Vinny Appice of Dio - Back
Interviewer: Cameron Edney -

Vinny Appice is one of the world’s most respected Hard rock & Heavy Metal drummers and plays one of the biggest kits I have ever seen. Vinny has had the privilege of performing with some of Heavy metals most iconic figures such as Ozzy Osbourne & Ronnie James Dio. I caught up with Vinny earlier this week and we spoke about his early days as a drummer, Vinny’s influences, working with John Lennon, Black Sabbath, Dio, Lana Lane, what the future holds and much more. I hope you all enjoy the interview

Metal Fanatix:
Hi Vinny I would like to thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions for all our readers. I would like to start right back to the beginning. You began drum lessons at the age of 9 using the same teacher that had taught your brother Carmine. How long did you go to lessons for?

Vinny Appice: I went for lessons for 3 years. Dick Benette was our teacher.

Metal Fanatix:
Growing up in a house with 2 drummers must have been crazy? I bet yourself & Carmine weren't too popular with the neighbours in those early learning stages?

Vinny Appice: I am 11 years younger than Carmine so he was out of the house already when I started. The neighbours didn't mind, they like the idea of a celebrity family on the block.

Metal Fanatix:
What was the 1st drum kit you owned?

Vinny Appice: Some old Gretch left overs from Carmine. After that I bought a Ludwig kit.

Metal Fanatix:
Did you always want to be a drummer?

Vinny Appice: Yea, I thought it would be fun.

Metal Fanatix:
Are there any other members of your family that are drummers besides yourself & Carmine?

Vinny Appice: We had 2 cousins that also played back then. They smartened up and got real jobs.

Metal Fanatix:
Do you remember the first show you ever played can you tell us a bit about it?

Vinny Appice: I know it was March 17th 197 whatever! It was a dance at the local Church in Brooklyn NY. The name of the band was Mully Graves.

Metal Fanatix:
I have been inspired by many different drummers over the years (Eric Carr, Yourself & Brother Carmine, Tommy Lee, Charlie Benante among others) growing up who inspired you to pick up the sticks?

Vinny Appice: Buddy Rich, Carmine, John Bonham and Billy Cobham

Metal Fanatix:
You have performed with many talented artists over the years. Has these experiences helped to develop the drumming techniques that you are using today?

Vinny Appice: Oh yea, the more experience you have to draw from the better.

Metal Fanatix:
In your opinion how essential is it for a drummer to follow there hearts, dreams & aspirations?

Vinny Appice: Musically yes exactly! I would add another: Your wallet! Don't be naive; there are a lot of promises in the biz. Get it in writing!

Metal Fanatix:
Do you do anything specific to warm up & prepare for a show?

Vinny Appice: I sit with one leg resting on the other and play on the rubber part of my shoe. Pariddles, doubles etc.

Metal Fanatix:
How do you continue to successfully decipher the role of a drummer in a song without impeding on a songs melody, dynamics, & format?

Vinny Appice: Feel it, from the heart. Keep your ears open and listen to how it fits in the track. It should create a mood.

Metal Fanatix:
When you're onstage what runs through your mind? Do you think about anything?

Vinny Appice: Everything like: what's happening after the show? where am I? This song sucks! These monitors are horrible!

Metal Fanatix: I remember reading somewhere that you had met John Lennon when you were 16and that you actually got to do some work with him. Working with John must have been inspirational? Can you tell us about the experience?

Vinny Appice: I was 16, my band rehearsed at The Record Plant Studios in NY. John recorded there so he and Yoko would come in and watch us practice and hang out. He then asked us to do a live TV show with him and a couple of videos, we of course agreed. That was amazing to hang out with him and perform together!!

Metal Fanatix:
Over the years you have worked with many different musicians, who have you learnt the most from?

Vinny Appice: Black Sabbath- I learned how to play BIG shows and how a real band works. I learned from Rick Derringer also. I was a kid playing with all these seasoned professionals.

Metal Fanatix:
More recently you have been playing with The Hollywood All-stars. Along side the likes of Carlos Cavazo (quiet riot) & Jeff Pilson (Dio/Dokken). How did this project get started and do you guys have any plans to tour Australia?

Vinny Appice: We did a gig to raise money for the victims of the Great White fire tragedy. We continued getting offers to play so we decided to it for some fun. No plans to come down under.

Metal Fanatix:
You are seen as a heavy Metal drummer, but nevertheless you have played with Lana Lane who is not exactly “Metal” How did you end up working with Lana?

Vinny Appice: Lana and Erik Norlander are really good friends of mine. They asked and I said OK.

Metal Fanatix:
Back in late 1985/early 1986 Dio toured Australia do you remember any funny stories from the Australian tour?

Vinny Appice:
Topless women by the pool.

Metal Fanatix:
There has been so many highlights in your career, what would you say have been your greatest achievements to date?

Vinny Appice: Playing with the original Sabbath with Ozzy. That rocked!

Metal Fanatix: For someone like yourself who is often considered iconic with regard to Hard rock & Heavy Metal drumming, what do you think most people would be surprised to learn about Vinny Appice?

Vinny Appice: I also play the banjo! Kidding!

Metal Fanatix:
What bands are you listening to these days?

Vinny Appice: P.O.D., Puddle of Mudd, Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, Linkin Park.

Metal Fanatix:
Do you ever act on suggestions coming from your fans?

Vinny Appice: Sometimes if it’s a good one.

Metal Fanatix:
What is the strangest question a fan has asked you?

Vinny Appice: Do I get blisters on my ass from sitting so much.

Metal Fanatix:
Of all the albums you have played on in the past, which is your favourite to listen to?

Vinny Appice: Holy Diver and Dehumanizer

Metal Fanatix:
What are your plans for 2005?

Vinny Appice: New band with Jimmy Bain call 3 Legged Dogg, we are writing now and plan to release something in the Fall.

Metal Fanatix:
In a few words can you tell us the 1st thing that comes to mind when I mention the following Black Sabbath & Dio tracks?

Vinny Appice:

Hungry for Heaven: Sucks

Holy Diver: Cool

Mystery: Sucks, Ronnie trying to write a single

Rock N Roll Children: Sucks

Mob Rules: Kick ASS!

T.V. Crimes: Love it.

Computer God: Cool!

Metal Fanatix:
Well Vinny I think that's just about it. Thanks once again for your time, it's been a total pleasure. Is there anything that you would like to add for all of our readers?

Vinny Appice: Thanks for listening!!!!!!

I would just like to thank Vinny for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer all these questions for myself & all of our readers here. It is a true pleasure to get some insight on one of my all-time favourite heavy metal drummers.

To keep up with all the latest news on Vinny don’t forget to check these websites:
- Vinny Appice Official website

Used with permission by Cameron Edney © Feb 2005