LAST IN LINE frontman Andrew Freeman says that he has gotten "mostly positive" feedback from people about his interpretations of classic DIO songs that were originally sung by legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio.
Formed in 2012 by drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain and guitarist Vivian Campbell — Ronnie James Dio's co-conspirators and co-writers on the "Holy Diver", "Last In Line" and "Sacred Heart" albums — LAST IN LINE's initial 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.
LAST IN LINE's debut album, "Heavy Crown", was released in February 2016, landing at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. Initially, the release had been preceded by tragedy when Bain unexpectedly passed away at the age of 68 on January 23, 2016. LAST IN LINE, honoring what they knew would be Bain's wish to keep the band moving, brought in Phil Soussan and committed to sustained touring in support of the album before beginning work on the follow-up release, this year's "II".
Asked in a new interview with Metal Talk what the fan response has been like to hearing him sing the DIO material live, Freeman said (see video below): "It's mostly positive. I have not had anybody come to me directly and say they were not okay with this. I've seen people say, 'I've met Andrew before. He's a lovely guy, but his vocals ruin this band.' And, yeah, it's okay. People are gonna have their opinions. Either you're gonna like it or you're not gonna like it. You're replacing somebody who's irreplaceable. And I think that's why we're moving and doing new records.
"When we started the band, the guys got accused of — Vivian specifically — got accused of it being a cashgrab," he continued. "And there's no money. I make money because this is not my legacy. It's not. I have nothing to do with the DIO legacy. I don't try to be a clone of this guy. There's plenty of people out there that do that, and they can have it, as far as I'm concerned."
Looking ahead to LAST IN LINE's future, Andrew admitted: "I don't know how long this band will last. It wasn't supposed to last past a couple of L.A. shows just playing the old [DIO] material… When Jimmy passed, I don't think we were gonna continue. And then we decided to fulfill a couple of commitments, after he passed and the record came out. And we just kept going.
"So it's just a matter — not so much of if I wanna do it; it's a matter of if these guys wanna do it," he said. "It's a matter of if Vivian and Vinny wanna do it. 'Cause it's their band. I mean, I'm a partner in the band, but I'm a partner in LAST IN LINE — I'm not a partner in the DIO legacy."
Campbell revealed in a recent interview with the "Pat's Soundbytes Unplugged" podcast that LAST IN LINE is seeking a new record label home after issuing two albums through Italy's Frontiers Music Srl.
According to Campbell, LAST IN LINE has already composed most of the music that will appear on the band's third album, which, he says, will "expand" on the material that was included on "II".
I’m happy to continue. To be clear, the band is still together and recording a new album. Something @BLABBERMOUTHNET wont put in a headline next to my name. It’s more interesting to lead with negative comment, out of context
— Andrew Freeman (@AndruFreeman) December 22, 2019
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