Vivian Campbell has confirmed to the "Thunder Underground" podcast that LAST IN LINE will begin the songwriting process for the band's third album this summer. Asked if producer Jeff Pilson, who worked with LAST IN LINE on both 2016's "Heavy Crown" and this year's "II", will once again helm the upcoming disc, Vivian said (hear audio below): "I love working with Jeff; it's a dynamic that really works for me. The problem has always been scheduling. Jeff is a very, very busy guy, as a producer and as a member of FOREIGNER."
He continued: "When we did the 'Heavy Crown' album with Jeff — back in 2015, we were recording that one — it was very difficult trying to find the time when everyone's schedule lined up — Jeff's and mine and the other guys' — to where we could go in the studio and record. And we had to do it kind of piecemeal, where we would get three or four days at a time with Jeff, and then a couple of weeks would pass, and then we'd have another three or four days. And it was even more stretched on the 'II' album. So that would be the only reason why we wouldn't wanna work with Jeff; we kind of align our schedules. But other than that, I think he's an incredible talent and he's got the right kind of personality to work with in the studio. He's got great energy, and the pace that he works at is great — it's really high tempo, and we kind of tend to record that way. And, obviously, we're on a very limited budget. [Laughs] It's not the 1980s where you go into a studio for nine weeks and cut a couple of drum tracks. We really kind of have to do it guerilla style — you go in, you set up, you get some sounds and you cut the track. Like, 'Okay, that's good. Let's move on.' But we are gonna try to start to write the record this August when I'm in Las Vegas with DEF LEPPARD; we're doing a residency there at Planet Hollywood. So on the days when I'm not doing DEF LEPPARD shows, we're gonna go in and start writing in a rehearsal room for the next LAST IN LINE record. I don't know when we'll actually get around to starting to record it, but it will be a great opportunity for us to get a head start on the writing. Besides, the other advantage of it means I don't have any downtime in Las Vegas, 'cause that's not the kind of city where I wanna not be working."
Asked if fans can expect to see the third LAST IN LINE album released in 2020, Vivian said: "I would hope so. But I wouldn't wanna say it would be early in the year. Like I say, it really depends a lot on the schedules for both myself with DEF LEPPARD and whatever Jeff might have going with FOREIGNER and producing other records. We'd have to kind of see how it pans out in 2020. But certainly, yeah, we'll be getting the majority of it done sometime next year, and hopefully enough to get it released."
LAST IN LINE was formed in 2012, when Campbell, drummer Vinny Appice and bassist Jimmy Bain — Ronnie James Dio's co-conspirators and co-writers on the "Holy Diver", "Last In Line" and "Sacred Heart" albums — teamed up with singer Andrew Freeman. "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, hitting festivals, headlining clubs, and sharing the stage with metal luminaries such as SAXON and MEGADETH.