PART 1 (OF 2) OF INTERVIEW WITH RESURRECTION KINGS AND EX-DIO GUITARIST CRAIG GOLDY
Date: December 22, 2015
Interviewer: Ruben Mosqueda
CRAIG GOLDY IS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS TIME IN DIO. HE PLAYED ON THREE STUDIO RECORDS: ‘DREAM EVIL,’ ‘MAGICA’ AND ‘MASTER OF THE MOON.’ WE CAUGHT UP WITH CRAIG WHO IS ABOUT TO UNLEASH HIS LATEST ACT RESURRECTION KINGS WHICH FEATURES SOME PRETTY WELL KNOWN BANDMATES; SEAN MCNABB ON BASS, VINNY APPICE ON DRUMS AND SINGER CHAS WEST. “I’VE TRIED TO KEEP RONNIE’S [DIO] WAY ALIVE. THE WAY HE WAS WITH THE FANS. HE JUST HAD A CERTAIN WAY ABOUT HIM. I WANTED TO ENSURE THAT WAY DID NOT DIE WITH HIM,” PROCLAIMS GOLDY ABOUT HIS MENTOR. “PRODUCER ALESSANDRO DEL VECCHIO GAVE ME ARTISTIC FREEDOM WITH THE SONGS; EVEN WITH THE ONES THAT I HADN’T WRITTEN. WE CALL IT ‘GOLDYZING’ THEM” SAYS GOLDY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM. RESURRECTION KINGS’ SELF-TITLED ALBUM IS DUE ON FRONTIERS RECORDS ON JANUARY 29, 2016. HERE’S PART ONE OF A TWO PART INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG GOLDY. ENJOY!
Sleaze Roxx: How did Resurrection Kings come to be? You’ve been involved recently in a couple of other bands or projects; Black Knights Rising and you’ve also done Dio Disciples. Now you’re with Resurrection Kings. Correct me if I’m wrong but of the aforementioned; Resurrection Kings has more of a band feel to it for me.
Craig Goldy: I agree. I’m glad you’ve picked up on that because that’s exactly how we intended it to be. I know people might think “Oh, yeah right. Another ‘supergroup’ with a bunch of guys that made a record and it won’t go much further than that.” Resurrection Kings has a certain kind of spirit behind it. I think people will hear that. I can’t be involved with something that I don’t feel that I can believe in. I am willing to take anything as far as it will go.
Everyday I make a priority list with things that I need to get done for the day. I make a list of achievable goals for the week so by the end of the week, I’m that much closer to my ultimate goal. Sometimes, life doesn’t ready my list [laughs]! There are times when band members either get better offers or they have a tour already booked. There are conflicts and things need to be put on hold.
Black Knights Rising came to be when we put the band together to give people choices when they fly in from across the country or the world for the NAMM show. It just snowballed from there Vinny [Appice] and I remained friends. He’s an amazing drummer and human being — he and I just enjoy working together. We had so many singers join us; [Tim] Ripper [Owens], Mark Boals, Joe Lynn Turner and John West. We were seriously thinking about doing an all original album. We thought the same with Dio Disciples. The thing about Dio Disciples had a totally different purpose behind it. Ronnie was our family. Dio was run like a family. When a family member dies, the family tries to do something to keep that family member’s memory alive. I do believe the Dio Disciples album will come to fruition in 2016.
Resurrection Kings was formed through an e-mail from the president of Frontiers. He asked if I was interested in being part of a band with other musicians that had built a name for themselves in the ’80s. The band was to be in a Whitesnake or Deep Purple vein. The people who they had approached to be a part of the band fell through so I asked Chas [West] who I had written a few songs with and the songs were going to be on the album. It made perfect sense that the guy that wrote the songs would be singing the songs. “Living Out Loud” is a special song to me because Chas and I put a lot of work into that song. Sean [McNabb] came on board next. I love his work and I saw Chas and Sean play some Led Zeppelin covers a few years back. I was absolutely floored by how good those two guys were. I was doing some recording sessions with Vinny and I played him some of the songs. He liked what he heard and he joined up.
Sleaze Roxx: You worked with Mark Huff. You recorded a couple of songs what happened with that?
Craig Goldy: Good Lord! That guy can sing! I had been in mourning from the loss of Ronnie and Mark was the first guy that got me excited about playing music with another singer as far as original material is concerned. He was the guy that breathed new life into music for me. The songs you’re referring to were my personal tribute to Ronnie but he sang those songs so great that it was like; “You and I need to put a band together.” I’m really proud of the songs. “Hole in My Heart” and “Dark Rainbow” are such powerful songs. They came out pretty cool in my opinion.
Sleaze Roxx: How do you plan differentiating Resurrection Kings from Dio Disciples which was only a touring entity but sounds like will soon be recording a record and Black Knights Rising which was a ‘just for fun’ project to Last In Line which features the original Dio lineup minus Ronnie? Also Vinny also plays in Last In Line. That could cause a lot of confusion amongst casual fans.
Craig Goldy: Yeah, that’s an interesting question. The casual fan will have you pegged as a person that has no scruples. The [music] world has changed so much that some of us have to do eight to ten different things to make the equivalency of what we used to make with one. We need to make money. In my world, money isn’t the core reason why I do anything. It has to be something that I believe in. I know that isn’t the shrewdest way to go about my musical career but that just the way that I am. I’m of the belief that “If you build it, they will come.” — like in that movie ‘Field of Dreams.’ People don’t realize that a lot of us were paid as ‘sidemen’ in the ’80s and we didn’t have the big piece of the pie like a lot of the others guys.
Sleaze Roxx: You were a member of Rough Cutt but you left before they got signed did you not? What was the time frame that you were part of that band?
Craig Goldy: That’s right. It was around 1982-1983. That was a real risk that paid off. I wish I could see lottery numbers; sometimes I see things. It can be both a blessing and a curse. This time in particular, it turned out to be a blessing. I grew up in a physically abusive family and I chose to live on the streets. This come to play in a minute. I had made a demo with the last $20 that I had. That demo wound up in Ronnie’s hands when Jake [E. Lee] left Rough Cutt to join Ozzy [Osbourne]. Everyone in Los Angeles was auditioning for that spot. Ronnie said “We’ve got to get this kid up here. How do we find him? He’s living in a car?” Little did I know that Ronnie and Wendy [Dio] were renting me gear and equipment that I used during that audition. Ronnie wanted to be there on the night of my audition [with Rough Cutt] just so that he could meet me. It was like it was just meant to be. He and I became friends.
Rough Cutt had all these hidden agendas. Nobody really wanted me in the band because they wanted their friend in the band and they didn’t want me writing because that meant more money for me. There were so many agendas in the ’80s. I didn’t feel that it was a true creative process for me. I’m just so fortunate that I didn’t get tainted by that. Ronnie saw that. He was a great musician and human being who just happened to be a ‘rockstar’ — not the other way around. I was playing one night and Gregg Giuffria was around town with a bunch of record executive guys from his label. They said to Gregg, “Hey why don’t you get that kid?”
Sleaze Roxx: How did you get involved with Giuffria? Were you a fan of Gregg’s [Giuffria’s] previous band Angel?
Craig Goldy: I knew about Angel because I played with a friend that was a keyboard player in San Diego. I was somewhat of a ‘keyboard snob’ back then. If you weren’t as good as Jon Lord I didn’t care about you [laughs]! At the time, I was living at Ronnie’s house while he was still contractually doing some things with Black Sabbath and while at the same time starting to work on ‘Holy Diver.’ I came up with a couple of ideas just in case this thing with Gregg turned out okay. I saw a music video of Gregg and David Glen Eisley. I saw this coliseum and that whole thing told me that I needed to be a part of this.
That meant leaving a band that had just got a record deal with Warner Brothers for a band that had no record deal and with a guy that had a bad reputation. There was no monetary security and I was leaving the Dio family. Ronnie was the guy that I looked up to, he was my favorite singer and the guy that helped me when I was being abused. People thought I was crazy. Ronnie called me up one day and said, “Hey don’t get upset if I see you and I’m around the Rough Cutt guys. I have to pretend to hate you!” He went on to say “Listen, I don’t hate you. I love you and I know why you’re doing it kid — good luck!” So within a little over a year, Rough Cutt got dropped from the label and Giuffria had a top 20 video on MTV’s request show.
The highlight for me I think was Giuffria opening for Deep Purple. I actually had a personal conversation with Ritchie Blackmore in his private dressing room that he invited me into! We also opened for Foreigner playing sold out coliseums. So there I was living the vision that I saw in that video that I watched in Gregg’s house when I met him.
Sleaze Roxx: You were part of Project: Driver at one point which featured Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge, Bob Rock and you. You left and Tony MacAlpine stepped in.
Craig Goldy: That was interesting because of the relationship that Ronnie and I had when he was recording ‘Hear N’ Aid.’ He flew me in to record while I was on tour with Giuffria to be a part of that. He actually had me go first. I was like “Great! I have to go first and there’s George Lynch, Neal Schon and Yngwie Malmsteen. Why am I going first?!” So I layed down some guitar and Ronnie grabs my arms and says “See, I knew that you’d start with a theme and not just start noodling around. That’s why I had you go first!”
It was during those recordings that I got noticed by Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge who had just left Ozzy’s band. We started talking about the possibility of putting a band together with Rudy and Tommy and at the time, they had Jeff Scott Soto on vocals. I was like “This is going to be outstanding!” Jeff left and we got another guy that sounded like a cross between David Coverdale and Ian Gillan. I was like “Good Lord! This is going to be great!” We were getting offers from labels then I got the call from Wendy about joining Dio. It had been close to three years to the day when Ronnie had said to me “Goldy, if things don’t work out with Viv at some point, I would like you to be in the band.” He was true to his word and called me to join Dio. Those guys were the best ever, they were so supportive.
Sleaze Roxx: Your introduction to the Dio fans was on the studio track on ‘Intermission’ called “Time to Burn.”
Craig Goldy: I’m actually on the whole record. I like giving little scopes to people. It is true what I’m about to say. I’ve been doing interviews for 30 years and it’s very rare that I get to have such a nice experience during an interview. This is one of the nicest experiences and I’d love to add something special to it. Thank you for that.
It [“Time to Burn”] wasn’t the first song that we wrote together but it was the first to be publicly released. The live concert that they chose to release was ironically recorded in San Diego, where I grew up. Vivian’s guitar was out of tune that night. In those days, they kept the guitar solos because they were single notes. They would feed it through a harmonizer so it would fit the actual sound of the pitch.
They had me overdub all of his rhythm guitar tracks. There’s times where Vivian would start the song like “Man On The Silver Mountain” where there was no count off! I would have to start at the right tempo and the right time without any count off. I would have to listen to it over and over and would hear a whistle or some kind of sound — then I’d count. It had to match because it was a live album and the ‘room sound’ was still going to be utilized. If I wasn’t perfectly aligned with the tempo of his performance it would be extremely noticeable.
Sleaze Roxx: In 2015, something like what you’re talking about would almost be a cinch to do with all the tools available. What you were doing at that time was insane when working with analog equipment.
Craig Goldy: [Laughs] That’s right! It would almost be a cinch to do something like that these days. These days, you can take performances from another concert and you could have pieced together Vivian’s rhythms and fixed things. I came from an era where we didn’t rely a lot on technology. I’m able to wing it. I think that’s helps when technology fails you and you have to wing it.
Sleaze Roxx: That leads to your first full studio album with Dio — ‘Dream Evil.’ I love that album and hold it in high regard. That was the first Dio album that I bought on release date — it’s actually the first album by Dio that I owned. I can’t say enough about the opening riff on “I Could Have Been A Dreamer.”
Craig Goldy: I was in learning mode. My entire time in Dio, I was in learning mode. There were two songs that were finished in the studio. I loved this about Ronnie — we would write and record demos in his studio then we’d go in and make the record. When we got to the studio, we knew what we wanted and we weren’t wasting any time.
What I learned from Ronnie was that first, he liked to start with a groove, then we’d come up with a riff, then we’d come up with the melody line over some simple chords. Then Ronnie would work on some lyrics; it’s always melodies first, lyrics second. That’s really hard to do when you’re trying to tell a story and you’re trying to touch people’s hearts through the lyrics. The melody line automatically narrows down the amount of syllables that you can use to tell your story. It’s a hard thing to do. On “I Could Have Been A Dreamer” — we did this thing when the band kicked in after the riff, the keyboard was synched up with the keyboard which I loved doing. That’s something that Deep Purple used to do a lot.
Sleaze Roxx: “Overlove” is another one with a killer groove to it. It’s got this Purple influence to it but the groove almost has it entering thrash metal territory.
Craig Goldy: [Laughs] We definitely got into some stuff. Thankfully, I was such a Rainbow and Deep Purple fan that my contributions were automatically Rainbow and Purple-esque. I loved the [Black] Sabbath records that Ronnie did prior to the formation of Dio. Those first two Sabbath and the first two Dio records were just fantastic.
I truly feel that on ‘Dream Evil’ — it was the first time that Dio had a Blackmore-esque contribution put into it. Up until that point, the Dio catalog didn’t have a Blackmore influence to it. If you can believe this, I was writing and writing and when Ronnie said “You’re up kid” — I had something in the area of 130 ideas.
Sleaze Roxx: “All the Fools Sailed Away” is epic but it’s not too long.
Craig Goldy: I think the closest thing that Dio had to an epic was “Egypt.” Ronnie had ideas to do something epic again. The first thing that comes in after the guitar on that song, Ronnie already had written on keyboard. The minute I heard it, I thought “Wow! This is going to be amazing!” We agreed that we wanted to write an epic song but we ran out of time. That’s why we had to finish that one in the studio [laughs]! I think Ronnie knew we needed to make it epic but not self indulgent and long winded. I have to tip my hat to him for that. I had to fight for the keyboard solo because of my love of Rainbow and Deep Purple. Ronnie was like “Are you kidding me?! There’s no keyboard solos in Dio?!” [Laughs] Claude [Schnell] came up with such a great keyboard solo for “All the Fools Sailed Away.” It was perfect.
STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF THE INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG GOLDY!