Last month, guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed that he had been jamming with his former Dio bandmates. Inspired by his performance with Steel Panther, the current Def Leppard guitarist confirmed that he intended to tour and perform Dio’s music with drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain and keyboardist Claude Schnell, with singer Andrew Freeman filling in for the late Ronnie James Dio. And according to Schnell, the project is coming along great.
You can listen to Schnell’s entire interview with MusicLegends.ca in the video after the jump. However, in addition to sharing how great of an experience it has been to play with his former bandmates, the keyboardist also revealed some tentative plans. When asked [around 5:58 mark] whether the project was planning to go under the name Last In Line, Schnell said the following:
“That’s the plan at the moment; that seems to be the consensus, and from the e-mails that I have received and from the various commentaries that I have seen through the social sites and online, it’s been getting a very good response, so I think that’s probably gonna be the name that will survive. And also, it’s kind of a subtle nod to how, in his last efforts, when Ronnie did the Sabbath reunion of sorts, even though they couldn’t call it Sabbath, they chose to use the name of the first album on which Ronnie played with Sabbath. Similarly, the first Dio album on which we all played together — myself included — was The Last In Line. And I think Last In Line works better as a band name than Holy Diver does anyway.”
Schnell also gave a sneak peak at what Last In Line’s set list will include, saying:
“Well, it’s largely gonna be material from the first three albums — ‘Holy Diver’, ‘The Last In Line’ and ‘Sacred Heart’ — the albums on which Viv played. I don’t think we’re gonna be doing any material from the albums on which Craig [Goldy, Vivian’s replacement in DIO] played and the later incarnations of the band. But, fortunately, there is no shortage of material and hits on those first few records, so you can count on ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ and ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘Rock And Roll Children’, and so forth and so on. The list goes on and on, on and on.”
While Campbell and Appice’s other bands’ commitments would understandably get in the way of Last In Line’s plans, Schnell claims that they’ve already started talking about touring plans, saying:
“We’ve been putting out some feelers and getting some kind of feedback about… Actually, [there is] a very strong international interest in seeing this back on the road. Again, this is all kind of very ironic and surprising, because quite honestly, initially, the only interest in doing this is a bunch of friends getting together to have a play and socialize a little bit and kind of catch up. But, like I said, it just seemed so organic once we started playing that the notion of doing it more than once seemed inevitable. And, of course, with that being considered, then it was an obvious conclusion that, ‘Well, let’s see if anybody would be interested in hearing this.’ Needless to say, the ears that were listening within the rehearsal hall were on fire. There was an awful lot of, ‘Hey, that sounds like that band from way back when.’”
Again, it still could be a while till Last In Line actually hit the road. Campbell will be touring with Def Leppard all Summer, while Appice has been going full force with Kill Devil Hill. Either way, when Last In Line finally are ready to perform, Dio Disciples and The Southern Cross will have some major competition.
Schnell’s entire interview with MusicLegends.ca can be heard in the video after the jump.