DEF LEPPARD and LAST IN LINE guitarist Vivian Campbell was recently interviewed by KBACK Radio. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud player below.
Speaking about LAST IN LINE, in which he is joined by original DIO drummer Vinny Appice, along with singer Andrew Freeman and bassist Phil Soussan, Vivian said: "I've been doing that for several years now. A year, a year and a half or so after Ronnie [James] Dio passed away, I ended up getting together with Vinny Appice, the original drummer, and Jimmy Bain, the original bass player, and we just started jamming for fun. And one thing led to another. We met this great singer called Andrew Freeman, and we decided to go out and play some shows. We took the name LAST IN LINE after the second album we did with Ronnie, and it just kind of grew over the years."
He continued: "We have very limited ambitions — it's very much a side project for all of us — and over the years, we kind of grew and played in Europe, played in Japan and got offered a record deal. And we ended up writing and releasing an album of our own — actually, we did, in 2016, an album called 'Heavy Crown'; it was our debut album.
"It's a very joyous project for me, 'cause it really gives me a chance to reconnect with my early formative years from the early DIO band, and to play those songs," he said. "So LAST IN LINE, we play a combination of original material and the early DIO classics, and the original material is very, very much in a similar vein to early DIO music.
"It's really joyous to be able to go out and exercise that muscle again as a guitar player and really play aggressive rock music. In fact, Joe [Elliott, DEF LEPPARD singer] has a side project called DOWN 'N' OUTZ, and Phil [Collen, DEF LEPPARD guitarist] has a project called DELTA DEEP, and we talk about this and how it actually helps us come back fresh to DEF LEPPARD. To get out and do something a little bit different in the downtime, and then when we come back as LEPPARD, we actually have a renewed enthusiasm for what it is we do. It's great to be able to have the best of both worlds."
Campbell also talked about LAST IN LINE's new music, which the band began recording late last year. "They're sending me mixes — we're mixing what will be our second album, which will be released early in 2019," he said. "And the reason we're holding off on the release is because I wanna be able to tour behind it. So pretty much as soon as I'm done touring with DEF LEPPARD, I'm going on the road with LAST IN LINE. I do keep busy.
"The new album — they just sent me a couple of mixes last night," he revealed. "Phil and Andy and Vinny are mixing the album back in L.A. And it's so exciting. It's a great second album. I mean, it shows real development and real growth. It sounds like a band's second album.
"We've been playing a lot of shows with Phil Soussan, and Phil's kind of brought in a different dimension to the band and it's really been kind of growing," Vivian added. "And it's a fun, fun project. I do it as much as I can."
LAST IN LINE's sophomore album is once again being produced by former DIO and current FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson.
In addition to Campbell, Soussan, Appice and Freeman, LAST IN LINE's current lineup includes keyboardist Erik Norlander (ASIA FEATURING JOHN PAYNE, DUKES OF THE ORIENT).
Bain passed away in January 2016 at the age of 68. He was reportedly suffering from lung cancer at the time of his death.
Freeman recently said some of the songs that will appear on LAST IN LINE's next album will be "a little more progressive" than those on the band's first effort. "Some of 'em are right in the vein of the 'Heavy Crown' record, but it's definitely evolving into our own thing, where it's not really 'what would Ronnie do?' sort of thing," he explained.