Vinny Appice considers Dio’s album ‘Holy Diver’ to be his favorite musical project over the years
Former Black Sabbath and Dio drummer Vinny Appice was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Vinyl Writer Music.
Appice was asked what is the musical project that he’s the most proud of during his music career to which he replied:
“Well, I’m proud of them all. I’m proud that I got to play with Sabbath. I mean, who wasn’t influenced by Sabbath? I am proud that I got to be part of that special part of rock history. But I think the Holy Diver era of Dio was my favorite because we started something from scratch. When we started that, it was Ronnie and me, and Ronnie would play bass, and I would play drums. We go to a rehearsal studio – I think we even rehearse in Ronnie’s garage – and we had the first early sounds of Holy Diver. we jam on that and try different things, and that all led to great success. It led to big tours and it led to starting something that became huge over the course of many albums, across many years. To me, that’s a great story, and it means a lot to me that was a part of starting that. To this day, where it’s still selling copies of Holy Diver to the point that it just went double platinum, and it’s something to be proud of. So, I’m very proud to have done that with Ronnie and to have been a big part of that. I went from Sabbath, who is a huge part of rock history, to Dio, making this album that became legendary, and a part of rock history. So, that’s pretty good from a kid from Brooklyn. [Laughs].”
In terms of whether he ever imagined that Holy Diver would become one of the definitive albums in all of rock’s history, Appice stated:
“Yeah, no, we never thought that. [Laughs]. As a matter of fact, I just got the award for Holy Diver going double platinum. It went double platinum this year, so it’s ironic, and I just got it a couple of days ago. It’s beautiful, and that was like a really special thing for me because that’s something that we started from scratch. When we did that album, we used to go into Sound City Studios at night around 7 pm, and that’s when we’d rehearse, and smoke a lot of pot. [Laughs]. It was like a hangout for us. We had the band there, and some of our friends would come down and hang out too. It was like a little party each night, and it was a really good time. We actually would look forward to going there each night, and that good time was really reflected in some good songwriting, and some good songs being put together.
We did some crazy, crazy things there at Sound City, man. I mean, they let us do anything we wanted. We had it blocked out for like six weeks, and we destroyed all the candy machines, we would just bang it and get candy if we were hungry. We broke all of them, and with all the pinball games, we opened them up so we couldn’t lose the ball. I mean, we did all this crazy shit like punch holes in the wall and stuff. [Laughs]. We were just doing what came naturally, and we just played really well together. We had Vivian Campbell on guitar and Jimmy Bain on bass, Ronnie and I, and then Angelo Arcuri, who recorded the first four Dio records, he was there too. He was my best friend, and he was the sound man for Sabbath at one point. It was like a hangout for our gang of friends and the band.
I remember when we went into the studio, what we did was we wrote four songs, and then we took all the gear right across the parking lot into the Sound City Studio. It was like a complex, and we just picked up the drums and cymbals – everything’s on the stand, there was no breaking it down – and we just carried it in, including Ronnie. [Laughs]. We carried all of that stuff in, so we could get set up, and record the four songs, work on them, and finish them. Then, we would go back to the rehearsal space and write four more. And that’s how we did Holy Diver. It was just a great time, with everybody having so much fun, and as Ronnie would say, “It was magic.” That magic we went in with, that made for a great album. And then when we started to mix it in the studio, my drum tech turned to me, and he says, “Holy shit. This is going to go platinum,” and I’m like, “Yeah, right.” Honestly, we had no idea. We just thought we were making a good record, and then it came out and it was just amazing. It really amazed us how it became so important in rock history. Even today, that album, it’s like the cornerstone of rock. When it came out, it sold and sold, and then it went platinum back then, and now to see it go double platinum, hat’s pretty cool. It was just a moment in time when everything fell into place. Everything was right. Everything was loose. Everything was cool. It was a window of writing some great songs and having a great time.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Vinny Appice at Vinyl Writer Music‘s website.
Dio‘s “Holy Diver” video:
Dio‘s “Rainbow In the Dark” video: