VINNY APPICE - The Dio Years

February 10, 2011, 9 years ago

By Mitch Lafon

feature vinny appice

Drummer Vinny Appice has plied his trade with many different outfits over the years, but he’s best known for pounding out the beat with BLACK SABBATH, DIO and eventually HEAVEN AND HELL. recently sat down with Appice to find out more about his past, but mostly about his future and that of Heaven And Hell. What are you currently up to?

Vinny Appice: “Right now, I’ve been working on a new band, KILL DEVIL HILL, with Rex Brown (DOWN, ex-PANTERA) on bass, Mark Zavon (ex-STEPHEN PEARCY band) on guitars and Dewey Bragg on vocals. We just signing with management and we hope to get stuff flowing and record a CD.” Do you have any songs written for it at this time?

Appice: "Yeah, we actually have about ten songs written. We just demo-ed them in my house and again in Mark’s house. He’s got Protools all set up. They really sound good, but they’re not studio quality. We played it for different people (manager’s and stuff) and got a great response. I just want to wait to get a deal and get a record label involved then we’ll go in a record the stuff for real.” What’s your time line on this? Will in be out later this year?

Appice: "It’ll come out in 2011. I’m sure of that.” Musically, what will it sound like?

Appice: "We’re not looking at pop. I don’t play that stuff. It sounds like a cross between Black Sabbath, ALICE IN CHAINS and a little bit of LED ZEPPELIN thrown in. It’s heavy, but with a lot of cool hooks and melodic overtones too.” Will you take this band out on the road or is this a studio only project?

Appice: "Right now, I’m planning to work this and make this happen. I want this to become my main band. That’s what I would like and then everything else could be around that. You know – Heaven And Hell we talked about doing something this year too so…” That’s interesting that you should mention that. Obviously, with the passing of Ronnie James Dio, people assume that Heaven And Hell are done. Is that reasonably true? Might you continue with guest singers or rename the band and get a new singer?

Appice: "If it’s going to happen we would re-name the band. The Heaven And Hell named signified a lot of Ronnie. It’s Ronnie’s era of Sabbath not Ozzy’s and that’s why we didn’t call it Black Sabbath, so people wouldn’t get confused about it. It would be funny to keep the name Heaven And Hell and for Ronnie not to be there.” Plus, there probably would be a backlash from the fans.

Appice: "Yeah, that too.” When do you think the band might continue?

Appice: "I’m not sure what they have it mind. It was mentioned, but no action has been taken yet. I would imagine that IF something happens – it would be this year. Tony loves playing. Even though, he’s accomplished so much in his career, he’s a musician and he loves to play. He was happy playing and being on stage (with H&H;). Geezer is the same way. We toured so much that we built ourselves up both musically and physically.” Where you surprised at the reaction of fans when you announced Heaven And Hell. Some fans had been screaming for Ozzy and Sabbath to reunite. Then with Heaven And Hell, you decided to only play songs from that line-up’s era, which meant no Paranoid or War Pigs, but the thing took off.

Appice: "I think everybody was a little surprised how it was accepted. Obviously, we knew it would do good to a certain point just because of who was in the band. We did Radio City Music Hall and it sold out in fifteen minutes. It was just a lot of excitement… More than anybody anticipated. So yes, we were surprised by the reaction and obviously everybody was happy by it. The nice thing was that it was building. We started headlining some of the festivals. The buzz was around and it was becoming really cool. You could see it building and then Ronnie got sick. It’s really a shame. There was definitely another album coming.” Was anything done for the second album? Were there any demos?

Appice: "No.” So, everything that Heaven And Hell ever recorded has been released?

Appice: "There’s nothing lying around and that’s the way it was with Dio too. We never really recorded extra material. It’s just the way it was. It was the way we wrote. We didn’t write very fast, but we just worked on the songs one song at a time. So, we just never had any extra stuff ever.” The Dio years. Ronnie comes out of RAINBOW takes over for Ozzy in Black Sabbath. They do two fantastic albums with Mob Rules and Heaven & Hell. Then he decides to go out on his own with Dio. Did he consider you a session guy at that point or was Dio your band as well?

Appice: "It was kind of my band too. It had Ronnie’s name on it, but we started it from the beginning. It was never a session thing. I always had an involvement in the band and stuff… Which was cool and made it more like your own.” Was there a noticeable difference for you playing under the Black Sabbath name as opposed to the Dio name?

Appice: "There’s a big difference. Sabbath is Sabbath. They have such a long history and Sabbath should sound like Black Sabbath. You have Tony and Geezer. Playing to them is a lot different than playing to Vivian Campbell and Jimmy Bain. Tony has a monster sound, so there’s a different approach to how you play and you have to stay on that Black Sabbath path. When we do albums, it’s just… What’s the word? Evil or dark? Dark is a good word and you have to play accordingly to that. Not play ahead of the beat and pull it back a little bit more… Things like that.” When you go in and record an album like you did with Heaven And Hell. Do you go back and listen to what Bill Ward did with early Sabbath and try to get into that groove or do you bring your own approach to it?

Appice: "When I first joined the band, I listened to all the old stuff because I thought that it was important to carry on where they left off and see how Bill played and approached it. I was a fan of Bill. He’s a great drummer and I was a huge fan of how Bill played so in the beginning there was a lot of ‘hmmm, what would Bill play? How would this work?’ But in the later years, we established this version of the band that was pretty good too with Mob Rules, Live Evil and Dehumanizer. We became our own sound too, so I didn’t worry about it so much.” Let me ask you about Dehumanizer. That album took a beating over the years with critics. Do you think that was justified? Do you think that album was misunderstood and has stood the test of time?

Appice: "Oh, yeah. Absolutely. That album was made when grunge started to become big and we did the album, put it out and people didn’t notice it as much as the Mob Rules, because it was a different time in the world for music. Grunge was coming in and we were considered dinosaurs, but we love the album and since Heaven And Hell has started people have rediscovered that album and are like ‘wow, this album sounds really good. It’s a cool album.’ And it is. It’s really heavy.” And the ‘deluxe edition’ of it comes out this month (in the UK and Japan). Are you happy to hear that it’s been remastered?

Appice: "I know it’s coming out, but I don’t know anything about it. The thing about it was that album sounded good when it wasn’t remastered, so it must sound amazing now.” Recently, you played at the Phil Kennemore (Y&T;) benefit concert. Since then, Phil has passed away.

Appice: "I’m so sorry about that.” What are your best memories of Phil?

Appice: "Phil and Dave (Meniketti) always came down when we played (in the early years with Dio up to Heaven And Hell). They were always friends and really really cool people. When Heaven And Hell started in 2007, the whole band came down and hung out. Ronnie loved those guys. He really loved how Dave Meniketti sang and the way he played… He’s just a monster, Dave. I know Ronnie loved the band and loved Phil, so when I heard about this concert… Immediately, I said ‘yeah, I’m there’. Phil was a wonderful guy and a really good good bass player. I had just seen them play at the Canyon Club here in L.A. in the summer and I went back in the dressing room to hang out and I wound up on the side of the room where Phil was and we talked a lot. Everything was normal. We talked for probably an hour or two and then the next day I hear he’s sick. It was like Ronnie… ‘sick, but ok they caught it in time.’ Then next thing I hear, it’s that it’s stage four which is what Ronnie had, so now I know it’s pretty severe stuff. I’m really sorry to hear what happened and I’m glad we got to do it (the concert) before… He knew we were doing the show and he was aware of everybody being there for him and sending their love to him… I’m just really sad about it (his passing) you know.” Let’s get back to Heaven And Hell. If the band continues, like you suggested it might, would you consider playing a couple of the Dio songs as a dedication to Ronnie?

Appice: "I don’t see that happening. Tony and Geezer don’t do other people’s music. It’s always Black Sabbath. They didn’t consider doing it when we did Dehumanizer and Dio had all our albums out. We didn’t even talk about doing something like that. Ronnie thought it would be funny to do something like that. So, no, that wouldn’t happen.” When you look back at your time with Ronnie. What are some of your fondest memories? I had interviewed and met him on several occasions and it always struck me at how exceptionally kind he was.

Appice: "What was amazing and outstanding about Ronnie was the way he loved the fans. He would take the time for the fans. He would know your name basically. He would meet somebody and the next year if we toured, he’d know your name... ‘hey, Mitch how you doing?’ It was pretty amazing the way he was able to do that and that’s because he loved his fans and he took the time. When I first joined the band on the Heaven And Hell tour, we didn’t have tour busses. We did airplane rides and limos. We had two limos at the airport to pick us up and two limos to bring us the to hotel and two limos to get us around. When the show was over, Tony and Geezer would usually leave, but Ronnie and I would hang out and when it got time to go and the limo pulled out of the arenas; there would be fans waiting and Ronnie would tell the driver to stop and he’d get out and he’d go sign autographs. I was like ‘wow, he’s a pretty cool guy for doing that,’ and he always did that. When we did Dio, in the beginning in 1983, we did a tour of Europe in the winter and the gigs were sold out. There would be fifty, sixty or more people waiting outside in the cold for autographs and Ronnie would tell the road crew to bring those people in, so they could wait for us inside. Then the whole band would come down and sign stuff for these guys. He was just really dedicated to his fans. He loved his fans. He loved music. He loved sports and that was Ronnie.” Before Sabbath you played with AXIS and RICK DERRINGER…

Appice: “And I played with John Lennon too. I’ll tell you real quick. My band was managed by the guy who owned the Record Plant and Jimmy Iovine. He was a good friend and a producer. We were eventually produced by Jimmy. We had been given this rehearsal room for free upstairs and we hung out every night and played. I was only sixteen or seventeen years old and one night the needed handclaps for the song ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’, so they called us down. It was a nine-piece band with horns. So, those are my handclaps on ‘Whatever Get You Through The Night’. When we went down, there was John Lennon and Elton John sitting in the control room and we went ‘holy shit’. Then we were done and we went upstairs and John said, ‘who’s that?’ And Jimmy said that’s the band I’m producing and they rehearse upstairs, so then John started coming up and hanging out with us. He liked the band and he asks us to do some videos. We did three videos with him and we did one gig at the NY Hilton where we played ‘Imagine’ and ‘Slippin’ And Slidin’’. We hung out with him, we played pool… My mother even made him lasagna. I was talking about Italian food and said ‘I’ll bring you in some lasagna’. So, my mother made him a big nice Italian homemade lasagna and I gave him the pan. The funny thing is that months later my brother, Carmine, was playing with Rod Stewart at Madison Square Garden (in NYC) and my parents were backstage and so was John Lennon. So, my mother went up to John and asked for the pan back.” Ah, an Italian mother. Since you mentioned the Record Plant. Back in the day, there was a lot of session work going on. Have you ever been a ‘ghost musician’?

Appice: “No, never as a ghost. The things I did have my name on it. When I started I was with Rick Derringer. It was a band and when we went on the road it was always a band. I’ve always been part of a band. Anytime I did anything other like a session my name was on it.” Let’s go back to Sabbath. You know, it’s Sabbath. It’s this big monster band. How was that for you when you first showed up? Were you intimidated? How did you feel when you got that call that said ‘look we need you – you’re in’?

Appice: “Here’s another good story. Right before that call… About a month or two before, I was doing a Ludwig photo shoot and my wife Justine said ‘there’s a call from a Sharon Osbourne?’ and she said ‘hi Vinny, we got your number from so and so and Ozzy is putting a new band together and we’ve heard your stuff and we’d like to fly you to England to hang out with Ozzy and see how it goes”. So, I told them that I’d let them know and I told my brother Carmine that I got this offer and I said ‘isn’t Ozzy like crazy?’ Because, at that time, he was pretty nuts and Carmine said ‘yeah, yeah’. I was a kid man, maybe eighteen or nineteen, and I was like ‘oh, I don’t know.’ And I had never been to England, so I turned it down. About a month or two later, I get a phone call from somebody with Black Sabbath. So, I went down to the Sunset Marquis in Hollywood and met their tour manager, Paul Clark. Then Tony came in and they had the Axis album and Tony said, ‘I like the album. You play good.’ Everything went well with the meeting and they said, ‘come down tomorrow to our studios on Sunset Blvd. and we’ll play’. So, I went and I didn’t even know any of the songs from Heaven And Hell. I wasn’t really… I love Black Sabbath, but I’m not really a fan of much stuff. I like a lot of different things, but not… I love John Bonham and Zeppelin, but I don’t go out and buy every album and stuff like that. So, the next day we played and luckily I had heard ‘Neon Knights’ on the radio just before and I thought ‘wow, that new singer in Sabbath is pretty good... That Ronnie James Dio guy. I didn’t know a lot about Ronnie either. I’d heard ‘Man On A Silver Mountain’, but I wasn’t a Rainbow fan either. So, I went in to play and they said ‘do you know any songs?’ And I said ‘sure, I know that Neon Knights song,’ so that was the first song we played together. I wasn’t intimidated though. It was more like ‘I’m here, let’s play, and let’s concentrate’. I never get ‘oh my God, I’m playing with these guys. I look at it as a professional first. They brought me in here – let’s do our thing.” Did your brother help you with that? Your brother is eleven years older and by then he had already done ROD STEWART… Did he said to you ‘be calm, concentrate, etc?’

Appice: “Nah, not at all. It just came naturally. By then I had been in Derringer and made three albums… an album with Axis. I had stuff under my belt… I did stuff with John Lennon and Carmine used to bring JEFF BECK over to my mother’s house when I was a kid. So, I was around celebrities and then I had some experience. I had been in the studio a lot. So, I wasn’t intimidated or anything.” So, you had that blue-collar Italian work ethic.

Appice: “Yeah, let’s get it done. We’re professional musicians or whatever you want to call it and I look at it as that. So, we played. They liked it and then everybody went to the pub. Then they said you’re in and you have to learn twelve songs. Some from the old Sabbath, which is all over the place… Different changes… It’s complicated and the gig was coming up in five days. We only had four days rehearsal, so it got to be a little stressful.” Axis – the album that came out in 1978 was really good. Why did it fail? Why did it not go any further?

Appice: “We developed it and we practiced a lot. I played with those guys before Derringer in like ’75. I was playing all the songs they had. They were a three-piece band from Louisiana and I went to live there for a little bit. Then Rick Derringer called me ‘cause he had heard me playing in the Record Plant studios (the same place John Lennon did). Then I got the offer and I brought Danny (Johnson) in and we did Derringer (the album) and we got a chance to redo Axis and we did it. It was produced by Andy Johns, but we didn’t have good management, so things slowed down and then I got an offer from Sabbath. So, what am I supposed to do?” Do you stay with these guys or go with Sabbath?

Appice: “Right. The album was out and we went on the road, but we needed management. So, we didn’t have a lot of shit going on to keep it together, but I thought it was a really good album and had a sound to it. We probably could have developed it into something cool.” I look back at your discography and you did two/ three albums with Derringer. You did the Axis and Ray Gomez…

Appice: “And another band was WWIII. That was a good album too…” Let me get back to something you said before. You mentioned that you didn’t really know Ronnie James Dio before you walked into that rehearsal space, but you went on to have a career with him that basically stretched over thirty years. What was it about him, musically, that made you stick around all those years? Why did you leave Sabbath with him to do Dio?

Appice: “When I first went down to play with Tony, Geezer and Ronnie… I wasn’t really around British people that much and it was hard for me to understand how they talked believe it or not. Their accents were heavier back then. I wasn’t used to people from other countries… They were wonderful and everything, but I was a kid, so Ronnie and I… well, he’s Italian from New York and we both like tuna fish sandwiches and we had so much shit in common that we got along right away. I got along with Tony and Geezer and we became like family, but it took me longer to know them. The main thing was that Ronnie lived in California right near me. When the time came to split up, I got an offer from both sides and I thought, ‘well, I’ll stay with Ronnie. We get along and he’s an amazing amazing singer. He’s an amazing person’. So, were Tony and Geezer, but it was just easier for me to stay here (in California) rather than go over to England, do an album and traveling all over the place. They’re over in England and I’m over here, so I just thought, ‘I love Ronnie and it would be easier to do it like this’.” Was it a tough decision at all to leave Sabbath? Other than the geography of it, did you worry about starting over?

Appice: “No. No, when you’re leaving with somebody like Ronnie; there’s a lot of confidence there.” Still, the band is still an unknown. Dio could have failed.

Appice: “Yeah, but I was young then. I was a young kid and it didn’t matter. I was twenty-two years old or something and it didn’t matter because if it failed I’d just do something else. When you have somebody like Ronnie leading the ship, you’re pretty confident that this will do something.” And then right out of the box, you make a rock classic in Holy Diver.

Appice: “We didn’t know we were doing that. We were just having a good time.” Can you tell me anything about that time… That album?

Appice: “That album was made… We found Jimmy (Bain) and Vivian (Campbell). Jimmy was Ronnie’s mate, he found Vivian and they came over here to California. They stayed at Ronnie’s house and we’d go rehearse at a place called ‘Sound City’ which is in the valley here and it was kind of like a hang out. We’d go there at seven o’clock; we would play and party a lot. We smoked a lot of pot and stuff. No heavy stuff and we had a ball making that record. It was fun. Everybody looked forward to coming there at seven o’clock and hanging out. People used to stop by. The road crew would hang out. It was just a good time. We used to destroy that place. We took over that place. We’d trash it… oh, the things we did. It was fun and we just wrote and Ronnie would get onstage and jam. We’d start on a riff and Ronnie would get up and sing a couple of ideas he had. There were no rules. We just let it go. That’s what it was and we just made great music. Once we wrote four songs, we’d drag the gear across the parking lot to the studio. We’d record the four songs we had and we’d drag the gear back across the way to rehearsal. We continued doing what we were doing and we’d write four or five more songs. It was just a lot of fun and it reflects in the music. There’s a lot of energy… LOT of energy!” You’ve made a lot of albums in your career and recorded a lot of songs. When you were recording ‘Holy Diver’ did you get a sense of ‘whoa, this is a cut above everything else. This is a classic’? Or was it a complete surprise that people reacted to it the way they did?

Appice: “I remember sitting in the control room playing it back at three in the morning thinking, ‘wow, this sounds really good’. In my dreams, I felt this is going to go platinum or so I hoped so. I just wanted to be able to go on the road. Back then if it sold 200 000 it wasn’t that great, but it was, at least, an amount. Ronnie said, ‘this is going to go platinum,’ and I was like, ‘I hope so. We’ll see what happens.’ We didn’t know what we were making. We were just playing from our heart and that’s what came out. We were just doing what we were doing. There were no rules. This was a new band. What happens when you make a lot of records is that you have to watch what you play.” You ‘put out’ an album essentially every year.

Appice: “Yeah.” Artists simply don’t do that anymore.

Appice: “That’s the way it was back then. You made an album, went on tour… took a month off and started rehearsals for the next album and the next tour. We loved to work. It was very cool, but it was different days back then.” Vivian Campbell. Ronnie and Vivian over the last few years seemed to have problems with each other. How is your relationship with Vivian and how to you rate him as a musician?

Appice: “I like Vivian. When he came over, he was a young kid who had never been to America. He was wide-eyed, looking around and checking it all out…” I ask because a lot of fans consider him to be ‘the’ Dio guitarist.

Appice: “He was. He absolutely was. He was a burner, man. The stuff he played and the solos… just burning. He’s a great guitar player. I love Viv. I thought he was great and fun to hang out with. But when it became an issue with Ronnie, I thought it was sad when he said, ‘I’m going to get rid of Viv’. I’m not going to convince Ronnie not to. I thought it was the wrong move. I thought that once you got a magic between a band that should… stay. There’s a good band. Four guys with a chemistry… a good circle. You shouldn’t break it, you know.” Absolutely and a lot of fans have said that the band never recaptured the magic of the orginal ‘classic’ line-up after Vivian left.

Appice: “Well… what happened with Dio, in a nutshell, was the first album had no rules, all guitar and let’s go for it. The second album – keyboards came in a little bit more and Ronnie, I think, started controlling it a little bit too much. There were more rules. Ok, we can deal with that and the ‘Last In Line’ album was great. But then it became more keyboards and more… too much thinking about the music instead of just going for it.” Was that Ronnie’s doing or was it record company pressure. If you look at the timeline back in ’85-’86, Bon Jovi is coming out. MÖTLEY CRÜE was getting less dangerous. The power ballads start coming out. Did the record company say…

Appice: “No. We were big enough to do what we wanted. We weren’t a radio band anyway. We had ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ and after that there wasn’t really a big radio hit. There were a couple of songs that we tried to do a little more straight ahead mainstream and it kind of worked, but it was more… it didn’t feel right to me. I think we should just have let it rip and do just like we did on ‘Holy Diver’. Play what comes out and make an album that is from your heart and not think about it too much.” How is your relationship with Vivian? Would you play with him again?

Appice: “Yeah, I would play with him again… sure! I love the way he plays and I don’t have any problem with him. As a matter of fact, the last time I saw him, he was playing some club doing an acoustic thing and I showed up and he was all surprised and it was cool. I haven’t talked to him since and this was four/five years ago, but I never said bad things about him. I don’t have bad things to say about him. I love the way he plays. He’s a great player and he was a cool guy to hang out with.” So, if somebody came to you and said ‘you and Vivian should do an album together’. You’d be cool with that?

Appice: “Yeah.” That’s good. Let me recap – the new band is KILL DEVIL HILL. When will you start recording?

Appice: “I think it’s more of a question as to when we start presenting this to record companies and stuff. We’ll see how it goes, when it goes and where it goes. Once all that is in place, we’ll go in the studio and record it. It’s really really cool stuff and I have a lot of my guts in this thing.” What does the new singer Dewey Bragg sound like?

Appice: “He sounds a lot like Layne Staley from Alice In Chains. I didn’t want any ‘80s stuff going on. I’m not into the ‘80s stuff now. I’ll play the old songs, but I don’t want to put together a band now and sound like the ‘80s. This is more modern more heavy.” Last word on Heaven And Hell. You probably will continue, but under a different name…

Appice: “It’s up in the air. Put it this way – we’re in communication with each other and there’s been talk about continuing in some way, shape or form. It’s not like this is the end of the band.” What do you say to that fans that insist that the band needs to get Tony Martin as the singer?

Appice: “That might be cool. Tony’s been in the band and he’s work with them before, but it’s been a long time since Tony’s been in the band. I’d like to have someone like ROB HALFORD. He’s played with us before and there was talk about him possibly doing something. That would work.” I like that suggestion. Rob has replaced Ozzy and Ronnie at a couple of shows in the past. Judas Priest is on their Farewell tour. I think fans would really dig that…

Appice: “Plus, Rob’s a legend too. Tony Martin is Tony Martin. He’s done what he’s done, but he’s not a big as Rob Halford and he doesn’t have the same history as Rob. Rob would bring new life to the band. The band would be born again. They were born with Ozzy. Born again with Ronnie and now Rob… Holy shit! Born again. Of course, we could bring in a totally new guy.” Those are your only two options: bring in a total unknown or get a name big enough to match your legacy such as Rob or Bruce Dickinson.

Appice: “Yeah. Then it becomes a super-band. Then again, Journey found that new guy and he brought new life into the band. So, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s not dead-in-the-water. There is communication, but nothing is set and nobody is committed to anything yet.” And people should check out your web site at:

Appice: “Yeah, my web site has all the updates on it.” And people can buy a drum lesson with you…

Appice: “Yeah, it’s a cool thing, but I haven’t promoted it that much. I did a couple of lessons on little things like licks. I wrote the music out for it and people can read it. I recorded the music and did ‘page one exercise one… Here’s the way I do it and it’s all in a package and you can download it’. I have to do more and promote it. The other thing we didn’t talk about is that Carmine and I are going to do a drum wars tour this year.” What is the concept behind the ‘Drum Wars’ tour?

Appice: “We did a DVD about twelve years ago, but we never really promoted it and we never really played live together. We did some clinics for a week in the ‘90s, but we never went on with it. So now, we’re going to put on a little show. It’ll be Carmine and me with some musicians from my era and from his era. We’ll play things together. We’ll duet on the drums and at the end there will be a massive drum battle for the correct pronunciation of the name. I say Appice (a-pa-chee) and he says Appice (a-peace), but he’s always wrong.” Will it be more of a drum clinic format or will this be a real concert with a set list and it’ll be a two-hour show?

Appice: “This is not a drum clinic at a music store. There will be a set list and we’ll be doing it in venues. We’’ come out a play together for a couple of songs and then I’ll be up there by myself and he’ll be up there by himself and we’ll come together again and we’ll have a light show and whatever we can bring with us. The finale will be this drum battle thing… It’ll be a cool show and something to see.” Let me ask you one last question. Back in 1983, you’re touring ‘Holy Diver’ with Dio and he’s touring ‘Bark At The Moon’ with Ozzy. What’s it like at Christmas when you get together? Do you compare notes?

Appice: “I don’t think we did sit down for Christmas. He was probably on tour somewhere and I was probably on tour somewhere. A lot of times, we’d play New Year’s, the day after Christmas… so I was gone and he was gone. What would happen is when we’d be on tour. They sometimes play a city ahead of us or sometimes behind us and depending who was first, we’d leave messages on the dressing room walls. I’d write, ‘hey Carmine, you gotta hit those drums harder or some chick was looking for you.’ And when he got there first he’d leave me a message on the wall. It was funny.” Any rivalry?

Appice: “Nah, we never did that, but now with the drum wars thing we’re doing it. I’ll kick his ass every night. I’m younger and I play louder. He’s got no chance.” Hopefully, the tour will come up to Canada.

Appice: “I’m sure we’ll get there at some point.” Thank you for your time.

Appice: "And thank you Mitch."

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