One click, 11 stories: Dio Disciples, Mike Starr, 30STM, Whitesnake, Evile, Jane’s Addiction, Volbeat, Dream Theater, ZZ Top and more

Ronnie James Dio

Irreplaceable: Ronnie James Dio

Former members of Ronnie James Dio‘s band will team up with ex-Judas Priest singer Tim Ripper Owens and former Little Angels frontman Toby Jepson under the title Dio Disciples. Guitarist Craig Goldy, drummer Simon Wright, bassist Rudy Sarzo and keyboardist Scott Warren complete the lineup. The band are planning a tour of Europe with US dates in the pipeline later. Dios’ widow and manager Wendy says: “There will never be another Ronnie, but we want to keep his music alive. We hope you’ll support the band, you’ll become a Dio Disciple and we’ll see you at one of the shows.”

Tragic former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr was remembered by fans at the Seattle Centre’s International Fountain yesterday. Instead of the usual classic music themed water show, Starr-era Alice albums were played instead. One fan says: “Mike was a rock star with a big personality. He had a lot of demons. I hope he’s in a peaceful place now.”

30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto narrates a movie about the Isle of Man TT race. He says: “I’m proud to be part of this groundbreaking film. It celebrates the spirit fo the men and women who push themselves beyond the limit to places few can even imagine.” TT3D: Closer to the Edge is released on April 22.

Whitesnake have recruited Brian Ruedy as their touring keyboardist. He’s played with Bret Michaels of Poison and ex-Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch in the past. Ruedy, who replaces Timothy Drury, says: “It’s an incredible opportunity – I’m excited to bring new sounds and flavours, and expanding the already great Whitesnake material.”

Evile will begin recording a new album this week. Guitarist Oli Drake says: “It’s been one hell of a 2011 already. We’ve been working non-stop for the third album since early last year. We’re on top of it. It’s a mix of approaches and ideas from Enter the Grave and Infected Nations, plus brand new ideas we can’t wait t otry out. It’ll be aggressive yet mature – and fast.”

Jane’s Addiction are finally poised to release new album The Great Escape Artist in the summer. They’ve put bass player issues behind them after Eric Avery left, Duff McKagan joined then quit, and TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek joined as studio collaborator, although he won’t be touring with the band. Singer Perry Farrell says: “Dave’s like a scientist and he’s not afraid of making a monster. It keeps getting gnarlier and gnarlier. We’re getting back into using a lot of space and having a lot of air.”

Michael Poulsen of Volbeat reports he’s still not out of the woods in terms of health issues which saw the band cancel their first ever UK headline tour. They’ve just completed a club tour of home nation Denmark and Poulsen says: “My health hasn’t been good for the last six months and I’m still struggling with insomnia and some nerves in my back and chest, and what seems like an everlasting cold. But your support and dedication were the right medicine for everyone in the band. We had a really good time and felt good about doing it again.”

Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci says they’re still not ready to announce the name of their new drummer, but studio work is going very well. He comments: “I appreciate everyone’s patience, and believe me, our decision will not disappoint on any level. We’re in the tracking process and working hard, but having so much fun as well.”

Billy Gibbons says a ZZ Top tribute album featuring the Foo Fighters, Nickelback, Kid Rock and others is set to be announced soon. The band are also working on a new studio album in Houston and LA.

Shadows bassist Jet Harris has died after a two-year battle against throat cancer. He was 71. Real name Terence Harris, he joined Cliff Richard’s backing band the Drifters in 1959 and suggested the Shadows name, before leaving in 1962. He joined he Jeff Beck Group for a short time and enjoyed a solo hit, but left the music industry in 1967. He was awarded an MBE last year.

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson is looking forward to racing a classic car he bought in pieces for $250,000. He says: “It’s a 1965 Lola T70 with a Ford V8 engine. There were only 15 made and six have been destroyed. I got chassis number 15 – the last one. A lovely old gentleman in Connecticut told me, ‘I wasn’t a quarter of a million dollars for it,’ and I thought, ‘That’s cheap. Usually they go for about $600,000.’ When he delivered it all I saw was this black tub and nine cardboard boxes. I asked my team manager, ‘A quarter of a million for this – are you nuts?’ He said, ‘We’re going to rebuild it from the ground up and make it the best Lola in the world.’ I can’t wait to get in it.”

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