Elf Reunion w/ Ronnie James Dio was in the works, we were writing new material, Cousin David Feinstein

June 21, 2019

Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice  recently spoke to The Rods guitarist Vocalist David 'Rock' Feinstein who is also the cousin of Ronnie James Dio and former band member with Dio in Elf. In part one of this two part interview, Feinstein talks about The Rods new album The Brotherhood of Metal and relationship with Ronnie James Dio and his experienced playing on stage with the Dio Hologram recently.

Watch here


 When asked about the difference between the last Rods album 'Vengeance' and the new album 'The Brotherhood of Metal'
"The Vengeance album was something of a reunion, we hadn't done any recorded in like over 20 years at that point. So it was like the first attempt to do something again and to write songs. On the Vengeance album we were still just getting back into it . So I just think that the Brotherhood album is much better because  the last 10 years of being back together we have more experience in getting  great people, playing together and having great engineers working on this on this album. In terms of songwriting I'm a major part of the songwriting team  so, I was under  some pressure this time  because I knew we had to get  at least ten songs done. I basically try to write songs that I know we can perform well live and  those are the type of songs that when you have a crowd of headbangers in front of you, they want to really react to you. Songs that they can sing  along with the chorus and a good beat that's what I aim for."

 When asked about the use of keyboards with a Deep purple like vibe on some tracks on the new album
"We did a lot of touring with Deep Purple in Elf  and of course I idolized that band and Ritchie Blackmore  influenced me. When writing the album this time around  I just wanted to use keyboards but I I didn't know what kind of reaction we were gonna get from it. I just thought that if I heard it in the song and it sounded good and it made the song sound better to me then I would leave it there.  It worked and it did give the songs  that little bit of extra sound. So I'm real happy with the way that came out yeah."

When asked about how he was related to Ronnie James Dio
"We're cousins, our Grandparents were sister and brother,  we're like second or third cousins."

When asked about his relationship growing up with Ronnie and over the years 
 "Ronnie was five years older than me and he hung around with a different crowd of people but I looked up to him. Ronnie played trumpet when he was younger  and when I turned seven years old I wanted to play trumpet too. Ronnie  started a band and you know of course I wanted to start a band. I always looked up to him he was kind of like an older brother, that was what the relationship was like and for awhile, I actually Ronnie lived next to him - you know -  with  my parents. It's like that in the Italian world every body's related to everybody. "

"Now in the last 10 years of his life Ronnie and I became very close again with him because during the days of Rainbow and and Sabbath  Ronnie was on the road and constantly lived in LA. and I was living on the East coast.  We might talk on the phone or something like that but there wasn't a lot going on in terms of  visiting. Now in the last 10 years of his life he would visit his parents in Cortland and I would see him.  Also started to go to LA and visit him at his house.  I would stay out there for a week and we talked about doing an Elf reunion album and how great it would be. We even worked on some material while I was there. Ronnie was looking forward to even playing bass on the Elf album because he was originally was the  bass player and singer in the band  and he thought it would be cool. We were making plans for the future while he was doing the Heaven and Hell thing.  So our relationship was really close in the  last 10 years  and when he died it really,  affected me  heavily.  I really felt the loss."

When asked about him opinion on  performing the Dio Hologram on stage recently  
"The hologram performance  was such a such a great idea because  it's kind of technology thing and Ronnie was always into .Ronnie had a brilliant mind and I think that he would have really dug the idea of this whole hologram thing."


Fan filmed video of Feinstein performing with Hologram

 " I got a message recently from Wendy and she said  they're gonna be on  tour with the Hologram in New York  and if I would come cause the band would like me to sit in and play a song because I was part of the family. I  said yes, great. It was it was an awesome experience  and those guys in the band who I  know  really well, all the guys in the band  treated me great. I'll tell you the crowds loved it,  the Huntington show was  pretty much a full house and the crowd went nuts.I just have nothing bad to say about the whole thing. To hear Ronnie's voice coming through the PA you get really emotional. I know there's a lot of naysayers that say oh let the dead be dead. But  if you're a Dio  fan go see the show that's all I can say,  if you're against it don't go. "


 "Brotherhood Of Metal" will be released on June 7 via SPV/Steamhammer.

Track listing:

01. Brotherhood Of Metal (7:28) 
02. Everybody's Rockin' (3:57) 
03. Smoke On The Horizon (4:47) 
04. Louder Than Loud (4:15) 
05. Tyrant King (4:38) 
06. Party All Night (2:49) 
07. Tonight We Ride (4:40) 
08. 1982 (5:16) 
09. Hell On Earth (4:20) 
10. The Devil Made Me Do It (3:54) 
11. Evil In Me (6:26)


THE RODS frontman David "Rock" Feinstein joined the Ronnie James Dio hologram on stage on June 9 at The Paramount in Huntington, New York to perform the BLACK SABBATHclassic "Neon Knights". The show was part of the month-long "Dio Returns" U.S. tour, which kicked off on May 31 in Fort Myers, Florida.


The closing song of the concert, "Neon Knights" saw former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens, ex-LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan accompany the Dio hologram for a climactic finale.


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