Joey Belladona: "Ronnie James Dio was a great human being and a great musician"

on Fri, 04/11/2014 - 13:40
Joey Belladona

Joey Belladonna recently spoke to Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner about the Anthrax frontman's involvement in "This Is Your Life", the tribute to album to legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio. Asked why Anthrax chose to record a cover version of the Black Sabbath classic "Neon Knights", Belladonna said: "I think I suggested it. When we talked about doing something, collectively, we all like the song, so it was a no-brainer. We could pretty much pick anything… I went for the heavier."

Asked if recording the "Neon Knights" cover was a more emotional experience than some of the other cover versions Anthrax has recorded over the years, Belladonna said: "For me, no. I just love doing that type of thing, and it was another day for me to sing something of his. Obviously, I'm excited, because it is a record, but I don't think I did it any different. In fact, I only did a couple of takes. I mean, I actually have on video the first time I tried it, and it pretty much sounds like what it sounds like already. It was business as usual for me."

Regarding what Ronnie meant to him, Joey said: "Ronnie's an inspirational singer for me." He added: "I really believe that as you grow up, you're inspired by the people that perform and things that you would like to hear yourself be in that kind of category and have such a talent like he did and just be inspired. [He was a] great human being, great musician - just all that… He was just the slickest. He was so heavy but melodic, as well as his attitude about everything. He had great charisma."

Belladonna also spoke about the first impression Ronnie made on him. "He made me laugh big time," Joey said. "He just want[ed] to be funny. And yet he [was] so sincere and [could] have that serious point of view. You need to be enthralled with that when you're around him, to have him speak to you with that kind of attitude and spunk that he had. And I'd been around him when things weren't so good, which I won't bring up right now, but to have him share that with me, which was more private, about being in his band — things like that. Just to engage in that with me and run that by me."