the album to make it work in the budget, and then people want it for free and you don't make any money from the album. It's hard for musicians. I think the industry is a mess. You make [money from] touring and merch. You go out and do that, which is cool, 'cause people come to see you, but they only wanna hear the old stuff. Actually, we played, in LAST IN LINE, with the original [DIO] band, we played a couple of new songs from the ['Heavy Crown'] album, and they really dug it — they knew all the words — but the bulk of it is all the old stuff, which is fine, 'cause I would wanna hear that too. But, yeah, you've gotta go out and make money that way. But if a new band doesn't have a following, they go out and play and they're not drawing a lot of people and not selling a lot of merch, it's very hard. So the Internet and the radio stations and the way this whole is run is a big mess."

On what advice he would give to younger musicians who are just starting out:

Vinny: "Besides getting a real job? [Laughs] Nah, I'm only kidding. You know, if it's in your blood, it's in your blood, man — you've gotta go out and play and do it. But just always play from your heart, always play your best, and even if there's ten people watching, you go out and kick it in the ass and believe in what you're doing, and hopefully you can get things going. It's a great feeling once you get people enjoying your music. I mean, I still appreciate being able to do this and going out and playing to people or fans, and you go, 'Wow! I'm pretty lucky.' And it's a great feeling."

Appice joined BLACK SABBATH in 1980 during the "Heaven And Hell" tour and appeared on the albums "Live Evil" (1982) and "Mob Rules" (1981) . In late 1982 he left BLACK SABBATH with vocalist Ronnie James Dio and formed the band DIO. They recorded "Holy Diver" (1983),"The Last in Line" (1984),"Sacred Heart" (1985),"Intermission" (1986),and "Dream Evil" (1987). In December 1989, Appice left DIO. In 1992, he returned to BLACK SABBATH for the "Dehumanizer" album and tour. He then rejoined DIO and they recorded "Strange Highways" (1994) and "Angry Machines" (1996).

Appice rejoined his BLACK SABBATH bandmates Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi in 2006 as HEAVEN & HELL, touring and releasing one studio album, "The Devil You Know", before Dio's death in 2010.

In April 2014, along with former members of DIO (Vivian Campbell and Jimmy Bain),Vinny began recording tracks for his new band LAST IN LINE along with Andrew Freeman on vocals.

LAST IN LINE released its debut album, "Heavy Crown", on February 19 via Frontiers Music Srl.

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