DIO DISCIPLES, which pays tribute to Ronnie James Dio and is fully supported by Dio's widow/manager Wendy, is about to sign a deal with BMG for the release of the band's debut album.
DIO DISCIPLES is made up of former members of DIO, along with a rotating lineup of vocalists, including ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens and LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
Billed as a "celebration of the music and legacy of the greatest singer in the world, Ronnie James Dio," DIO DISCIPLES have been playing Ronnie's music on tour in a bid to keep their old bandmate's memory alive.
Several years ago, guitarist Craig Goldy revealed DIO DISCIPLES were planning to start work on a project of original material, and they debuted three of the new songs during their May 2016 appearance at the "Ride For Ronnie" motorcycle rally and concert in Encino, California.
Fan-filmed video footage of one of the tracks, which is apparently called "Till The End Of Time", can be seen below.
In a brand new interview with the "Wired In The Empire" radio show, which airs on Riverside/San Bernardino, California's 96.7 KCAL-FM, Wendy stated about DIO DISCIPLES: "We're just about to sign a record deal with BMG for them to start making a new record."
Confirming that the debut DIO DISCIPLES album would include "all new material," Wendy said that the members of the band have "written about five songs already and were "very excited" about the opportunity to work with BMG.
As for when fans can expect to see the DIO DISCIPLES album released, Wendy said: "Actually, I'm going for a meeting with [BMG] next week, so I will know in a few weeks — to go over the marketing plan and when they think that they should have the record out."
Some of the recent DIO DISCIPLES shows have also included singer Joe Retta (SWEET, HEAVEN & EARTH). Joe hails from Rochester, New York and and was raised on '70s R&B and rock during an era when, as he describes it, "music had more soul and was more diverse." His influences include such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Steve Marriott, Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant and, of course, Ronnie.
In an interview with Myglobalmind, Goldy stated about the formation of DIO DISCIPLES: "You see, the band DIO was run like a family. So when your family member dies, the other members of the family that are left behind often try to do things to keep their loved one's memory alive. So that's where the DIO DISCIPLES came from. Wendy and Simon [Wright, sometime DIO DISCIPLES drummer] called me and said, 'We should really do something.' Because there were all these tributes going on for Ronnie; some of them were just trying to cash in on his passing and some of them were legitimate. However, we said, 'We are his family we should do something.' So that is where DIO DISCIPLES came from."
Goldy told Music Life Magazine that DIO DISCIPLES live performances are unique experiences. He said: "At every DIO DISCIPLES concert, there is a moment when the audience and band really connect. I am getting chills just talking about it. There are people in the audience looking up to the sky and singing at the top of their lungs with tears in their eyes, singing to Ronnie in heaven saying they miss him. It's just beautiful, and that's what the project was for."
DIO DISCIPLES is:
* Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) - Vocals
* Oni Logan (LYNCH MOB) - Vocals
* Craig Goldy (DIO) - Guitar
* Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) - Bass
* Scott Warren (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL) - Keyboards
* Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, OPERATION: MINDCRIME) - Drums