April 30 2013 – On May 10th The Rockpile will feature two of classic rock’s best drummers in a unique show. Legendary brothers Carmine and Vinny Appice will be throwing a show called Drum Wars. We had the honor of speaking to Carmine ahead of this show. Read on to find out more.
Note: We have two tickets to give away for this show – Email us at tmakworld (at) gmail (dot) com and include Appice in the subject line. To enter tell us 1 band that Carmine played in and 1 band that Vinny played in.
T-Mak World: Carmine thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. You are currently touring a show called Drum Wars. Can you tell us what that is all about from your perspective please.
Appice: When I grew up there was guys in the 40’s and 50’s like Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa. They would play jazz songs and incorporate drum battle stuff in the songs so we are doing the same thing calling it Drum Wars, but doing it on the heavy rock, heavy metal genre of music. We take a song like Mob Rules from Black Sabbath and my brother Vinny and I will play it together and combined will be some drum stuff. My brother may take the first bar and I may finish the fill. We have a couple of drum pieces just for this show such as the Flintstones song. We incorporate rock drums in the battle. We play Dio, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Rod Stewart and within that framework we do the drum stuff. We have a couple of drum
We did the European tour with 20 shows which really developed it quite well.
T-Mak World: This sounds like an incredible opportunity to see not one, but two of Classic Rock’s most legendary drummers in an intimate setting. The feedback on the shows must be fantastic. How did you guys come up with the setlist?
Appice: Just by doing the shows. While we are on tour we thought it would be cool to play something like Mob Rules together. We rehearsed and thought hey this is what we will do now. We wanted to do a heavy version of Do You Think I’m Sexy because I co-wrote that song and played on it. Then we decided to add Bark At The Moon and that worked out great.
Little by little we added stuff in and took things out. So now we have a pretty good running order after doing 20 shows in Europe. We have a bass, guitar and singer along with my brother and I.
T-Mak World: You have a very prolific discography – Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck, Paul Stanley, Pink Floyd, even Canada’s own Pat Travers, and the list goes on. If you were asked to put one record you played on into a time capsule to be locked up for 300 years, which record would it be and why?
Appice: I don’t know I would have someone else pick it. I really don’t know as I am too close to it. There are a lot of records that set the pulse on the industry. The first Cactus or the first King Cobra records are just examples. Even the record I do with Pat Travers is a great record. It’s like if you go to Baskin Robins and was asked to pick your number one flavor, you can’t, they are all different. It’s like saying who is the best drummer? How can you pick that?
T-Mak World: Speaking of which you are on some top drummer polls. What do you think of them?
Appice: I think I saw some polls, I think I was number 13 and I felt ok because I was ahead of Stewart Copeland. LAUGHING… I was looking at some old Playboy magazines and I was top 3 in the Playboy polls for drumming in the 70’s. In Japan for Music Life I was in the top 5 for like 15 years. I don’t know how they actually pick that but I am glad I am in there, and I’m still here and still doing it.
T-Mak World: Speaking of the future, do you have any plans for the next 2 or 3 years? Any new recordings or tours you are working on after Drum Wars?
Appice: On April 9th I go to Europe with Cactus, then I fly to LA for doing That Metal Show with my brother. Then on the 3rd we go to Chicago and then Canada. In June we have some more shows and then back to Europe and Canada with Cactus. Beyond that I am working on my book which is an autobiography.
I am working with the guy that wrote Nikki Sixx’s book and it will be out next year this time. I want to make it really good as I have so many good stories with all the different bands and different people – people like Tony Curtis, Henry Winkler, Fred Astaire, Gregory Peck. I want to make the book great and who knows it could be a musical or a movie at some point. I started working on this book in 1982 by telling stories and recording them on cassette but its been on the back burner for a long time. It took a while to get a book deal with VH1 books but it finally happened. I ready Nikki’s book, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Sammy Hagar, Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra I love those books.
I will include stories from people I have worked with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Zeppelin, Rod Steward, KISS and Paul Stanley. My manager was connected to the mafia we used to have Henry Hill the guy from the Goodfellas come to our house and sell us stuff and he would roll up the trunk. So its like a married to the mob chapter. Even the Zeppelin mudshark story I might have to keep some of it for book 2 (laughing).
Beyond that we are looking at a reality show with my girlfriend of 10 years who is a radio personality on Fox News. So it’s like the rock star and the radio host that live in different coasts.
Finally I am doing a Rockaholics Metal Fan Camp which you can read about here its at upstate New York and have some other rock stars there from August 26-30. It’s a fan camp and we hang out and we all vacation together. In the night we will entertain people and in the afternoon some Q&A’s and BBQ – it’s a vacation in the Catskill mountains. Eddie Ojeda from Twisted Sister, James Kottak from The Scorpions, and others.
T-Mak World: Let me ask you about an experience that many of us romanticized as teenagers. What is it like performing with thousands of people totally /connected with the rock stars on the stage in front of them? Can you describe the feeling of being up there?
Appice: It felt amazing in the 70’s. Especially with Rod Steward we would play 6 nights in major cities, flying in a private plane. I didn’t know what a bus was until 1982. My first bus tour was with Ozzy. We would be in Denver and jump in the lear jet to party in LA. I had a fleet of 7 classic cars. It was just an amazing time being on the front cover of magazines. Even now I get a lot of respect.
I don’t know what it’s like to go somewhere and not be recognized or go somewhere and not having to be signing autographs. It is manageable though, it’s not like Rod Stewart for example who gets mobbed everywhere he goes. That doesn’t happen to me – I get recognized and they are respectful.
When my children were young like babies we would go to Walmart – which is a rock star’s favorite place (laughing). Somebody would come up to me and my kids would say “Dad is that your friend” and I would say no it’s a fan, and they would ask me “what’s a fan” so I had to explain to them what I do and that people recognize me.
I look at old pictures and I have one when my daughter was 12 years old and I have a picture with Justin Timberlake when he was young. I remember walking down the hall and my daughter said “oh dad what will I do if I see Justin, I will die” and 5 minutes later she was talking to him. So we spent a lot of time backstage.
T-Mak World: I end these interviews with a random light hearted, so lets give this a shot (laughing). You are of Italian heritage, so what city outside of Italy has the best Italian food and in particular a spicy pizza?
Appice: Oh man so many. In New York there is one called Sambuca on 72nd Street and in LA there is one called Carmine’s a friend of mine owns it and its really really good. His father owned it first now he took it over. That one is on Santa Monica Boulevard. But the best Italian food is in Italy – anywhere in Italy.
Carmine thanks for your time – that truly was the most fun interview I have ever conducted. We can’t wait to see you at Drum Wars in Toronto on May 10.Interview – Terry Makedon T-Mak World: Toronto’s Site for Music, Movies and Culture www.tmakworld.com | Twitter | Facebook Get the T-Mak World Toolbar below to get all the info you need