Heaven And Hell: Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi Speak Out

Vinny Appice to take up Ward's duties on the drums on upcoming Heaven And Hell Tour.

Ultimate Guitar

Jon Wiederhorn of Revolver magazine recently conducted an interview with Ronnie James Dio (DIO, Black Sabbath, Rainbow) and Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) of Heaven And Hell the new band also featuring Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and ex-DIO/Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

  • Revolver: Why didn't Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward play on [the new songs that will be included on the upcoming Dio-era Black Sabbath anthology, "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years"]?

    Dio: Bill was going to do it, but he had commitments that wouldn't allow him, in his mind, to tour. The next logical choice was Vinny, because Vinny popuated more of those albums than Bill did. Bill did the first album, and Vinny did three after that.

  • The Osbourne camp issued a press release that pointed out Heaven And Hell "has nothing to do with Black Sabbath" and that "there is only one Black Sabbath." Would they rather you didn't tour?

    Dio: I don't know. I don't go out and petition for these things, they just sort of happen. And when they do, it doesn't mean there's been a big witches convention someplace in the dark going, "Alright, now we can put pins into Ozzy and Sharon." Because that's not the way it is at all.

  • What brought you back for 1992's "Dehumanizer"?

    Dio: I thought we quit way too early. Even after "Live Evil", I thought we'd do another blockbuster album and carry on for the rest of our lives. So Geezer came to me at a show in Minneapolis [in 1990, and came onstage to play "Neon Knights"]. He told me that Tony wanted to do something again, and one thing led to another.

  • Was that album enjoyable to make?

    Not really. It was something we had to really wring out of ourselves, but I think that's why it works. Sometimes you need that kind of tension, or else you end up making the Christmas album.

  • Why did you leave again after "Dehumanizer"?

    Dio: I was told in the middle of the tour that we would be opening for Ozzy in Los Angeles. And I said, "No. Sorry, I have more pride than that." A lot of bad things were being said from camp to camp, and it created this horrible schism. So by them agreeing to play the shows in L.A. with Ozzy, that, to me, spelled out reunion. And that obviously meant the doom of that particular project.

  • Can we expect a Heaven And Hell album in the future?

    Dio: Well, I'm not going to give up the DIO band. And I think touring for a year with this band will be long enough. But I would hope that we'll still be speaking to each other after that and that some other plans might be able to be made.

    Iommi: At this point, nothing is written in stone. Anything could happen.

    Revolver's entire interview with Heaven And Hell can be found in the magazine's March 2007 issue, which is set to hit newsstands this coming Monday, January 15. More information is available at revolvermag.com.

    Heaven And Hell's world tour will kick off March 11 in Vancouver, British Columbia and will play at least ten shows across Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg and London. An exclusive New York City show has also been scheduled.

    Read more at Blabbermouth.net.

  • 54 comments sorted by best / new / date

      Cobalt Blue
      I'd like to see them with Dio more, it might just be some bad example's I've heard, but Ozzy's singing voice isn't what it used to be. But I've heard Dio belt em out in the more recent years... I hope they do some early Sabbath songs though. I don't know how it's worked on previous tours.. I know when Ian Gillan was with the band they still did paranoid, War pigs etc.
      Translation of the interview above:"We are out just for money 'cause things are a bit tight right now and blah blah blah...." Sabbath are great,but they MUST end this thing....
      Dio and ozzy are both good singers, but ozzy sang in earlier sabbath and the original sabbath stuff and thats y i think his better for sabbath im kinda glad the bill and ozzy are not in this band cuz its heaven and hell, not sabbath, but another sabbath album would be kick ass long live sabbath \m/
      yeh and its because that ozzy started the sabbath stuff that people are familiar with it's thought that its alot better to have the original singing
      ozzy has a waaaaay better voice than dio. he was also 1000x better with sabbath and on his solo carrer.
      man i dont care. both ozzy and dio kick serious ass. but like ozzy said, it isnt sabbath without him and bill.
      ozzy may have been better with sabbath and is a better writer but his voice comes no where near dio....
      If Dio is planning to do some stuff with Iommi then Oz should load up his calvery and meet them head on. The ultimate Ozman band is Dave Mustaine, Jason Newsted and Tommy Lee.
      monkey of doom
      oh... THAT guy wrote: monkey of doom wrote: Butter commercial? I mean seriously. you do know thats not actually him, right?
      Doesn't mean he can't lose credibility in my eyes. Need I remind you of the duet with Ms. Piggy? What about the duet with his daughter?
      i_am_metalhead : So Heaven and Hell are going to be playing Sabbath stuff from the Dio period, right??...
      they said that heaven and hell had nothing to do with sabbath so im guessing they're gona have new songs
      hope its somethin different than dehumanizer cause everything after heaven and hell sucked ballz 8)
      Dio can't beat ozzy, but he's the best BS singer after him. But dehumanizer was not really a great record
      Personally, I like the Dio led line up of Sabbath much more than the Ozzy version. Yes, with Ozzy, they were awesome and set standards, but with Dio, there was an energy that Ozzy just couldn't match. And Dio's lyrics seem to be a much better fit for Sabbath in my opinion. Personally, I will take The Mob Rules, Neon Nights, Heaven & Hell and other songs over anything Ozzy ever put out with them.
      LORD V4DER
      Personally, I personally find the rampant use of the word "personally" personally distasteful, personally. Sabbath rules!
      "Heaven and Hell" and "Children of the Sea" are two excellent songs! I think it is great they are hooking up.
      Dan of Dans
      I think The Ozzman is better suited for Black Sabbath, But Dio has a Way more awsomer Solo Career. Dio has a better voice to. DIO!!!!
      fetus989 wote: Is it me, or is Iommi holding a right-handed guitar? Didn't he damage his left wrist to the point he had to switch frethand? originally i think he just tune the strings low so he could press them down easier. He's a F**KIN god if he he did switch hand though
      monkey of doom
      Interesting stuff, hopefully dio gets a new album out soon. I think The Osbournes are idiots. Ozzy has lost all credibility, well for me at least. Butter commercial? I mean seriously.
      tasty licks wrote: looks like a caveman in the homepage pic. lol
      Lol! I was thinking the same thing. Ummm..... Dio > Me.
      both of them (ozzy and ronnie) are ****ing great and both eras kick ass. all of u must admit that paranoid was an incredible album and so was heaven and hell. Black sabbath kicks ass regardless, evenwith ian gillan. Also Dio and ozzy solo are great bands so just calm down and give sabbath a break!
      Both Dio and Ozzy are incredible vocalists. There is no need to pick favorites on this one. I don't think there's a metal lover out there who doesn't like either. Even so, Ozzy is the original Black Sabbath vocalist, and those are hard shoes to fill. It's like when blaze went to Maiden... everyone knew it was Dickinson's role and no one else's. Now,
      i_am_metalhead wrote: So Heaven and Hell are going to be playing Sabbath stuff from the Dio period, right??...
      I'm confused about this too. Someone answer.
      i think he is.. ozy shouldnt have left...then that would mean there would be no randy rhoads+ozzy...damn you ozzy
      oh... THAT guy
      monkey of doom wrote: Butter commercial? I mean seriously.
      you do know thats not actually him, right?
      Dio has more talent than ozzy, but Ozzy is better suited for black sabbath. Therefore ozzy is better.