The Rods will release their first all-new studio album since 1986, titled "Vengeance" on May 24th.
Recently, the Rods' singer/guitarist (and cousin of the late/great Ronnie James Dio), Dave "Rock" Feinstein did an interview with UGO.com. Read excerpts below.
UGO: How heavy is "Vengeance"?
DAVE "ROCK" FEINSTEIN: "Vengeance" is a typical "Balls the Walls" Rods record, with the exception of a few off the wall type songs. I think the fans will love the album, and hear that the Rods have not lost their touch for representing there own style, and their own sound of Heavy Metal.
UGO: What are some memories of working with Ronnie James Dio on what turned out to be one of his last-ever recorded songs ("The Code," on "Vengeance")?
DAVE "ROCK" FEINSTEIN: As I have stated before, Ronnie and I were planning to do something together again musically, but always found it difficult because of the logistics and both of our schedules. Finally, when Ronnie and Wendy came to Cortland for a visit, Ronnie had called me and said that he would have time to sing a couple of new songs. To make a long story short, Carl and I chose two songs for Ronnie to sing. One being " Metal Will Never Die" (from Dave's recently-released solo album, "Bitten by the Beast"), and the other being "The Code."
Ronnie performed world-class performances on both of these songs, which is an amazing thing to experience in the studio. He hadn't even heard the songs prior, and just came in and nailed them. That was his way, and one of his many talents. These songs were recorded a few years ago, and who ever thought in their wildest nightmares that these would be some of the last songs Ronnie would record. He made these songs what they are today, and they are both a tribute to him. It was just a joy to be around Ronnie, both in the studio and out.
UGO: What are some memories of playing with Ronnie in Elf?
DAVE "ROCK" FEINSTEIN: Playing with Ronnie in ELF was a whole trip in itself. You know, they were the days of "Free Love," "Peace," and "Flower Power." It was real. We were doing what we loved, and living what we loved. He was a great person to be with. There was always a good time, serious music, and an energy that doesn't exist in the music world today. Remember, they were the days of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin, the Who, and the Doors. What else can I say?
UGO: The Rods played with some of hard rock/metal's biggest names in the '80s. What are some memories of playing with Iron Maiden, Ozzy/Randy Rhoads, Rainbow, etc.?
DAVE "ROCK" FEINSTEIN: The Rods did have an opportunity to play with some of the great bands of the 80's. Iron Maiden were the Metal Gods when we were on tour with them in the UK. Great guys, and a really a great band. They treated us very well as an opening act, and we had a great time with them. With Ozzy, it was the same. The Blizzard of Oz was an amazing band. Great players, and of course, the master of all metal, Ozzy. Randy Rhoads was an amazing player, and what you hear on Record doesn't even come close to the tip of the iceburg of his playing. He was one of a kind. The whole band treated us with respect, and Sharon went out of her way to make us feel comfortable. Judas Priest was another joy to tour with. Can't say enough good things about all of them. Rob and his band mates also treated us with much respect, and made us feel welcome. They were, and still are amazing, and one of my personal favorite bands of all time. Rainbow also was an amazing band. Of course, Ritchie has always been one of my idols, so I always would be excited to do dates that he would be present at. Brought back a lot of good memories of Deep Purple and the Elf days.
UGO: Is it true that the Rods took Metallica out on one of their first tours? If so, what were your initial impressions?
DAVE "ROCK" FEINSTEIN: I don't think we ever did an actual tour with Metallica, although there was one planned, but we did do a few spot dates with them. They were great then, as they are now. They were energetic just as we were, and we all felt that they had a great future in front of them. I guess that is one thing we were right about. Also, great guys, and a joy to be around.