Since Eyellusion debuted their Ronnie James Dio hologram at Wacken 2016, there’s been a mixed reaction from diehard Dio fans. We recently invited Eyellusion CEO Jeff Pezzuti into our studio to record an episode of the Loudwire Podcast, giving him a platform to respond to those who’ve criticized the hologram’s creation.

The Dio hologram has made two public performances to-date, with the second having taken place in February at the 2017 Pollstar Awards. The hologram will begin touring the world later this year with Dio Disciples as its backing band and the spectacle is expected to hit North America in Summer 2018.

Pezzuti is a longtime fan of Ronnie James Dio, having first seen the legend in concert in 1985. With over 30 years of Dio fandom in his pocket, Pezzuti spoke about how he believes Dio fanatics should embrace the hologram. “When I started seeing the ethical thing [online], I said, ‘Well, they’re not getting what we’re trying to do.’ This is a celebration of Ronnie James Dio,” Pezzuti says. “This is not about, ‘Hey, let’s put Ronnie onstage and just charge people a bunch of money.’ It’s not that at all. This music is important to a whole legion of fans around the world … If an artist is not out there touring, nobody’s going to know who they are.”

The Eyellusion CEO continues, “When I see the detractors, I’m actually kind of surprised. Dio fans, to me, are the ones that really should embrace this and understand this is coming from a good place, this is not coming from a corporate place.”

The full episode of this Loudwire Podcast will become available Aug. 25 via iTunes and YouTube, so make sure to stay tuned for our full discussion with Jeff Pezzuti.

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