Legendary drummer Vinny Appice spoke to Metal Rules about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for LAST IN LINE's upcoming sophomore album, tentatively due in early 2018.
"We went into the studio and recorded five songs, basic tracks," Vinny said. "Andy [Freeman] is in the process of finishing some vocals on a few of them. It sounds great. We are writing with Phil Soussan on bass, which has been very productive and creative. The other day we got together and wrote a couple of more ideas. We usually write them and then live with them for a little while before sending them to Andy to add the melody.
"We are going back in the studio in December to hopefully finish another four or five songs," he continued. "The goal is to have the CD out sometime next year. We also have some shows on the East Coast in November. All the places we played earlier this year want us back. They want to book the band again even though we were just there."
According to Vinny, LAST IN LINE's touring activities are restricted by DEF LEPPARD's schedule as well as Freeman and Soussan's involvement in the long-running Las Vegas rock and roll production "Raiding The Rock Vault". "We have those shows on the East Coast this year, and then in the beginning of first quarter next year, we will do more shows," he said. "It will be like four or five shows at a time."
Vinny was also full of praise for Freeman, saying that "Andy sings great consistently every night, just like Ronnie [James Dio]. That is pretty hard to do when you a have a lot of volume behind you and have to sing over it.
"We all get along, and the laughing you see us doing is us having a great time," he added. "I love this band, on and off the stage."
LAST IN LINE's second album is once again being produced by Jeff Pilson (DOKKEN, FOREIGNER), who also worked on 2016's "Heavy Crown".
Appice, Campbell and bassist Jimmy Bain were part of the original DIO lineup which reunited in 2012 alongside Freeman to launch LAST IN LINE.
When LAST IN LINE formed, the intent was to celebrate Ronnie James Dio's early work by reuniting the members of the original DIO lineup. After playing shows that featured a setlist composed exclusively of material from the first three DIO albums, the band decided to move forward and create new music in a similar vein.
Campbell recently told Ultimate Classic Rock that the new LAST IN LINE songs were a progression from the debut. "Some of the arrangements for these ideas that are in play at the moment, I would say they're a little more complex than what's on the first record," he said. "But it's really starting to take shape as a band, and we do very much try to write as a band. That's how we did the first record with LAST IN LINE — we'd just get in there and kick around ideas. A lot of times, stuff would come out of nothing.
"I've always said that I've been fortunate to play with so many great musicians and so many great drummers over the years, but Vinny inspires me like no other," he continued. "There's just times when we go in to write when I kind of feel like I don't have any solid ideas that I can bring to the party. Vinny will just play a beat, and he plays with such great intent. It just kind of inspires me. Frequently, we'll come up with ideas, just because of a groove that Vinny's laying down. It is very uplifting, I've got to say."
Soussan joined LAST IN LINE last year as the replacement for Bain, who passed away in January 2016 at the age of 68. He was reportedly suffering from lung cancer at the time of his death.