INTERVIEW WITH DIO DISCIPLES / RESURRECTION KINGS’ GUITARIST CRAIG GOLDY
Date: September 2, 2016
Interviewer: Ruben Mosqueda
WHEN GUITARIST CRAIG GOLDY AND THE BAND DIO DISCIPLES WERE SET TO PERFORM ON AUGUST 6, 2016 AT GERMANY’S WACKEN OPEN AIR FESTIVAL, IT WAS ASSUMED IT WOULD BE A ‘TYPICAL’ DIO DISCIPLES GIG. MEANING THE BAND WOULD PAY TRIBUTE TO THE LATE GREAT RONNIE JAMES DIO BY PERFORMING DIO’S CLASSICS IN FRONT OF THE MANIACAL FESTIVAL AUDIENCE. WELL, THAT WAS WHAT WE THOUGHT UNTIL THE BAND LAUNCHED INTO “WE ROCK” AND A HOLOGRAM OF RONNIE JAMES DIO APPEARED ON THE STAGE, FRONT AND CENTER TO SING THE ENCORE.
AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, THE ‘RETURN’ OF DIO LIT UP THE HARD ROCK AND METAL NEWS FEEDS WORLDWIDE. SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WTH GOLDY UPON HIS RETURN FROM EUROPE TO DISCUSS DIO DISCIPLES AND THE SURPRISING RETURN OF HIS FRIEND AND MENTOR RONNIE JAMES DIO. WE WILL BE HEARING A LOT FROM CRAIG GOLDY AS HE CONFIRMED THAT THERE WILL BE ANOTHER RESURRECTION KINGS ALBUM, HE’S WORKING ON AN ALBUM WITH GIUFFRIA BANDMATE DAVID GLEN EISLEY AND THERE WILL BE AN ALBUM OF ORIGINAL MATERIAL FROM DIO DISCIPLES. 2017 LOOKS TO BE A HUGE YEAR FOR GOLDY!
Sleaze Roxx: When we last spoke at the tail end of 2015, you mentioned stuff that was on the horizon. I would have never expected that we’d see Ronnie James Dio on stage with the [Dio] Disciples. That must have been a ghostly experience.
Craig Goldy: It was bitter sweet. You know, I have said this to people very close to me; “It’s so hard to keep things in heavy metal confidential.” [laughs] When we last spoke, I really wanted to tell you about this, but I just couldn’t. I mean, there are people that are very close to the Dio family that weren’t even told about this until it was time. I don’t think it was because they’d ‘blab’ or anything like that. I just think they just wanted to keep it under wraps.
I was actually pleasantly surprised that it was kept a secret until the event actually took place. That was simply ‘spectacular’ if you ask me. That was the first time a ‘rock’ band has performed with a hologram at a major outdoor festival. If you can believe this; the cameraman that was projecting the footage of Ronnie onto the screen onto the stage didn’t use the recording feature. No one thought about it until afterward. I have to tell you the footage online doesn’t do it justice. The footage that was being projected onto the stage was coming in clear as a bell.
When we were rehearsing for Wacken, we actually had to go into a movie studio; there was a screen and click track. It was the only way that we could have pulled off the performance. We used the audio of one of Ronnie’s performances of “We Rock.” So it was an isolated vocal; except for the click track so we could keep time to Ronnie’s vocal. I have to tell you it’s so rare that art and business can co-exist without business cutting into the integrity of the art. In this case, it’s a ‘win, win.’ That’s very rare.
Sleaze Roxx: You know, there are people who question the existence of Dio Disciples that will will have a field day with this.
Craig Goldy: I know there will be people who will say that we’re ‘cashing in’ on Ronnie’s death. Are you kidding me? Really? You don’t understand why we did this? Ronnie was always about giving fans more show for their buck without increasing ticket prices. You saw that on the ‘Sacred Heart Tour’ and on the ‘Dream Evil Tour.’ This was a way of us thanking the fans, paying tribute to Ronnie and giving the fans a little extra something.
I have to add that won’t be the last time that you’ll see that on stage. There’s more to come. There will be other songs that will be performed. We’ve talked about this before where Dio Disciples concerts are essentially a ‘memorial service’ but as a rock concert. Now that we have the hologram, it’s even much more so because of the spirit of which it was done.
Sleaze Roxx: One thing that you spoke about last time was a Dio Disciples album. What’s the status of that?
Craig Goldy: We are going to do that. We’re working on that now. We’re negotiating with a record company as we speak. At the moment, the goal is to have an album written and recorded and have it out by the summer of 2017. The idea is to have songs written by people that were in the [Dio] band or close to the [Dio] family. Also, the other criteria is that the songs would be done in a manner which Ronnie would approve. So those two songs that I sent you? We’re going to use those on the record.
I’ve been working with Jeff Pilson who as you know has been a member of the Dio family. He’s an amazing producer and we’ve been writing songs. The goal is to put together an album that will be outstanding. We want top-notch songs on the record. I don’t think I mentioned this the last time we spoke but Jeff Pilson created Dio history. You know how in the liners it always read ‘all melodies and lyrics by Ronnie James Dio?’ There’s a song on of the later Dio albums titled “Stay Out Of My Mind.” Ronnie liked the lyrics and melody line so much that he kept it. He did rework a couple things here and there. That’s the first time that’s ever happened — aside from the instrumental that I wrote.
Sleaze Roxx: You’re working with Jeff Pilson who also worked with Last In Line which features some former members of the Dio family. How do you feel about that?
Craig Goldy: Well, first to clarify, Jeff isn’t producing the [Dio Disciples] album. He’s simply worked with us on the demos. We’ll select a producer in the near future. I don’t know who that will be but I assume it will be a younger producer that can get us a ‘current sound.’ I don’t know. Jeff could very well produce some songs on the album at this point. I just don’t know.
I understand the connection between Jeff, the Dio family and Last In Line. It’s just unfortunate that Vivian [Campbell] has continued to say ‘vile’ things about Ronnie and us. I mean, I was in Dio with Vinnie [Appice] and I’m in another band with him [Resurrection Kings]! Just like with any family, there’s always one that holds onto a grudge forever. He’s [Vivian] nice to my face. I don’t know if he says bad things behind my back? I don’t recall him saying anything ‘vile’ about me. Can you imagine if every Dio member that has ever been in the band got together with the same heart, soul, mind and purpose on stage or in a studio setting? That would be fucking outstanding!
Sleaze Roxx: It would be like ‘Stars’ but all Dio band members…
Craig Goldy: Exactly. Funny you should mention that because initially Wendy [Dio] and I had that idea for the record, but I imagine that the label will want a consistent line-up. That was the original idea. You never know at some point we may do something like that again.
Anyway, getting back to the Vivian thing. I wish he’d just say “I’m sorry.” Maybe something happened behind closed doors that Vivian finds ‘unforgivable?’ I just find that just so hard to believe. I don’t know what happened between the two of them but maybe he stepped over some boundaries and ‘felt the heat?’ He got called on it and was let go.