Trivium had the privilege of meeting Dio while touring with Heaven and Hell in Japan in 2007. We were just happy to be on the shows and didn’t expect to spend any time with any of the guys. Every single night of that tour Heaven & Hell blew our minds; we were fans in awe of how good they were. They had it all and to watch a group of musicians that deep into their careers so absolutely on top of their game like that was inspiring.
One night after a show in Nagoya, I was able to pop in real quick to say “hey” to Dio in his dressing room. I've been able to meet many heroes of mine in my life, but few have made impression on me like Ronnie James. He greeted me not as a support band member, but he welcomed me as a fellow musician and performer. He gave me a hug, invited a couple of us into his room where we all sat and talked and drank wine together. I remember our conversation crystal clear to this day. I told him how I met Bruce Dickinson on his BBC radio show and was asking Bruce about vocals and vocal techniques, and I shared with Dio that Bruce felt that I had started to develop my own vocal style and with work someday would further develop a stylistic similarity to Dio. Dio smiled and chatted about how he knew that Bruce was a fan of his voice, and from there we were able to just relax and talk shop about vocals and singing. Although it was a quick visit, Ronnie made me feel at home and was a really sweet dude. He gave us props, we finished our wine, we hugged and said "See ya tomorrow." It was amazing that I received vocal coaching from quite possibly the greatest metal voice of all time. I am truly grateful for the time he gave me and his personal insight into our shared craft. For that I will always be thankful.
Matt Heafy - Trivium