Craig Goldy insists the Dio Disciples project isn’t all about money – and says he can prove it.
The guitarist is part of the tribute act to the late Ronnie James Dio after having been a member of the Dio band for three stints starting with 1987′s Dream Evil era.
Dio Disciples, also featuring Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, Scott Warren, Simon Wright, Bjorn Englen and Oni Logan, were formed in 2011 with the blessing of the ex Black Sabbath singer’s widow Wendy.
Asked what he thinks of fans who disapprove of the project, Goldy tells GuitarWorld: “I understand it. Ronnie was so revered that there are going to be people who are apprehensive of what we’re doing.”
He continues: “It’s really not a for-profit thing. If people think it’s a for-profit thing, I have no problem with them checking my bank account balance. We’re barely squeaking by over our expenses. It’s very expensive to do this kind of thing.
“There is money involved, but money is not the priority. The priority is to make sure Ronnie’s memory is kept alive.”
And Goldy believes the positive intentions shine through. “So many people have come backstage to us and said, ‘That was the greatest experience ever,’” he reflects. “That’s what we say about this. It’s not really a concert, it’s an experience.
“Ronnie and his music were so loved that it became such a huge part of people’s lives. The songs we’re playing have been a huge part of people’s lives for decades. It really means something to them.”
The guitarist feels he learned “so many” lessons through working with Dio, but the most important was: “The music has to feel good. The groove has to be great because a lot of guitar players write for the riff first.
“The way he wrote songs was special too, because he really toiled. The law of hit songwriting is melody first, lyrics second. A lot of people don’t do that – a lot of singers sit around with their notebooks filled with lyrics and they try to cram their lyrics into a song. So the two have already been sitting around collecting dust and they try to call it an original song.
“That’s not the way you do it – you’ve got to start from scratch. It’s hard to tell a story and hit people in the heart with the limited amount of syllables you have in a song. But I watched him do that and I learned from him.”
The Disciples are aiming to record new music at some point in the future, including a track Goldy wrote about his former boss. “I have a song about Ronnie’s passing and how the band feels and how the fans might feel,” he says. “It’s coming out really good. When Wendy heard it she said, ‘Ronnie would be really proud of you.’”