myRockworld conducted an interview with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL) prior to LAST IN LINE's November 18 gig in Telfs, Austria as the support act for SAXON. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how LAST IN LINE came together:
Vinny: "The band came together when one day Vivian [Campbell, guitar] called me up and said, 'Hey, do you want to jam? Me, you and Jimmy Bain [bass] in California?' I said, 'Yeah, that would be fun!' So we got together and jammed, just the three of us. We were laughing, having fun, and Viv was remembering his solos and the songs. It went so well that we decided to do another week. I got a hold of Andy [Freeman, vocals], he was in town and a friend of mine. I said, 'Why don't you come down and sing a couple of DIO songs with us just for fun?' Andy came down, we played and he just blew it away. We went 'Wow! What a singer!' It was so good that we thought we could do some gigs. So we booked a couple of gigs about a month or two later, and the reaction from the fans and people in the audience was fantastic. Then we decided to do some more gigs, then it built, then we got offered a deal from Frontiers Records, so we said let's do that and make a record. We got together writing and we wrote the way we did in DIO, all in a room, jamming, crazy ideas, try anything, and it worked. That's how we got to the point of the album. We did a few more gigs here and there. The last gig with Jimmy was the boat, the DEF LEPPARD cruise [Hysteria On The High Seas] and he passed away [on January 23, 2016]. That was sad. Then we took some time off, regrouped, then we decided 'Let's try different bass players.' Phil [Soussan] came down and blew it away, then Erik [Norlander, keyboards] came down and now we have a great band again."
On whether LAST IN LINE thought about breaking up after Jimmy Bain's death:
Vinny: "Yeah, when he passed, we thought, 'What are we going to do?' Jimmy was a big part of the band and a big part of the writing and our sound, so we took some time off to heal, then, move on. He would want us to do that anyway."
On what Ronnie James Dio would think of the band's "Heavy Crown" album:
Vinny: "I think he would like it. He might go, 'Fuck those guys!' I don't know. [Laughs] He would probably like it inside, musically, but he wouldn't like the idea of us playing together. That's what I think."
On the high and low points of his career:
Vinny: "There have been a lot of high points, playing with SABBATH, then getting the first gold record, platinum, arenas, and 'Wow, stadiums! Giant places.' Then it ends somewhere. All careers go up and down, unless you are in one band for a long time, then you can maintain that level, but I've been in different bands, so it's up playing arenas, then next year, playing clubs, but it's all playing, so I love it. It's all good. This is a high point playing with Viv and this band."
On his musical heroes:
Vinny: "LED ZEPPELIN, my brother Carmine was a big influence, his band back then was VANILLA FUDGE. Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich, jazz, then I listened to a band called BLUE CHEER when I was growing up, a wild band, three-piece with power. DEEP PURPLE, a little bit THE WHO. All the classics. DIO."
On what he'd still like to accomplish as a musician:
Vinny: "It would be cool to do an all-star thing with Jimmy Page, VAN HALEN, have some fun. What I did recently, which was on the bucket list, we did a concert, Andy and I, Rudy Sarzo was on bass, Craig Goldy was on guitar, we did an orchestra gig, with a 50-piece orchestra ['Rock Legends In Concert With The Temecula Valley Symphony']. This was in Temecula, California, I live around there. My girl put it together, Joey. We went see the orchestra one night and went, 'It would be great to play with these guys.' She arranged the whole thing. She got the songs together and rehearsed with the orchestra, which was weird, because you have to play exact. They're reading, so you have to make sure you don't go too long on parts, so we rehearsed twice. It was a trip. When we did the concert and it was 1,500 people, outside and a beautiful night. We played [LED ZEPPELIN's] 'Kashmir'."