Mark Dean of MyGlobalMind webzine recently conducted an interview with former DIO and current LAST IN LINE members Vinny Appice (drums) and Jimmy Bain (bass). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
MyGlobalMind: How did it feel to be performing [the early DIO] songs live again [with LAST IN LINE] on a stage after so many years?
Jimmy: It was great. It was a real buzz.
Vinny: It's kind of like there is a magic there; that's a word that Ronnie [James Dio] always used. I have played some of these songs with other bands, and different projects and stuff. There is nothing like playing them with Jimmy and Viv [Vivian Campbell, guitar] and Claude [Schnell, keyboards]. There is just a flow to it. It was pretty intense playing them, but fun, you know. The sound was, like, monstrous. It was great.
MyGlobalMind: Vinny, let's discuss [BLACK SABBATH's] "Mob Rules" [album].
Vinny: Well, the interesting thing about "Mob Rules" is that we were on tour, I had joined the band as Bill Ward had left. It wasn't like a permanent thing; it was just until Bill comes back. As it went along, we were really getting close together. During the "Heaven And Hell" tour, Warner Brothers asked us to do a song for the "Heavy Metal" movie. We had a couple of days off so we went into Ascot, John Lennon's house, and Ringo's [Starr] house, and we recorded and wrote [the song] "The Mob Rules" in there. We recorded it and put it together and it came out amazing. We were, like, "Wow, this is going to work." When we wound up the tour, we ended up in L.A. and we re-recorded it on our album. There are two different versions of "The Mob Rules" and a lot of people don't know that. It was cool, though, because we were in the house. We set the drums up in the hall; it was like a band taking over a house but it was BLACK SABBATH. It was a lot of fun and a good vibe.
MyGlobalMind: Returning to the reason that we are chatting, what are the future plans for LAST IN LINE? I chatted to Viv last week, and he had hinted at something more than just a run of a few shows. Will the band work on some new material, perhaps you already have?
Vinny: We haven't really talked about anything — recordings or anything. It's funny — it started off as a jam: "Hey, do you want to get together?" "Yeah." And we had so much fun and it sounded great, and, "Hey, let's play again." Viv said that he wanted to do some gigs, and we said, "Let's do it," that this would be great. It would be great to play these songs correctly [laughs] after all these years. We are looking forward to doing a lot of touring, not just a side project for a couple of weeks.
MyGlobalMind: What's the biggest lesson that the rock and roll business has taught you?
Vinny: Probably [that] musicians are not taught much about the music [business], because you feel that you are a musician, and you write the songs, and that is all within you. What it will teach you whether it is easy or hard is the actual fucking [music] business… Where the money is and how to survive, who's ripping you off and what's going on. You have got to be in control of all that shit and keep a finger on the pulse; otherwise, you don't survive. There is always somebody out there with a hand out. It teaches musicians more about the business, I think, and how things work.
MyGlobalMind: With the significant changes in recent years, is it harder for musicians to make a living these days?
Vinny: When we started in the Eighties, it was pretty much a formula. You get a band, you get a record deal, and the money was big. Especially if you had names in the band, you got the money. You had the money to make an album, to tour, through merchandising. Everything was bigger, and people sold a lot of records. If you didn't sell 300,000 [copies of an album], people were not happy. You had to sell 500,000 for gold and platinum; that was big. Now, if you sell 30,000 records, you are doing good; it's a whole different thing. It was more of a formula then; now it is like more unknown. You ask, "How do we get this going?" I have got a band, KILL DEVIL HILL, with Rex Brown [PANTERA] in the band and we have got a second album. We got off one label because they didn't do anything. We are going with another label, for less money but the money is so small.
Read the entire interview at MyGlobalMind.
LAST IN LINE performance footage: