“Devil In Me”, the first song from LAST IN LINE — the band featuring DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell alongside fellow founding DIO members Vinny Appice and Jimmy Bain, plus singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB — will make its online debut on Tuesday, November 17. The track is taken from LAST IN LINE’s debut album, “Heavy Crown”, which will be released on February 19, 2016 via Frontiers Music Srl. The CD was recorded at a Southern California studio with producer Jeff Pilson, a veteran bassist who has played with DIO, FOREIGNER, DOKKEN and T&N, among others.
LAST IN LINE recently filmed music videos for the songs “Devil In Me” and “Starmaker” with director Jamie Brown of Smoking Gun, Inc. and co-producer Thomas McNeely.
In other news, LAST IN LINE has parted ways with keyboardist Claude Schnell. Campbell explained in a statement: “When we started this project a few years ago, the initial idea was to reunite the original DIO band to play the songs we wrote and recorded with Ronnie in the early 1980s. Joined by Andrew Freeman on vocals and original DIO keyboard player Claude Schnell, we played a handful of shows from southern California to the U.K to Japan. It was a limited ambition, but one that brought us great joy in reconnecting to this great music, to each other, and to our collective history.
“Our ambition at that time didn’t extend to writing and recording any new music, but when we were offered the opportunity to do so by the Frontiers record label, we took that step forward. At that time, it was decided that we enter the studio to write this new album in the very same spirit as we did the ‘Holy Diver’ record: In autumn of 1982 Ronnie, Vinny, Jimmy and I went into Sound City studios to kick around ideas and riffs, and about six weeks later we started laying down the tracks for what was to become the ‘Holy Diver’ album. It was after ‘Holy Diver’ was written and recorded that we brought in Claude to embellish certain songs in a way that the guitar just couldn’t do. From that time forward, Claude became an essential part of the band’s live shows.
“In retracing our footsteps, we again started to write this new album as a four-piece band — thus keeping the emphasis on guitar-driven songs. In the course of doing so, we have decided to continue on that path and remain a four-piece band.
“We wish Claude every success and he remains a very close friend and confidant to all concerned.”
Asked if the LAST IN LINE material sounds like the classic DIO albums, Vivian told Eddie Trunk in a recent interview: “The majority of it… Well, actually, I wouldn’t say the majority of it… I would say a good 50 percent of the songs would sound right at home on those first three DIO albums, and the others have a bit more of a modern edge to them. I mean, when you get Vinny and Jimmy and I playing, it sounds like the early DIO records, ‘cause that’s what it is. Obviously, Andy is a very, very different singer, he’s got a very different instrument, and he writes lyrics very differently. I’m very, very impressed with where Andy has gone lyrically on the record, too; that’s another thing. So it’s great. It is so epic sounding. We’ve got some amazing songs on this, and I’m hyper excited about it, as you can probably tell.”