VINNY APPICE Reveals Secret Behind Enduring Continued Success: “You Can’t Burn Bridges, It’s Not A Good Idea”

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In a candid chat with the Percussion Discussion Podcast, renowned drummer Vinny Appice – known for his work with Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell, & Last In Line – shed light on the secret to his enduring success in the music industry. Host Matty Roberts remarked on Appice’s distinctive drumming style and sound that has kept him in demand for decades. Appice responded with characteristic humility and professionalism, emphasizing not only his musical skills but also his reliability and teamwork.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then people say, ‘Wow, I knew that was you on the drums on that recording.’ I take that as a compliment. ‘Well, thank you very much. That’s pretty cool.’ But the other thing is I’m a nice guy. I’m not a scumbag. I’m not a jerk. I’m on time with all these bands,” Appice noted, underscoring the importance of being a dependable and pleasant collaborator.

Reflecting on his time with Black Sabbath, Appice recounted the band’s dedication and punctuality during rehearsals. “Actually, when I played with Black Sabbath, we used to rehearse at one o’clock in the afternoon out here in California. And I’d pull up about 20 to 1 or 12:30. Tony‘s in there getting his sound on his guitar, messing with his gear. Geezer arrives right there, and then, boom, behind him’s Ronnie. Everybody’s there before it’s our time, and they care and they wanna make it the best that it can be.”

However, not all experiences were as seamless. Appice described his stint with Kill Devil Hill, where punctuality was a recurring issue. ” I love the way Rex (Pantera‘s bassist) plays — he’s fantastic — but the band itself couldn’t… We needed a clock. I got tired of it. Mainly it was one guy in the band that was just an hour and a half late and this and that, and after a while, I’m going, ‘I can’t deal with this.’ It’s a waste of my time. I’m sitting there for an hour and a half waiting. But it was fun. It was a great band, and Rex was great. Rex was cool. He was there. He just blew the amps up all the time, but he was there on time.”

Appice’s narrative reveals that being a successful musician isn’t just about talent. “You’ve gotta be a team player, and then people work with you,” he emphasized. He noted the negative impact of being difficult to work with, “When you’re an A-hole, they go, ‘Well, what about that guy?’ ‘No. He’s always late’ or whatever the problem is. You’ve gotta be part of a team.”

Discussing his approach to leaving projects, Appice revealed his philosophy on maintaining professional relationships. When Roberts mentioned that Appice has never burned any bridges, he agreed, sharing his strategy of staying in touch and parting ways amicably. “I know people that burn bridges and then years later, it comes back to haunt them. I mean, I left Dio — I left, actually, twice, and I tried to run it by Ronnie all the time, when the time was right, and Wendy, and I always kept in touch.”

This approach paid off when Appice was invited back for major projects like Heaven & Hell and the reformation of Black Sabbath. “And then later on, they put Heaven & Hell together, which was Black Sabbath. And they were working with Cozy Powell at one point. Then he fell off a horse and couldn’t play for a while. ‘Let’s call Vinny.’ That was ’92. And then later on, in 2007, they did Heaven & Hell. And they were working with Bill Ward, and that wasn’t working out. ‘Let’s call Vinny.’ And luckily, I didn’t burn any bridges; I didn’t do anything like that. And I was in touch with Wendy Dio. She said, ‘You wanna play with the guys again?’ I said, ‘Sure. That’d be awesome.’ And I went, and that brought my career back in the spotlight. We put Black Sabbath back together again. So you can’t burn the bridges. It’s not a good idea.”

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