Pick Your Rock and Metal

Friday, December 02, 2016

INTERVIEW: Vivian Campbell chats ahead of Last In Line Limelight show on Saturday

TOMORROW (Saturday 3rd December) Last In Line finish up their Autum tour with a slot in Belfast's Limelight1 with support from Toseland.

As the band prepared for the show we caight up with Viivian Campbell to chat about Last In Line and their progress and the tragedies they faced.
But first as they draw the tour to an end was Vivian relieved the tour - like any tour - was coming to a close.

"To be honest, I think I'll be mostly sad that it's over," he said. "It's been a great tour and the band has been tremendously well received everywhere that we've played. That said, I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and enjoying the upcoming holidays".

At their date in Wales for Hard Rock Hell X the performance of Last In Line drew a rapturous response from front to back, but did the band get a sense of the buzz throughout the room?

"Absolutely," enthused Vivian. "Fans of this kind of music are very passionate about it and that
passion translates back to us. The energy that we put out from the stage is an integral part of it all, too; you can't play music like this while staring at your shoes".
Vivian and Last in Line singer
Andy Freeman on stage
at Hard Rock Hell X

While the band initially formed to commemorate and celebrate the music from the first three Dio albums they have their own new release 'Heavy Crown' tracks of which have been aired on the tour.

"The new songs seem to fit seamlessly in amongst the Dio songs that we're playing and we couldn't ask for more than that," he said. "The nature of the music on 'Heavy Crown' is very much in the vein of classic Dio.

"It wasn't really something that we intentionally set out to do, but when Jimmy, Vinny and myself play together that's the sound of the band that wrote and recorded those early albums with Ronnie, so it's natural that it would have a similar character".

The feel of 'Heavy Cown' and the classic tracks are getting such a positive response live from those who were there in the 80s and those not even born when they were aired - it is a sense of the music being 'reborn'.

"Yes, very much so. A lot of today's music is computer generated, overly compressed and/or overly corrected through digital media.

"As a result of that, it lacks some of the dynamics of old-school rock. I think there's a real resurgence of and an appreciation for great classic rock, both in recorded form and in the live arena."

Which must make it a challenge to put together a setlist from the ample supply of songs.

"We limit the Dio classics we play to the first 3 albums" he said.

"Those are the albums that featured the original band and within those albums there are many great songs to chose from. However, it's important to us that we also represent the new music from "Heavy Crown", so we try to strike a balance. We're also very adept at changing the set list as we go to reflect what we feel is the mood of the audience."

And, there are plans to once more step into the studio for the next Last In Line release.

"We're already started the writing process for the next record," said Vivian. "We don't know when, exactly we'll be able to deliver a new album, but it will be completed sometime in 2017."

However, the passing of Jimmy Bain also came recently, but he has left a substantial legacy.

"Jimmy was involved in the writing and recording of many great classic records over his long career," said Vivian. "He was a very gifted writer who I feel never got the recognition that he truly deserved. His input on "Heavy Crown" was immense and he was very, very proud of both the band and the record. I feel that "Heavy Crown" is a fitting end to an illustrious legacy."

The last time we chatted to Vivian he revealed that as well as Last In Line and playing in Def Leppard he also played in a bar band. How does a man keep his hunger for strapping on the six-string?
Vivian comfortable with his
six-string at HRH X 

"It's quite simple, really, we are what we do, and I'm a guitar player," he said. "That's all I ever wanted to do from the time I was a child and I feel incredibly fortunate that I've been able to lead the life that I have and that I've gotten to play with so many talented musicians and bands.

"There have been times in my career when that hunger has waned slightly, but as long as you keep feeding the passion it never truly dies."

And, if you never have seen Last In Line you'll realise that Vivian's passion burns bright with every note he plays. Make sure you don't miss tomorrow's show!

Interview by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures courtesy of Darren McVeigh of MetalplanetBelfast

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