LAST IN LINE, the band featuring DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell alongside fellow founding DIO members Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain and Claude Schnell, plus singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB, will enter the studio in April to begin recordings its first freshly composed original material.
The news of LAST IN LINE's recording plans was revealed by Campbell during an interview with "The Bob And Coe Show" on San Diego's 101.5 KGB radio station.
Speaking about his stint with THIN LIZZY in 2011 while DEF LEPPARD was on a break from touring, Vivian said:"They were such an influence on me in my formative years of guitar playing. I mean, I knew all their licks inside and out, I knew every solo. The guitar players of THIN LIZZY were such big influences to me — Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson from the classic lineup in the '70s, and then in particular Gary Moore was probably the most influential of all of them. So to go on stage and to play with Scott Gorhan and Brian Downey was just fantastic. It really kind of reconnected me to my inner 16-year-old. It kind of lit a bit of a fire under my ass about playing guitar again, to be honest.
"I came off that tour, and the first thing I did was call the guys from the original DIO band — Vinny Appice and Jimmy Bain — and we went into a rehearsal room and started playing. 'Cause I really just wanted to play rock again. And as a result of that, we kind of [ended up] doing some shows under the name of LAST IN LINE, the second DIO album. One thing has led to another, and now we're going into the studio in April to record some new music for that. So it's amazing how the effects can start from that one phone call: 'Hey, you wanna play with THIN LIZZY?'"
LAST IN LINE performs material from the early DIO records that Campbell appeared on.
Vivian Campbell's former SWEET SAVAGE bandmate Ray Haller filled in for Jimmy Bain at LAST IN LINE's October 20, 2013 performance at the Loud Park festival at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
Speaking to David "Gus" Griesinger of BackstageAxxess.com at the January 2013 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, Campbell stated about reuniting with the original DIO band: "We're calling it LAST IN LINE after the second [DIO] album. It's the original DIO band — myself, Vinny Appice on drums, Jimmy Bain on bass, Claude Schnell on keyboards, and we found a terrific singer called Andy Freeman, who can totally do justice to the songs. Actually, he doesn't sound anything like Ronnie [James Dio], which is great, [because] I don't wanna draw that comaprison. Ronnie was a very unique singer, but Andy is a great singer in his own right, and he certainly sings the songs very respectfully.
"The original band, we actually wrote the majority of that material as a band, so I feel like we're entitled to go out and play it. I don't think we're a tribute band or a cover band or anything like that.
"There's obviously a big legacy of DIO music, and I think I'm right in saying that most people would think that those early DIO albums are the strongest, so we are just chuffed to play it."
Campbell and Ronnie James Dio worked together on the first three DIO albums — 1983's "Holy Diver", 1984's "The Last in Line" and 1985's "Sacred Heart" — before Irishman Campbell left to join WHITESNAKE in 1987.
ROCKwellUnScene.com has uploaded multi-camera video footage of LAST IN LINE performing the song "We Rock" on October 12, 2013 at Ramona Mainstage in Ramona, California. Check it out below. Photos of the concert are available at this location.