During a recent appearance on the “Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon” podcast, former DIO and current FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson — who produced LAST IN LINE‘s 2016 debut album, “Heavy Crown” — provided an update on that band’s in-progress, as-yet-untitled second album. “It will probably [come out in] 2019, mostly because of DEF LEPPARD‘s touring schedule, because LAST IN LINE want to go out and do some live shows when the record comes out,” Pilson said (audio link below; relevant portion starts at the one-hour, 11-minute mark). “LEPPARD‘s touring up until December, so you probably won’t see the LAST IN LINE stuff until January. But, having said that, we are eight songs deep vocally. Eleven songs have been recorded — basic tracks with everything. There’s three more vocals left to go, and it’s absolutely incredible. It’s such a magical record, I can’t even begin to describe it. The quality of the music; the inspiration everybody’s playing with; the songs, they’re just really good; and the band has developed to a point where they really have a sound about them now. Phil Soussan, who’s taken [late bassist] Jimmy’s [Bain] place, is just doing a phenomenal job, and they are just at their peak right now. Vivian [Campbell, guitar, also of DEF LEPPARD], it’s so great to hear him playing like this again. It’s just wonderful. Vinny [Appice, drums] is always great, but Vinny too is at the peak of his powers. It’s just amazing. It’s capturing at a band at the absolute perfect time. It’s going to be a monstrous record, and I’m not exaggerating one iota when I say that. I loved the first record — I really did — and I honestly feel, if anything, this is even stronger. The music that they’re coming up with on this record is so great. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
Appice, Campbell and Bain were part of the original DIO lineup which reunited in 2012 alongside singer Andrew Freeman to launch LAST IN LINE.
When LAST IN LINE formed, the intent was to celebrate Ronnie James Dio‘s early work by reuniting the members of the original DIO lineup. After playing shows that featured a setlist composed exclusively of material from the first three DIO albums, the band decided to move forward and create new music in a similar vein.
In addition to Campbell, Soussan, Appice and Freeman, LAST IN LINE‘s current lineup includes keyboardist Erik Norlander (ASIA FEATURING JOHN PAYNE, DUKES OF THE ORIENT).
Campbell told Ultimate Classic Rock that the new LAST IN LINE songs were a progression from the debut. “Some of the arrangements for these ideas that are in play at the moment, I would say they’re a little more complex than what’s on the first record,” he said. “And we do very much try to write as a band. That’s how we did the first record with LAST IN LINE — we’d just get in there and kick around ideas. A lot of times, stuff would come out of nothing.
“I’ve always said that I’ve been fortunate to play with so many great musicians and so many great drummers over the years, but Vinny inspires me like no other,” he continued. “There’s just times when we go in to write when I kind of feel like I don’t have any solid ideas that I can bring to the party. Vinny will just play a beat, and he plays with such great intent. It just kind of inspires me. Frequently, we’ll come up with ideas, just because of a groove that Vinny‘s laying down. It is very uplifting, I’ve got to say.”