Interview by Fotis Palamiotis
It is no longer a secret! Tonight one of the most significant hard rock bands is returning to the stage.
19 years after their last concert and 40 years after the release of the legendary album ‘Rising’, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow will play 3 shows: the Monsters of Rock Festival in Germany, where they will team up with Thin Lizzy and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (17 and 18 June) and NEC Arena in Birmingham (25 June).
The band’s new lineup consists of Lords of Black singer Ronnie Romero, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore’s Night drummer David Keith & bassist Bob Nouveau and, of course, Ritchie Blackmore.
With all eyes on him, Ronnie Romero is now called to replace one of the greatest rock / metal singers of all time, the unforgettable Ronnie James Dio.
3pointmagazine.gr contacted Ronnie, for an exclusive interview.
Ronnie, congratulations for becoming the new Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow singer! How did this collaboration come to happen?
Thanks! Well, I was 90% lucky because they found me on Youtube! I’m in a Rainbow cover band and I have some videos singing Rainbow songs, so that’s it. The other 10% was giving a good impression at the first meeting I think.
Of course, I’m a very big fan of all about Ritchie, and I could never imagine that this could happen, but here we are, so I just try to enjoy it.
Listening to your singing, we notice a very impressive resemblance to Ronnie James Dio’s voice.
Yes, everybody says the same (laughs). But the truth is that I don’t try to make a copy from nobody. I have influences of course, but this comes naturally when I sing, any element is not forced or pushed in my way of singing.
So, a Ronnie instead of Dio?
I prefer to say Ronnie Romero, the new Rainbow singer. I’m not here to replace anyone, and much less Dio, whom I deeply admire.
I really love all the classics, like Toto, Journey, Kansas, Grandfunk Railroad, Queen, etc. And others like Dream Theater or Masterplan.
When did you become a professional musician? Before that, what did you do for a living?
Well, I grew up in a family of musicians, my grandfather was [a musician], my father was [a musician], my brother is a drummer, so I have always been involved in music in different levels. Now I am totally focused in music.
How is it working with Ritchie Blackmore? I’m asking because undoubtedly he is one of the greatest and most beloved rock guitarists in history, but on the other hand, bad rumors say that sometimes he lacks a sense of cooperation.
They are all bad rumors I think, Ritchie is a nice guy, all his team and family are too, so it’s easy working with all of them.
Could you present to us the other members of the band? Jens Johansson is a very pleasant surprise.
Yes, Jens is a great musician, perfect for Rainbow, because he has all these modern and classical elements at the same time in his sound, people will really love him. David Keith is a kick ass drummer, I swear, and I am completely sure that he will pay tribute to all the songs. And Bob, the bass player, is a great musician and a great guy too, he has a great sense of base and he really matches all the harmonic sound. The line-up cannot be better!
Being the new frontman of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow is a great opportunity for your musical career and it attracts worldwide attention. But, on the other hand, do you feel anxious of being mostly remembered as Dio’s replacement?
Not really, because as I told you, I just try to enjoy this moment and take all the experience for learning and growing up. I’m not here to replace anyone, I’m here to write my own history.
So what are your plans for the future?
Well, playing with my band around the world, and continuing to make the music I like and making some people happy with it. For everything else, time will tell.
Despite the 3 gigs, shall we expect something more?
Maybe you should ask Ritchie about this. We have good vibes in rehearsals, but we are focused on these three gigs, that’s all for now.
Thank you very much for the interview. The last words are yours.
Thanks to you! And thank you so much to all the Greek fans for all your support and good vibes! Hope to meet you very soon!
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