VINNY APPICE: 'My Idea Is To Have My Own Band And Rely On My Band And Not Other People'

Sleaze Roxx recently conducted an interview with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, KILL DEVIL HILL). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Sleaze Roxx: [KILL DEVIL HILL's self-titled debut album] was originally slated for release in March but it was pushed back to May 22nd. What was the reasoning behind that? Did you go back and record additional material?

Vinny: What happened was that we had a problem with the name. There was another band with the name and we had to clear that up. We didn't want to proceed with something like that becoming a major pain in the ass later on. So we had a slight delay while we were working out the name thing — the next release date was May 22nd. It worked out great for us because we switched management to ESL Music Group, who also manages ADRENALINE MOB, who we'll be going out with in May. We have ten shows lined up with them and then we'll do some more dates later this summer.

Sleaze Roxx: Guitarists have a signature sound — you can tell it's Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads or George Lynch when you hear a riff. With drummers it's difficult to have a signature sound, but when we hear you play we know that it's Vinny Appice. How did you arrive at your sound?

Vinny: The drums might vary a little bit depending on the different engineers and producers, but I think you know that it's me by the "attack" or "attitude." I play drum licks in the middle of a verse or something — it's just the way I play. That's one of the hardest things about playing any instrument, is developing your own style that's recognizable with the listeners — you can't practice that. I remember as a kid I used to ask myself, "When am I gonna get that thing?" That mojo or whatever you call it? I thought about it as a kid, which is weird. There are guys that play a lifetime and they don't get it — you wouldn't be able to tell them apart from the rest. At one point I started to develop a sound and recognizable licks. I tuned the drums a little different — my snare drums are very loose. If you start playing a set and you never change anything then you never develop your own personality. My hits are all rim shots — so you'll hear a full whack on the snare. I like to play hard and loud, and combined with accents, it makes up my sound.

Sleaze Roxx: BLACK SABBATH will be playing their only North American show without Bill Ward in Chicago at Lollapalooza this summer. If Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler approached you about sitting in for that date, would you do it?

Vinny: (pause) I would love to do the gig if asked. It's kind of hard not to do something with BLACK SABBATH at this point because it is coming up on some of the last things that they'll probably do — ever. BLACK SABBATH is part of rock 'n' roll history and its part of my family. If they wanted me for a gig, I'd love to do it, but right now I'm concentrating on KILL DEVIL HILL. If I stepped in for the gig, it would have to not interfere with KILL DEVIL HILL or it would have to benefit it. My idea is to have my own band and rely on my band and not other people.

Read the entire interview from Sleaze Roxx.


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