Vivian Campbell has laughed off the "cash-grab" accusations leveled at his LAST IN LINE project, saying that the band is barely making ends meet while on the road.
"You're talking about flying Southwest, staying at a Holiday Inn Express, driving in a... van and eating cheese sandwiches every day," he told Tulsa World.
"I do not need to do the LAST IN LINE thing," the guitarist, who has been a member of DEF LEPPARD for 27 years, continued. "I do it because it's catharsis for the soul. I'm certainly not doing it for the money. It makes me a better guitar player and I think I'm playing better than I've ever played in my life and I think DEF LEPPARD benefits from it."
Campbell, along with drummer Vinny Appice and bassist Jimmy Bain, was part of DIO's first incarnation, which reunited in 2012 alongside singer Andrew Freeman to form 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.
"I wouldn't have done it if Ronnie was still alive because, if Ronnie was still alive, then there would have been some incarnation of the band DIO and I wouldn't have wanted to compete with that or be in conflict with it," Campbell told Tulsa World.
LAST IN LINE takes its name from the second DIO album released in 1984. Appice, Bain and Campbell were Ronnie James Dio's co-conspirators and co-writers on the "Holy Diver", "The Last In Line" and "Sacred Heart" albums — the records that defined the classic early DIO sound and have gone on to become part of rock history.
LAST IN LINE's sophomore album, "II", was released in February via Frontiers Music Srl. As with 2016's "Heavy Crown", the new disc was produced by DOKKEN and FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson.
"Heavy Crown"'s 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 renowned bassist Phil Soussan (ex-OZZY OSBOURNE) and committed to sustained touring in support of the album, hitting festivals, headlining clubs, and sharing the stage with metal luminaries such as SAXON and MEGADETH.