In a new interview with Hard, Heavy & Hair With Pariah Burke, legendary drummer Vinny Appice once agin spoke about the importance of punctuality when it comes to being in a band, especially as it relates to performing live.
Asked what advice he would give to younger musicians looking to make their mark on the music scene, Vinny said: “First of all, for a musician, you’ve gotta practice. Become good at what you do, whether you play drums or guitar or bass or sing. And you’ve gotta have songs that people wanna hear that maybe stand out or a sound that stands out. Songs are important. You can have a great band that doesn’t have good songs, and they’ll do okay, but if you have a shitty band that has great songs, they’ll probably be really big. People love songs; the power is in the songs. So songwriting is important, so you’ve gotta get into that pretty heavy and try to work together and come up with some great songs. And then as far as individual musicians, don’t be an asshole in the band. Be on time. Be a team player. Support the other guys and don’t try to argue — kind of stay away from that stuff.
“The being-on-time thing is important,” he explained. “I played in a band, KILL DEVIL HILL, [which] was notorious for time. We’d say, ‘Let’s rehearse at two o’clock. Three-thirty people are getting there. I can’t stand that shit. That’s actually what broke the band [up] — well, me leaving the band was [because] I couldn’t deal with that stuff anymore. You call rehearsal at two. I’ve got things to do. I’m there at two. And we rehearse and then go home. This was just a waste of time. And then it became that at the gigs. We were supposed to go on at 9:30. Oh, okay, by the time everybody got their shit together, it was 11 o’clock we’d go on. And on Monday night. So people there that’d see the band, they’d stay for one song, and they’ve gotta go to work the next day. It’s, like, why are you self-mutilating this band?
“When I played with Tony [Iommi], Geezer [Butler] and Ronnie [James Dio], we rehearsed at two o’clock. I’d get there at 1:30. I see Ronnie pull up. I see Tony‘s in the room already playing the guitar and getting a sound out of his rig or checking out his effects or doing whatever. It’s 1:30; we’re not even starting yet. And that’s the way it’s always been — no one’s ever been late playing with those guys. And DIO, the same thing. Vivian [Campbell, guitar] is always on time. Jimmy [Bain, bass] not so much. Jimmy stumbles in a little late. We could deal with it. That’s what I mean by being on time, because this is ridiculous — a waste of time. And everybody gets burned out. If you’re getting together at two and nobody’s there till three or four o’clock, you’re sitting around for an hour, an hour and a half, and you kind of get a little more burned out, ’cause you’re waiting so long.
“[KISS‘s] Gene Simmons did a Rock Camp. I do a lot of Rock [‘N’ Roll] Fantasy Camps. And he said the same thing. He said, ‘I still feel blessed to be stepping on this stage.’ He was supposed to be at the Rock Camp at one o’clock or something, and he was there at 11. And then he showed his book of appointments that day, and there were all these things that started at six in the morning. He goes, ‘Look what I did today.’ It says, ‘Rock Camp [at] 2 p.m.’ And he goes, ‘It’s 11:15 now, and I’m here.’ He’s early. So, he stressed the point of being on time, which was a really good point — of working together and not being somebody carrying your weight in the band.”
Vinny left KILL DEVIL HILL in March 2014. He has since been replaced by Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE).
KILL DEVIL HILL, which also initially featured former PANTERA and DOWN bassist Rex Brown, released its sophomore album, “Revolution Rise”, in October 2013 via Century Media Records.
Appice joined BLACK SABBATH in 1980 during the “Heaven And Hell” tour and appeared on the albums “Live Evil” (1982) and “Mob Rules” (1981). In late 1982 he left BLACK SABBATH with Dio and formed the band DIO. They recorded “Holy Diver” (1983), “The Last in Line” (1984), “Sacred Heart” (1985), “Intermission” (1986), and “Dream Evil” (1987). In December 1989, Appice left DIO. In 1992, he returned to BLACK SABBATH for the “Dehumanizer” album and tour. He then rejoined DIO and they recorded “Strange Highways” (1994) and “Angry Machines” (1996).
Appice rejoined his BLACK SABBATH bandmates Dio, Butler and Iommi in 2006 as HEAVEN & HELL, touring and releasing one studio album, “The Devil You Know”, before Dio‘s death in 2010.
Under the moniker APPICE, Vinny and his brother Carmine released “Sinister”, their first joint studio album, in 2017 through SPV/Steamhammer.