Dio Hologram Creator Calls Haters ‘Selfish’
The creator of the Ronnie James Dio hologram said people who “don’t believe it’s right” were being “selfish.”
Jeff Pezzuti, CEO of Eyellusion, which developed the projection in collaboration with Dio's widow, Wendy, confirmed it would tour the U.S. next year alongside a live band, with up to three classic tracks added to the set list that was performed in Europe last year under the banner “Dio Returns.”
“We're super proud of what went on the road,” Pezzuti told Talking Metal. "But that being said, we can make it better, and our intention was always to make it better – to make it the best it can be. So, yeah, we're slightly tweaking the content. We're adding two new songs, which will be 'Neon Knights' and 'We Rock' which will be for the U.S. run. And potentially one more, which we're talking about right now. So we're gonna have Ronnie onstage more, and the show will be a little longer as well."
Pezzuti said “We Rock” would feature live singers Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and Oni Logan interacting directly with the hologram. “You can't call it a duet – it's three singers, but all three will be singing together," he explained. “So Oni, Ripper and Ronnie will be onstage together, each taking a vocal and each singing the chorus together. So it'll be a true grand finale.”
Discussing the mixed response to the initial hologram tour, Pezzuti noted "there's a couple of different things playing at the same time. One is that you've got this metal community, or whatever community, speaking out against something that they haven't seen. That's one. Two is people that don't feel like it's right. And I think that's kind of a selfish attitude, honestly, because there's a lot of people that wanna see Ronnie that are younger or that never saw him. Watching it on YouTube is not the same. It’s not the same as seeing a live show. … Because you feel it's not right, or somebody feels it's not right, you're not allowing the younger audience or the next generation to be able to experience this music.”
Pezzuti argued that there's a case to be made for more hologram shows in the future. “As a fan of the music, and as a fan of all music, I just feel like there's so many great bands that are out there that we wanna make sure that they get passed down,” he said. “And we could actually do shows with these bands — AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses — where we can put full lineups together and actually make it happen, and still experience the show.”