Drum legend Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL) recently spoke with Jack Antonio of the "Do You Know Jack" podcast about "II", the new album by LAST IN LINE. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the origins of LAST IN LINE:
Vinny: "Viv [guitarist Vivian Campbell] called up and said, 'Hey, I'm here with Jimmy [Bain]. Would you be into having a play?' I went, 'Yeah, that would be great.' The three of us went into the rehearsal place and we jammed on all those old DIO songs. We decided it was so much fun, we would do it again, and when we did it again, Andy Freeman — a good buddy of mine — was in town. I said, 'Why don't you come down? You know these songs. Do you want to sing?' He came down and sang, and he blew everybody away. We said, 'That was so good, it sounded like a band. Why don't we do some gigs?' That's what we did, and then our manager got us a deal on Frontiers, and that's how we started with the first album."
On Ronnie James Dio's split with BLACK SABBATH:
Vinny: "We were doing the 'Mob Rules' tour. Then we did 'Live Evil'. By the time that happened, they weren't getting along. Ronnie had a record deal for a solo record, which he was going to do — just, like, friends, everybody playing on it, things like that. He decided, 'I'm going to use this deal to put my own band together,' and that's when he said, 'I'm going to leave the band and put a new band together. Do you want to join me?' That's how we started."
On the early days of the DIO band:
Vinny: "SABBATH, that was so exciting to play with Tony [Iommi] and Geezer [Butler]. When it came down to [DIO], it was an exciting thing, because I was asked by Tony and Geezer to stay in the band, and then I was asked by Ronnie to form a new band. I had a choice, but Ronnie and I got along so well, and we both lived in California, [so] it was a lot easier to do something together. It sounded exciting — a whole new band. 'This could be great, with one of the great singers.' I decided to stay with Ronnie, and then we just took it from there. We went over to England and waited for Jimmy to come off tour. He came back and recommended Vivian, so we called Viv, and Viv came over the next day. We jammed in London, and it was like magic."
On Phil Soussan joining LAST IN LINE following Bain's 2016 death:
Vinny: "We got the [first LAST IN LINE] album done, and then we played probably six [to] eight gigs together, and then Jimmy passed. We took some time off to decide what we want to do, and then we decided eventually, 'Jimmy would want us to continue. He wouldn't want us to stop because of him.' Jimmy's a rocker — a big rocker, actually. We decided to do some bass audition. We had a number of people come down. Phil's a good friend, so we knew Phil, but we didn't know how he sounded in the band. When Phil came down [and] played with us, it just sounded great. He joined the band, and then we did a lot of gigging — a lot of gigs in 2016 and 2017. We became very tight, and Phil and I have done [other] projects together too, and I've played with him on numerous things, so we really fit well together. It was a good fit — a natural thing."
On the writing process for "II":
Vinny: "With any of the bands — SABBATH from 'Mob Rules' on, DIO from 'Holy Diver' and this band, nobody came in with songs that were written already. Everything was built in the room. Everything was jammed out. Nobody said, 'Hey, I've got this songs called 'Mob Rules', and here's how it goes.' Tony never did that. It was more of a natural thing for bands like this to just play, sweat it out, record the stuff, listen to it and start building on things we liked. That's how we wrote all those songs, all three bands."
On the differences in playing with Campbell and Iommi:
Vinny: "With Tony, I would keep it more steady and just lay it down. With Vivian, I'm able to maybe direct it a little more, like, go to a different feel and Viv will follow, or sometimes Viv will go to a different thing and I'll follow. We move a lot quicker. Iommi is just such a big, massive guitar sound and approach... Viv's got an amazing feel, an amazing approach. He's fast, and he's kind of wicked. Me and him just lock in like a bastard."
LAST IN LINE's sophomore album, "II", will be released February 22 via Frontiers Music Srl.