Craig Goldy – InterviewBy William Simpson • Jan 21st, 2016 • Category: Artist Interviews
Interview by William Simpson
The legendary former guitarist of Guffria and Dio, Craig Goldy has a new band called Resurrection Kings with drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Sean McNabb, and vocalist Chas West. The new band has a fresh modern sound in the vein of the great 80’s bands these guys were a part of. Stageshottz Magazine sat down with Goldy to discuss the new band and their new album and his amazing career.
StageShottz Magazine: Let’s start with the most obvious question; tell me about the Resurrection Kings and how the band got started.
Craig Goldy: We it started out with an email I got from the president of Frontiers Records asking me if I would be interested in being the guitar player for an album project he had in mind. He was going to put together some guys that had made names for themselves in the 80s. And he wanted it to be kind of like a Whitesnake or Deep Purple or Rainbow-ish type record and I was like perfect, I’m in. He ask If I had any songs I would like to submit and I said sure and the first thing I thought of was the song called “Living’ Out Loud” that’s Chas (West) and I had written together. And that came as a result of the Hollywood AllStars, they had ask me to fill in for a couple of shows that Carlos Cavazo couldn’t do. As I was learning their set from the DVD, there was Chas doing all these songs of guys singing this stuff that those guys can’t do anymore. I was like wow. Then we did about 7 concerts together and every night Chas was just hitting the notes. Me and Chas became friends and decided to do something together and that was one of the first songs that we wrote, “Living’ Out Loud”.
I saw Sean McNabb and Chas doing a set of Zeppelin songs and if you closed your eyes you would think you were listening to a CD of Led Zeppelin. We decided to put a band together but life has a way of changing your plans. Every morning I wake of with a list of things to do but life doesn’t read that list. During that time opportunities came up for people that they couldn’t turn down so we had to part ways. Now here we are again together. When this project came up we ask Chas then we ask Sean and they were both able to do it. Then the drummer fell through and me and Vinny (Appice) had remained friends from Dio so I ask him if he wanted to do it. Little by little this thing started snowballing.
I had written some song and the producer Alessandro Del Vecchio wrote some songs, he is a great songwriter and a great producer and he is also a really great singer. Some of my best guitar playing, some of my best writing and some of my best recording techniques really haven’t been captured yet and I was given a chance to really stretch my wings. As I started hearing Vinny’s drums and Sean’s bass to these songs I was like Wow! It really inspired me to step up my game. The next thing we knew is we were in negotiation with managers and agents and trying to put a tour together to support the album. We all want to do another record. It’s been great because all of these people are really good guys and they are amazing players but the songs are real special too, I think it a real special record.
SSM: You played in Dio for a while and I was wondering what it was like for you playing along a legend like Ronnie James Dio every night?
CG: For me it was a dream come true because I came from a very abusive family, physically abusive and verbally abusive, so I chose to live on the streets. Ronnie was and still is my favorite singer. So he was the voice I turned to when I needed comfort. Ronnie’s the kind of singer that you can hear his emotions. The things that hurt him hurt me and the things that pissed him off made me made too and the things he wrote about that didn’t exist was like a fantasy world we could all escape to. A lot of his music spoke to the downtrodden and the black sheep of the globe. The way he same there were so many different reflections to his voice that is spoke to all of the different human emotions a person could go through. When I joined the band it was just a dream come true. Here I am one minute living on the streets of San Diego in a car and then the next heading Madison Square Garden and 20,000 seat arenas every night with me favorite singer performing music that we wrote together.
SSM: Speaking of you and Dio, you and Ronnie wrote his last album “Master of the Moon” together. Are there any unreleased or left over tracks that may one day be released?
CG: Actually yes. One of the things that I am actually most proud of and most sad about simultaneously is that very thing. There was a time before Ronnie passed away that his doctor actually gave him a clean bill of health and said he could do anything he wanted to do. Wendy turned to Ronnie and said what do you want to do? And he said write with Craig. We started writing Magica 2 together and there was a song that we did that is actually the very last song that he ever sang that eventually we will put out. It’s actually kinda hard to listen to because some of the lyrics are about what he was going through. It’s gonna hit hard for those that really loved Ronnie because Ronnie played such a huge part of all of our lives.
SSM: Back in 1985 when you were in Guffria, you got together with Ronnie and other musicians and did the Hear ‘N Aid show. What was that experience like with all the talent that was assembled and working on that project?
CG: It was great. Ronnie and I had worked in the studio together before and had a working relationship and had become friends. I was on tour with Guffria and he flew me in from Chicago and he wanted me to go first. I was like are you kidding me, here’s Yngwie Malmsteen, and Neal Schon, and George Lynch and I gotta go first, are you kidding me. He knew me and he knew I would start with some sort of theme instead of just playing fast right off the bat. With all the talented players I was totally floored and scared and excited all at the same time.
SSM: In the last month and half the face of music has really changed with the passing of Scott Wieland, Lemmy Kilmister, and now David Bowie. The musician community is a tight community has their passed had an effect on you personally?
CG: Yes and no. It’s like the end of an era because those guys Scott and David Bowie, I only know them through stories from people I know that know them. But Lemmy we used to tour with Motorhead a lot. Ronnie and Lemmy were really good friends so I got a chance to meet him and the guys on and off for several years. He was a really nice man and it is a sad thing. These are very special people; this was not just three rock stars that passed away. These are three special gifts; they all held a very special gift inside them. Now it’s gone but it’s not gone.
SSM: Other than Resurrection Kings are you working on any other projects you would like to talk about?
CG: I have my own band together and each one of those guys is just amazing. I did two songs as my own personal tribute to Ronnie. The band started because the singer on those two songs did such a great job on the songs. The bass player sings lead, he’s like having my own little Rudy Sarzo but he sings lead. He’s really good looking and he’s great onstage and he’s a great bass player. The drummer is really great and he sings. The keyboard player plays second guitar and keyboards with Michael Schenker at the moment. They all write and play well so it’s just going to be outstanding when we finally get this album out. We are going to be doing a Dio Disciples original material album. Me and Dave Isley have just been ask to do an album for Frontiers in the vein of Guffria and that’s going to come out this year. I’m getting ready to go to Russia with Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice, Doogie White and Wayne Finley, the keyboard player I was just telling you about. So there’s just a lot going on all at once. In some ways it’s overwhelming and in other ways its super exciting.
And I do want to say one thing, people sometimes think with guys like Vinny and Ripper Owens and me, it not like we don’t have any scruples doing all of these different projects. A lot of us were paid as sidemen back in the day. If I had a quarter for every album I wrote and recorded on I would be a multi-millionaire right now. Now we have to do a lot of different projects just to make the equivalency of what we used to make in one. We have to keep busy and we want to work as musicians and sometimes that means taking on 10 different projects at once. I personally won’t take on anything that I don’t believe in. That’s been the hard part for me is that I won’t just do it for the paycheck. The only time I will something is if there is something in there I can believe in. It’s been a great ride. I have been able to work with a lot people and wrote songs David Lee Roth and Ripper Owens. I got to work with Joe Lynn Turner and he has always been one of my favorite singers. It has been amazing all the different people I have been able to work with.