Interview with Ronnie James Dio Monday, June 17, 2002 - 5:30 p.m. ET by U.S.A. Today

Ronnie James Dio, a.k.a. "The Voice of Heavy Metal", has fronted such influential acts as Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio. So what's the meaning of the title track of his newest release, Killing the Dragon? Dio explains that the song refers to “those who perpetrate injustices and what the world is doing to stop them. In fantasy tales, dragons were notorious for stealing children and feeding them to their babies. During the first part of the song, I sing ‘Someone has taken a child.’ The second part is about a cruel feudal lord. The third part is about ‘electronic serfdom.’" Dio believes that the computer has become a god in modern society. “It is a small god with an electrical heart,” he says. “It is time to rebel against it.” His dislike of computers notwithstanding, Ronnie James Dio will be online to discuss his new album, his tour, computers, and magic.

* Ronnie James Dio‘s

New York, NY: Ronnie: Don't get me wrong, you're The Voice. But don't you get tired of touring?

Ronnie James Dio: I think you're always tired of touring until you get out there! As I've said many times before, once you get out there and play, it washes all the bad of the other 23 hours away.

Washington, D.C.: What's the latest on your Children of the Night project?

Ronnie James Dio: Always a matter of time. We're on the road now, which makes it impossible to do a proper job. When we're off the road, that project will happpen.

Newark, NJ: So what exactly do you have against computers?

Ronnie James Dio: I don't have anything against computers. I just got the idea that if we allow our humanity to be usurped by computer technology it could take our humanity away, which could become another dragon to kill.

Manassas Virginia: Whats your problem w/Ozzy? I've read that you wouldn't do a Black Sabbath reunion tour w/him a few years ago.

Ronnie James Dio: I've never been asked to do a Black Sabbath reunion tour, so there's no connection between Ozzy and myself on this matter. I'm happy his life is going so well, and I have no problem with him at all.

Charlotte NC: Having been a fan from the early days, I have noticed on more than a few tracks there is reference to child abuse i.e. Invisible, Rock n Roll Children,Give her the Gun... does this stem from a personal experience or from someone in your imediate circle. One lyric that stands out in my mind is from Invisible, (he was daddys girl in mommas world),(he never was confused just been abused).

Ronnie James Dio: None of the above, really. It's just a problem that has come more to the fore in the past several years. As a caring individual I'm concerned, and I have a stage and forum to speak about it. If I can make a tiny bit of difference, something has been accomplished.

Newburg, IN: I saw your show last week in Indianapolis & you were AWESOME!! You have such a unique voice -like opera meets heavy metal. What kind of vocal training did you receive & how do you keep your voice in such great shape.

Ronnie James Dio: Thank you! I've had no vocal training at all. I began at 5 as a trumpet player and applied the same technique to singing. To keep it in shape, I don't smoke and I'm very careful with how I use my voice.

Evansville, IN: I think your music is awesome!What new bands today, do you like?

Ronnie James Dio: I haven't listened to a lot lately, mainly because we were doing an album, and I don't listen to other music when I'm recording. As of yet, I haven't heard anything that's destroyed me, but when I do I'll be the first to trumpet their praises.

San Antonio, Texas: Saw you at the Verizon w/DP & Scorpions. You rocked! How do you stay in shape for touring?

Ronnie James Dio: I try to be in shape anyway, so it's not very difficult. I love to walk, and I try to walk at least 4-5 miles every day. It's also a wonderful time for reflection, since I'm only with myself and my own thoughts.

Wilmington, North Carolina: Ronnie -looking forward to seeing you 6/21/02 in Charlotte, NC. Any chance when you get done touring with the Scorpions and Deep Purple that you will play some venues on your own? Love the new album also. Diamond Dave

Ronnie James Dio: We will, starting in November. I'd like to be able to say that North Carolina is one of the states we'll be in, but I just don't know right now.

Austin, TX: I have been a fan of your music since "Man On Silver Mountain"; I have always been impressed by the way that your lyrics and phrasing weave wonderful tales. Will you ever get around to making that movie that you had mentioned before (with Rob Halford, Pat Benatar, etc...)? With the recent success of fantasy movies (Lord of the Rings, Spider Man, et al) it seems that the time is ripe for escapism.

Ronnie James Dio: Again, it's a matter of time. Like any challenge I have, I try to focus 100%, and you can't do that on the road. Hopefully the movie will come when I have a great bulk of time or I don't do this anymore, but I don't see myself not doing "this" anymore for quite some time. This just happens to be a time when fantasy is of interest to many people, and I don't think the interest will go away.

Richmond, VA: I grew up in the former Soviet Union with such classic albums as Holy Diver and Dream Evil. Your later album - Magica - was different and somewhat surprising. What drove this? Was it a natural evolution that came easy or a concious decision you made? Should fans continue to expect new Dio or will you get back to your roots? I'm a big fan and looking forward to listening to your new album. Thank you.

Ronnie James Dio: It was a conscious decision, just as it was a conscious decision to release the current album, Killing the Dragon. Both of these albums encompass the strengths of Dio. In the case of Magica, from the fantasy perspective. From Killing, from the old Dio perspective. In both projects, we've gone back to what Dio has been and what Dio fans expect.

Colcord, OK: I've always felt that yours was the difinitive voice in the Hard Rock/Metal genre. That being said, I have greatly enjoyed every band with which you have performed. One question...Is the new album a kind of metaphor for the state of the world today? Thanks, and keep rockin, James Dunham

Ronnie James Dio: I would think that there are some songs on this album that directly apply to today. Perhaps they all do. I write for the moment, I write what I feel, and obviously my feelings are social in nature. I'm concerned about what I see. Look at the Elizabeth Smart situation, the World Trade Center, and others. If you hide behind love songs and nonsense you're not part of this society. Once again, my stage is my forum for my social views.

Monroe, NJ: Hello Ronnie, I wanted to ask you if you were planning to assemble a DVD of any of your prior or current live concerts? It would be great to have your performances captured on DVD. Also, great new album. When and where is the new "Push" video appearing? God Bless! Glenn O.

Ronnie James Dio: We do have some footage we've never released before, and there seems to be a groundswell within the DVD conscious community for one. So yes, it's something we're going to do.

Leesburg, VA: DIO, I've been a fan for 18 of my 27 years of life and am anxiously anticipating your arrival on the Scorpions/Deep Purple tour at Merriwether on June 25th. Will you be playing some of your classic songs along with your new material? Any chance for fans (specifically me) to meet you before or after the event?

Ronnie James Dio: There will be a meet and greet - there always is. Yes, we'll certainly be covering the entire spectrum of my career from Dio to Sabbath to Rainbow. We do a few things from the newest album, but we know it's important to do a good cross section of songs.

Brownsville, TX: Ronnie, Do you have any operatic influences? Any favorite operas or classical pieces?

Ronnie James Dio:Growing up I listened to a lot of opera, and was influenced by Mario Lanza. I couldn't believe his incredible voice. I wanted to use that aspect of vocalization in the rock and roll context. I guess that's the connection people see between my operatic style and music as heavy as possible.

Tucson Arizona: I once saw you audition a prospective guitar player at a NAMM show a few years back. I don't think you were very impressed with his flashy style. What do you look for in a guitar player?

Ronnie James Dio: I look for the total package. I think a guitar player should have not only great technique (and I've played with a few of those), but also the ability to play from the heart. I should be able to hear the emotion flow from fingers to strings.

Boise Idaho: How does one gain access to your Meet-n-Greet?

Ronnie James Dio: Contact our Web site and our office will take care of it.

Olsmar, Fl: Since the stage is a forum for your social views, I'm curious what primary view of life/spirituality informs your lyrics?

Ronnie James Dio: I'm a believer in people. I always have been. This is my planet, this is where my interaction is. I'm not prepared to deal with what comes after death, since I believe that heaven and hell are right here. Good and evil reside in us, and we have the ability to choose.

Comment from Host:

Thanks to Ronnie James Dio and to everyone who chatted today.