David "Rock" Feinstein — a former member of RONNIE DIO & THE PROPHETS, THE ELECTRIC ELVES, ELF, and the leader of the legendary New York band THE RODS — recently spoke to the Artisan News Service (see video below) about what turned out to be one of the last-ever recorded vocals by Ronnie James Dio (Feinstein's cousin), on the headbanging anthem "Metal Will Never Die", which will appear on Feinstein's new solo effort, "Bitten By The Beast".
"About two years ago, Ronnie was coming back home [to upstate New York] more frequently because his mother had gotten ill, so he was making frequent trips back to Cortland. And one of the times he had called me and said, 'I'm gonna be up, I'm gonna be there for a few extra days. It'll be a good time. I can sing a couple of songs.' And I said, 'That'd be great.' And when I got my solo record done, Wendy [Dio's wife/manager] and both decided, 'Hey, let's put one song on your solo album and the other song could go on the new THE RODS record.' The horrific turn of events, with Ronnie passing away, the fact that I wrote that song, the fact that he chose that week to come up and sing it, it's just kind of an eerie thing, because it was kind of meant for him to write it, meant for him to sing it. And now this song is part of his legacy; it's a tribute to him, really, in a way. And now it becomes, like, the most important song I've ever written."
The second song Ronnie James Dio recorded during the sessions — entitled "The Code" — is expected to surface on THE RODS' new LP, "Vengeance", which is tentatively due next year.
"Metal Will Never Die" is sure to be a hit at active, hard rock, and metal radio (which the Skateboard Marketing team will be heavily promoting for the coming months). Additionally, Feinstein will be supporting the release with live dates with THE RODS for all of 2011.
Due on November 23 via Niji Entertainment Group, "Bitten By The Beast" will undoubtedly catch the attention of Dio fans, as well as fans of vintage, anthemic metal sounds. "Nobody could really know how Ronnie worked in the studio, unless they saw it for themselves," adds Feinstein. "How effortless it was for him to sing. Years ago, Ronnie and I spoke about doing some kind of project together again." Soon, fans will be able to hear firsthand what Ronnie James Dio had known for decades — Feinstein is the real deal, and "Bitten By The Beast" will prove this point once and for all.
The Niji Entertainment Group was started by Ronnie James Dio and his wife/manager, Wendy Dio, in early 2010 (shortly before Dio's tragic passing in May of this year). The first non-Dio-related release will be "Bitten By The Beast", which will lead to further releases by other artists throughout next year, including solo efforts by Tim "Ripper" Owens, LYNCH MOB vocalist Oni Logan, and former DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson.
"Bitten By The Beast" track listing:
01. Smoke On The Horizon
02. Evil In Me
03. Break Down The Walls
04. Metal Will Never Die (feat. Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals)
05. Kill The Demon
06. Rock's Boogie
07. Give Me Mercy
08. Run For Your Life
09. Gambler Gambler
A photo of Feinstein, Dio and engineer Wyn Davis taken at Total Access Studios in Redondo Beach, California during the mastering sessions for "Bitten By The Beast" can be viewed below.
For more information, visit www.bittenbythebeast.com.