Mark: It was great to see you out with “The Last in Line” as well, the band that made that classic album, “Holy Diver”. Have you got any plans to take that further, and maybe tour outside of the US?
Vinny: Yeah, we’re going to do some more dates next year, and that started off as just some fun with some cool stuff with Jim, and Vivien and Claude, we had some time off, and got together to jam, and I recommended the singer, Andy Freeman, a good friend of mine, he sang with me with George Lynch on a tour we did, so he came down and tore it up. We ended up doing three or four shows in LA and Vegas, and we did the big Loudpark festival in Japan in October, and that was incredible, people have gone crazy!! We know those songs, we wrote those songs, and we have a singer that sings his ass off with passion, he’s not trying to be Ronnie, but he just really “kicks it!” It’s gone really, really good.
Mark: Ronnie was a legend, I loved the guy. There was a story on the internet, that at the first gig in California that there was seen, an apparition of Ronnie, was there any substance to that??
Vinny: No, you know what, that was just someone who was let’s say a little high energy, a little over-enthusiastic, and he posted that! Yeah, come on, an apparition, nothing like that happened, come on!!
Mark: With the recent Sabbath reunion as well, and the new album, were you approached by the guys to have a part in that?
Vinny: No, I wasn’t. I’m still in touch with Tony and Geezer, myself, but they never offered anything, and I don’t ask, I don’t do that. They have my number and my e-mail, it’s understandable, we did Heaven and Hell for three or four years with Ronnie, and then Tony and Geezer are together, and Ozzy comes in, he didn’t know what band he was in, he was a little confused. (Vinny does a great Ozzy impression).
Mark: Taking it all the way back for you, what was it that started you playing the drums? Was there a defining moment?
Vinny: I got playing because of my brother Carmine; he’s 11 years older than me so he always had bands in the house, rehearsing when he was in his late teens, I was just a youngster, and that was my entertainment, I’d sit down and watch a band in my parents’ living room or basement which was in New York. I was totally inspired, all the amps, the wires, the drums, it was cool, and that got the bug going, and that got me started.
Mark: Did he pressure you in to playing the drums, or was that just the instrument you naturally gravitated to?
Vinny: Naturally, Since the drums were in the house, I just started banging on them. Then Carmine became successful, and I never even thought about it, I was like I’m going to play drums too!
Mark: If you could have been a fly on the wall for the creation of any album, at any point in time, to see how it all came together, what would it be for you and why?
Vinny: I would probably choose any of the early Zeppelin records, or one of the major Beatles albums. I have a couple of friends who have some of the multi tracks of some of the Beatles stuff, and it’s incredible, you just listen to one instrument, and though they had the multi-track, they didn’t have a lot of tracks, sometimes it’s just drums, with some background harmonies on the same track. You listen to this stuff and it’s just amazing, it doesn’t sound like anything, but when it’s all together it’s amazing!
Mark: It’s crazy how innovative people had to be back in those days.
Vinny: Yeah, it’s incredible how they could make these records, and great songs. It would have been great to see the Zeppelin stuff put together too.
Mark: You always seem to have been busy throughout your career; your name has never really disappeared off the map. Do you have any other projects on the go at the moment?
Vinny: Well, doing the Last in Line thing, the Drum Wars thing, there’s always some ideas, but nothing definite yet. It’s a multi task world right now; all musicians are staying busy by multi-tasking, by being in all different bands.
Mark: I think it’s great that you’ve hit on something that is potentially as immense as Kill Devil Hill, it would be great to fast forward a few years and see where you’ll be.
Vinny: I’ve had a long career, with some big bands, but none of the bands were my own, Sabbath was already established, and so was Ronnie James Dio, but Dio was started from the beginning, but still he had a big name. So, this was something that had always been a dream of mine, to have a band that I could start with, and this would be fantastic if within the next couple of years we could become a little bit bigger and more successful, and was able to keep writing music and make an album. It’s a great band live too, it kicks ass!! I really love the first album, and I think the second album is even better; I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Mark: I think you’re right, I think the consistency is there, and it would be great to see you guys in Australia one day. Our final question, that we ask everyone, is what is the meaning of life?
Vinny: Probably, family, friends’, doing what makes you happy and enjoying every day. As long as you’re healthy, you should enjoy every day that you’re on this earth, there are lots of people who are not as lucky as you are, and so you’ve got to enjoy life.
Mark: That’s right, and you definitely sound like you’re enjoying life at the moment.
Vinny: Yeah, I still love playing!! I’m going to go down playing!!
Mark: It’s been wonderful to speak to you, an absolute pleasure, and thank you so much for taking the time, and good luck in the future.
Vinny: Thank you too, Mark, hopefully I’ll see you down under!
Vinny spoke to Mark Diggins December 2013