Interview with Ronnie James Dio (DIO) &
Joey Demaio (MANOWAR)
In the end of last November, three classic Heavy Metal dinosaurs marched
throughout Scandinavia and North Europe by conquering Denmark, Sweden,
Finland and Estonia. These three Metal dinosaurs were DIO, MANOWAR
and MOTÖRHEAD. The whole package of these living Metal legends
did three gigs here in Finland. In this interview section, we are honored
to give to all of you true traditional Heavy Metal maniacs an extremely
enjoyable chance to read and become aware of what Joey Demaio from MANOWAR
and Ronnie James Dio talked about in the same press conference and definitely
gave very brilliant answers. All right enjoy, but "Wimps and posers leave
this tour been so far?<
Dio: "Oh man, it's been great! Real great! All the
shows have been wonderful! It still sounds like the same old answer but
if there was anything that was going to be wrong, we'd tell you about it.
But from my point of view, it's been great."
Demaio: "I agree! I think it's been going really good.
I think the main thing is that the fans are getting three different bands,
three different kinds of Metal, A LOT of it! For one ticket, you get a lot
of music! That's a good thing!"
you have to cancel a couple shows in Norway?<
Demaio: "You know what, we didn't cancel any gigs.
But when they first proposed doing the tour, there were some shows scheduled
in Norway. I think what happened was that the hall that they needed were
not available. There was some technical confusion. That's what happened.
But we did want to play in Norway."
Dio: "I think we were going to play Trondheim one
night. I think that would have been cool. But I played there of course."
Demaio: "That's right, he covered it there for us
Dio: "No, that was with RAINBOW. We got into
a riot in Trondheim though. Our road crew and the band got into a fight with
the audience! An actual half an hour fight with the audience! Up and down
the stairs, punches thrown everywhere... One got pushed down the stairs.
Then we were thrown out of Trondheim, not allowed to come back again. We
were taken away from our hotel by the police and deposited at the airport
and we were told never to come back! So maybe that's why we couldn't play
Dio: "That must have been in 1977, I think. I was
stronger and taller back then!" More laughters!
"Now we would only be able to fight ten or twelve guys... Well, maybe
be a Live recording of this tour?<
Dio: "I think the only thing that would have made
any sense would be some kind of video condense version of what we've done...
Aside from that, you guys have done a Live album..."
Demaio: "Two in a row."
Dio: "Our last album was a Live album too... From
an audio stand point, you're only going to hear what you've heard before.
Video-wise, I think it would have been a lot more interesting. But no, there
are no plans that I know of."
Nuclear Blast's idea to release the new Live album?<
Demaio: "No, it was actually our idea because we
made our first Live album and while we were mixing it,
we were thinking in the studio; 'This is really fucked!'... Because we
waited eight records before we made our first Live album and there's no
way we could fit it on two disks. So we said we better make it another Live
album on a single disk. Then we got into the mixing and there we realized
that there was no way we could fit that on one record. So that's why we had
to have two double Live albums. So it was our idea. It was actually the
you decide to sign a deal with Nuclear Blast?<
Demaio: "Because they were the label that we believed
would treat our fans the way we want our fans treated! That's the best reason
I can give you!"
do any special exercise before you get on stage to warm up?<
Dio: "No, I don't do anything, I just sing. And I
drink a lot too. Like I always said, it's a matter of knowing how to do it.
If you have good technics... If you have good tools, you build a good house...
If you have bad tools, you build a crooked house. I know how to do it mainly
because I started so young playing the trumpet. I learned how to breed and
how to do those things. Secondarily, I'm not a stupid person. I was able
to take this talent that was given to me by the genetic qualities from my folks
and have been able to use it wisely. If I'm sick, I won't go to a club,
unlike Lemmy, who will go no matter what happens!" Laughters!
"I think it's just knowing how to do it. And a lot of it is very mental as
well. But that should be good for Lemmy 'cause he's mental anyway. But
Lemmy is one of my heroes! I must tell you! He's one of the funniest people
on earth! He's very bright! I love to be around him! He's just one of the
funniest guys I know. And I mean, look at what he's done! He's taken himself
with that voice and look what he's done! I think it's absolutely incredible
that he's done that. He's a great guy! I'm sorry he's not here. But if he
were here, we would never get a word in anyway..."
is back for good?<
Dio: "Yes, Jimmy is back with us again. He has some
emigration problems and that's why he's not here. Otherwise, would have been
here. Of course, he played on the last album that we just finished and we're
looking forward to see him here. Although, we love our actual bass player
Chuck. He's brilliant! Great player, perfect for us. He's a great guy. But
everyone wants to play with Jimmy Live again. He's like Lemmy, although
he's not bothered with drugs and alcohol anymore. He's been clean for a year
now! He's exactly the same as he was before except he remembers everything
the new stuff coming out?<
Dio: "In March..."
about the new MANOWAR?<
Demaio: "We're going to make one."
Live one, eh!?<
Demaio: "No. But it's funny though... A Japanese
journalist said to me just recently: 'Ok, now we have two double-Live
MANOWAR albums...' I said 'Yeah, I think that's enough!'... So he
said 'Well, there's thirty-seven more songs that you haven't got recorded
Live'..." Laughters! "I said 'I think we'll
have to wait on that for a while'. But after we finish this tour, we're not
going to play any more Live shows and we're going to finally go back and
work on another record."
that MANOWAR and MOTÖRHEAD had some problems...<
Demaio: "No. In fact, MOTÖRHEAD was one
of the few bands that would allow us to play with them. In 1986, we played
five shows with them and so on and they were very nice with us. I've always
liked MOTÖRHEAD... I hate a lot of other bands, but I like
would those be, Joey?<
Demaio: "Well, it would unprofessional for me to
you think of all the bands who try to copy MANOWAR, like RHAPSODY,
Demaio: "I think that it's a nice compliment. Quite
often, I see in the press the bands themselves who say; 'We want to be like
MANOWAR, we know that MANOWAR has the strongest fans, we
admire them...' And I think it's nice! I really do! I mean, what can you
say when someone wants to be like you?! You certainly can't dislike it. I
think it's a compliment."
you like those bands? RHAPSODY, HAMMERFALL and these kind of
Demaio: "Yes, I really do! I've heard RHAPSODY
from Italy. I've heard both their records and I think it's very good music!
It's interesting to listen to. HAMMERFALL, they've played on a
couple festivals with us. They're a good band! Come on, they're Vikings!
They're having fun! If it's Heavy Metal and it's played from the heart,
I think Ronnie will agree... I mean, who's been copied and imitated more
than Ronnie!? Everybody has learned something from Ronnie Dio and his career.
Even the bands he's played with; BLACK SABBATH, Ritchie Blackmore
and RAINBOW have learned from Ronnie. Everybody who's worked with
Ronnie, including myself, has learned something. I mean, how can you not
find it a compliment?!"
Dio: "Of course! And HAMMERFALL of course
has Anders Johansen in the band now, which I think is great. I think that for
a while, he was doing nothing. I've always admired him. Of course, his brother
played with me for one album. So I think that's good for HAMMERFALL.
HAMMERFALL were nice enough to do one of the songs on a tribute
album that they did for me. That was great. I like HAMMERFALL as
well! Like Joey said, I think that anyone that pays you a compliment by
imitating anything that you do is the best compliment you can ever get."
I was about to ask you about that; what do you think of that Tribute album?<
Dio: "I thought it was great! Again, I always think
that anyone who takes the time to do something like that for me... I mean,
I never expected that would ever happen in my life. I don't have that kind
of opinion of myself. I don't think that I'm special. I can do what you can
do and maybe you can do what I can do... But that doesn't make me better
than you or you better than me. I was very surprised that they did it!
My best track on the album was 'Temple Of The King' by ANGEL DUST...
I thought that was just absolutely magnificent! It was just so... Special!
I mean, everyone else did great jobs on the songs but this one was just so
fragile and so wonderful! I loved it. And again, like Joey said, imitation
is the most sincere form of flattery. I hope nobody else does it though...
I'd have to listen to it again..."
that it's kind of a trend in the 90's... Almost too much in my opinion...<
Dio: "Well, I did two covers myself. I did an ALICE
COOPER song; 'Welcome To My Nightmare' and I also did 'Dream
On' from AEROSMITH. I did it for a friend of mine, a guy called
Bob... And I would only do it for him because I think he treats it very well.
He's a professional, he doesn't take a hammer to things that you do and throw
it away... I had great players on the one I did with AEROSMITH...
Yngwie Malmsteen was the guitar player and on the one I did with ALICE COOPER,
it was Steve... You can't get any better than that as far as I'm
concerned. But I agree, there are too many. It's a way of making money,
let's face it! It's a money game. But again, it wasn't for the money for
me. I really didn't need the money. But I wanted to do it for both
because Alice has always been one of my heroes and Steve has also been one
of my heroes as well. For me, it was a labor of love. But I agree with you:
There are too many. I think it kind of diminishes how special those bands
were when you have too many people doing their songs."
heard any MANOWAR tributes?<
Demaio: "There's been quite a few cover tracks..."
MANOWAR was a cartoon hero, which one would that be?<
Demaio: "If MANOWAR was a cartoon hero? Well,
let's see... I think they'd had to make a new one; it would have to be a
combination of Pornoman..." Laughter!
"It would have to be part four... Kind of like part Spiderman crawling
on buildings 'cause we could crawl in the girls' bedroom and shit..."
More laughters... "It would have to be a combination
of all the different guys. I think a bit of everyone. We'd have to make a
brand new one."
like a Finnish Rock journalist!
Where did you get your influences back then?<
Demaio: "Well, obviously, Ronnie was one of the
first professional bands I ever saw play in my life and that blew my mind and
made me realize that you can never have enough equipment, you can never play
loud enough and it also made me realize not to try singing!" Laughters!
"When you hear someone like that singing, you realize there's only a few
people that should do it! I use to hear him sing and play bass at the same
time, which was a pretty heavy thing you have to accept in your lifetime.
So I figured, I'll take one of the two and try it."
Dio: "Well, I could sing but couldn't play bass like
Demaio: "Well, I learned from you. It's kind of funny...
Obviously, bands like BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN... All
the classic bands that I think made a mark on music. And maybe that's the
reason for all those tribute albums too. Maybe there are too much but it's
kind of nice that at least people are realizing and respecting the roots
of this style of music as being some of the great bands, rather than the
dog shit that people have put out and called Heavy Metal/Hard Rock. Thankfully,
people are looking back the way we look back at Mozart, Bach, Beethoven...
We're looking back at the classic composer. It's nice that the people are
looking at the classic side of Heavy Metal because it is, in a way, classical
the situation in the United-States at the moment?<
Demaio: "Believe it or not, it is getting better!
I find it hard to believe! But we did our first American tour ever! It was
with SIX FEET UNDER as a support band. They're nice guys! They played
good! They play completely different music than MANOWAR... It really
is getting better in the States! It's a shock to me! I don't know where
it's going to end up but let's hope for the Americans anyway... The American
fans are not assholes but the MTV are pieces of shit... The radios are
shit... Most magazines are shit... There's a few good magazines, but in
general, it's basically a lot of mediocre shit! And the people who get
fucked are the fans. But let's hope for the sake of the American fans that
it turns around."
to imagine you playing in front of small crowds...<
Demaio: "Yeah, it is kind of hard to imagine but
you know what, we're here to play Heavy Metal all over the world and I don't
give a shit whetter there is fifty people or fifty thousand... It's not really
important. The thing that is important is the fans that pay their money,
that stands in the fucking rain and the snow and wait for hours for tickets
and drink their fucking beers..."
about the latest stuff you did with Roger Glover at the Royal Opera Hall?<
Dio: "It was unbelievable! I did it for Roger first.
I had done an album with Roger in 1973, I think, called 'Butterfly Ball'.
My first gold record was the song 'Love Is All', in the Benelux
countries. It was amazing to me. But my first gold record said on it; 'To
Roger Glover'... Me? That was me singing! Can I have one for me? So they
made another one for me with my name on it, which was very nice. But Roger
asked me to do it when we were doing the Swedish festival. That was the
first time. I hadn't seen Roger in perhaps ten of fifteen years. So he
said 'we're playing the Royal Opera Hall and each of us are doing something special!'
Ian was there, John was there... I would do anything for Roger. He's the greatest
man I've ever known! He was so instrumental in my career and my success, so
I said 'of course I will!' So I took a week out of being in the studio for
Roger. It was one of most wonderful experience of my life! To hear that
band play behind me, plus the eighty piece London Symphony Orchestra! I
mean, I almost came! I came afterwards..." Laughters!
"It was amazing and very special for me. There are plans for it to go around
the world now, at the end of next year. Roger asked me if I would do that
with him as well and I agreed to do that too. They're giving me a chance
to do something that I haven't done in a long time, which is kind of singing
in a gentle manner. After all, I consider myself a singer, so there's nothing
wrong with reaching the full scope of what you can do as a singer. But it
was just a special moment for me. I'd never been in the Royal Opera Hall
before... I'm just looking forward to the next one! They want to take it
to Hollywood... I can't wait for that."
Demaio: "Yes, you need to see some of the smaller places...
After all, you did play the Garden... So you wanted to check out some of
the clubs!" Laughters!
Dio: "Shit hole!" More laughters!
cool to see Joey doing "Holy Diver" with you!