MA Entertainment Global recently conducted an interview with LAST IN LINE bassist Phil Soussan. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On joining LAST IN LINE in 2016 after the passing of original bassist Jimmy Bain:
Phil: "It has been a very… I would say it's been a very fulfilling ride. On the one hand, it's been great being able to perform these songs that were written by Vinny [Appice, drums], Vivian [Campbell, guitar], Jimmy and Andrew [Freeman, vocals] for the fans. It's been a lot of fun and it's also been very gratifying for me because this is a way I could do something for Jimmy's legacy. Jimmy and I were friends; we had a history together. We lived together at one time. This was something I could do for him. There's not many things you can do once someone's gone other than to try to preserve their legacy and try to keep a candle burning for them, so, for all of these reasons, it was great. Some parts of it were fun, some parts of it were a little bit more solemn, but overall, everything was gratifying about it.
"I never considered myself as replacing him or stepping into his shoes. The way I saw it when I was asked, was that I was given an opportunity to be able to represent him and I always thought that was truer to how I felt. So, we didn't even know the band was going to continue on. It was really just, 'Well, let's take these songs out there and play them for people.' That was really the goal. It wasn't until we've been doing it for quite some time that we started thinking 'You know, there's a chemistry here. Maybe this is something we want to continue.' During that time, it made me feel good to play Jimmy's stuff. I was playing notes. [Laughs] I was playing his parts and people were enjoying the music and I'd like to think Jimmy was up there probably giving me a bit of thumbs-up going 'Great!' in the way that he would."
On the writing and recording of LAST IN LINE's second album, "II":
Phil: "We did this as a collaborative effort, which is the preferred way of working. It's a way that very few bands work these days, so we wrote this completely collectively. Just to give you a little back ground, I think a lot of bands these days now that everyone has a studio alongside their coffee machine, it's like 'We're going to do a record, so everybody write some songs. Let's do some demos and everybody bring in their demos and we'll sit around and listen to everyone's songs and we'll decide which ones we want to do.' In this case, Vivian pulled me aside [and I said]: 'I'm going to get some ideas ready.' He said 'No, no, no. The way we did the first three DIO albums and the magic chemistry that occurred is what we want to continue on the 'Heavy Crown'. We did it the same way and we'll do this album identically. I want you to do nothing. We'll all come in with no ideas, we'll start to jam and we'll see what happens.' So, of course, it was a great deal of apprehension on my part. There was a lot of thoughts going through my head. On the one hand, I was thrilled and delighted. That's really the best way to work, is to collaborate on things, on songwriting. When you write on your own, it's really out of necessity. But I find it one-dimensional. I find you go over the same ideas, you repeat yourself all the time. When you write with other people, that's when new ideas happen. I was very thrilled about that. At the same time, I was a little anxious because we thought, 'Well, this is really going to be a test of the chemistry that we think is there actually for real.' Once we got the first awkward song out of the way, there was a great feeling of relief for everybody. They didn't know either. It became evident that we were going to have no problem writing this record."
"II" was released February 22 via Frontiers Music Srl. As with 2016's "Heavy Crown", the new disc was produced by DOKKEN and FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson.