It's been eight years since Vin Campbell and Vinny Appice shaped the group Last In Line in tribute to their onetime bandmate, the late Ronnie James Dio. But now, Campbell says with fun, "If I had identified again then we'd nonetheless be round and speaking about our second album of unique music, I'd by no means have named the band Last In Line."
Last In Line is certainly coming with a brand new album, II — whose video for the opening monitor "Blackout The Sun" is premiering solely beneath — on Feb. 22. The follow-up to 2016's Heavy Crown contains a new bass participant, Phil Soussan, rather than the late Jimmy Bain, and Campbell hopes it has an developed sound from its predecessor.
"It actually seems like a band's second album — one of many the reason why I elected to simply merely name it II," Campbell — who was a part of the unique Dio band with Appice and Bain from 1982-86 and performed on its first three studio albums — tells Billboard. "It actually seems like a growing band. That Dio element remains to be there; We nonetheless have that crunch that Vinny and I’ve after we play collectively. But on (II) we've actually created our personal sound with the affect from Andrew (Freeman, singer) and now Phil, who's a extra formidable bass participant than Jimmy. We've created one thing that's a bit extra distinctive and sounds extra formidable and adventurous than the Heavy Crown album.
"I'm nicely happy with it, I've received to say. There's nothing concerning the file I might re-do. It got here out nice."
Campbell says the primary couple of songs that got here alongside helped outline the broader dynamic assault of II, which was once more produced by Foreigner/Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson. "Blackout The Sun" was one; "It's a quite simple track, a quite simple riff," the guitarist notes. "It harkens again extra to the basic Dio sound. It's undoubtedly a track I might've heard Ronnie doing." "Landslide," in the meantime, has a extra modern taste — nonetheless heavy however with an edgy riff and smoother dynamic.
"We just about added an additional dimension to each track on the album that I don't suppose we dared to consider after we had been doing Heavy Crown," Campbell acknowledges. "I really feel like we're musically extra adventurous, and numerous that has to do with simply the pure passage of time and that we've had just a few years with Phil within the band and a bunch of reside reveals to actually get to know one another musically and stretch out. We've type of come into our personal, which is what you need a band to do."
Last In Line will probably be taking part in extra of these reveals, beginning this week in Texas and going into the spring, out and in of Campbell's schedule with Def Leppard. Last In Line may also be on the identical invoice as Leppard on June 14 at this yr's Download Festival within the U.Okay. "There's nonetheless a little bit of confusion, 'trigger the band is called after a Dio album," notes Campbell, who's hoping to make use of graphics and different instruments to re-brand Last In Line with its personal id, maybe as LiL. "Obviously we've received two albums of unique materials, so we'll be capable to match extra of our personal originals into the present and there'll be much less Dio classics — although that's nonetheless very, very a lot the heritage of Vinny and I, and the place the band grew from. We'll nonetheless be taking part in Dio classics, however now we now have extra of our unique materials to slot in round it."
Campbell says the connection between Last In Line and the Dio camp remains to be frosty. "I noticed Wendy Dio at (Bain's) funeral and he or she type of blanked me, and that's to be anticipated," Campbell notes. "There isn't lots there between us." But the guitarist does voice help for the Dio hologram that's being trotted out with the Dio Disciples band of subsequent alumni. "I'm not knocking that," Campbell says. "It's all leisure. I perceive there's many, many individuals who by no means received to see Ronnie carry out whereas he was alive, in order that's, I assume, as shut as they're gonna get. What they're doing is conserving the legacy of Dio and the Dio band alive, and that's a profit to us in Last In Line. And what we're doing is a profit to them. It's all half and parcel of the identical factor."
As for his "day job" with Def Leppard, Campbell plans to be busy with reside performances in Europe and Canada, although a lighter schedule, definitely from 2018, will give him extra time to deal with Last In Line. A red-letter day, nonetheless, comes March 29, when the group is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Brooklyn. Though not a fan of the Rock Hall earlier than this, Campbell, who joined Def Leppard throughout 1992 to exchange the late Steve Clark, says he's excited concerning the prospect.
"I'm the 'new man' — I've been within the band 27 years, and we've had some very, very lean years in these 27," he says. "But we've labored actually laborious, and I'd say 30 or 40 % of our audiences are actually younger sufficient to be our kids, so we've actually crossed that generational factor. That, and being within the Hall of Fame, kind of feels validating. It's an excellent time to be in Def Leppard."