Alan Dixon from The Metal Voice spoke to Foreigner and Classic Dokken Bassist Jeff Pilson as he was performing with Foreigner in Montreal Quebec Canada on March 13 2019.
Watch the interview here:
Pilson spoke about the latest The Last in Line album, Foreigner’s current tour, Dio Disciples upcoming studio album and his new project The End Machine with Classic Dokken lineup.
When asked about the new Last in Line album called II that he produced
“I am very proud of that record, it’s an amazing record, I love working with that band. The guys in the band, Vivian Campbell, Phil Soussan and Vinny Appice have been friends for 30 plus years. And of course Andrew Freeman is an amazing singer. It’s great to hear Vivian Campbell shredding again as he did on the first record. The songs on this record are so strong and the band really has their own identity now. ”
When asked about Foreigners current Canadian Tour
“This tour has been amazing, we love Canada, Canada is a very good market for us and we are going to come back to Canada a lot. I have done more shows with Foreigner than Dokken but I have been a member of Dokken for a longer time. Foreigner has always been a positive influence on me from the minute Foreigner came out I was a fan. ”
When asked about his participation in writing for the upcoming Dio Disciples album
“I have written a couple of songs for them, I probably won’t actually be recording the record because I don’t think there is a way to fit it into my busy schedule, I would love it if I could. I know they are interested in a couple of songs I wrote for the band. Also I love working with Craig Goldby the guitarist of the band, he and I have collaborated over the years. Hopefully there will be more work with the Dio Disciples but at this point it is just limited to just writing songs but I am hoping I can do some recording with them. ”
When asked about the new album with his new band The End Machine
“I am really excited about this album, we will also be playing shows with The End Machine. We got Robert Mason in as the vocalist who is incredible. I am really pleased with the songs, the songwriting and musical chemistry. I knew that the chemistry would be there with, George, Mick and I, but it was so great to hear what Robert brought to the album and how he really rounded it off. There are some Dokken and Lynch Mob influences there of course but it stands on it’s own musically. Also George Lynch is the greatest rock guitarist player on the planet, there is no question in my mind. The thing with George if you give him a sound he likes 99% of the time something brilliant is going to come out of him. There is a lot of depth to the record, there is straight ahead stuff and there is moments when we really let ourselves go which was really fun to do and gratifying. ”
Last in Line “II” was released on February 22 via Frontiers Music Srl. DIO DISCIPLES is made up of former members of DIO, along with a rotating lineup of vocalists, including Owens and Logan and Wendy Dio revealed in an interview this past spring that DIO DISCIPLES’ debut album will be released via BMG. THE END MACHINE’s debut album, will be released on March 22 via Frontiers Music Srl. The End Machine featuring three members of the classic DOKKEN lineup — George Lynch (guitar), Jeff Pilson(bass) and Mick Brown (drums) — along with former LYNCH MOB and current WARRANT singer Robert Mason
THE END MACHINE will play its first set of shows in April. Brown will be unable to make the dates and will be temporarily replaced by EVANESCENCE’s Will Hunt.
The details are as follows:
April 04 – Whisky A Go Go – Los Angeles, CA
April 05 – Count’s Vamp’d – Las Vegas, NV
April 06 – Encore – Tucson, AZ
Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke to Ex- Dio, Last in Line and Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell. Campbell, spoke about his battle with cancer, Last in Line’s new album and not getting paid in Dio which resulted in him getting fired.
LAST IN LINE’s sophomore album, “II”, will be released February 22 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Watch the interview here:
When asked about his current health and his battle with Cancer
“I’m tired today I got another infusion yesterday, I’m supposed to do them every three to four weeks but given the touring schedule particularly last year with Def Leppard I had to push it to six to seven weeks. I’ve been very fortunate that I found a treatment that works for me. I was part of a clinical trial for this new wonder drug almost four years ago and now it got FDA approved and it’s working for me, so it’s holding everything in place. Also it has minimal side effects, it’s immunotherapy a general term given to a bunch of these new drugs that basically bolster the immune system and the body and so your body can fight cancer. My oncologist seems to be happy for now. I feel very fortunate as there’s only about a third of the population who actually has been able to use this drug and get good results from it because it’s based on your genetic makeup. You have to have a certain genetic marker in order to be given this drug, something called PDL, which I happen to have and about a third of the population has as well. This drug will be given to people regardless of what your what kind of cancer you have, as long as you have this PDL. So if you have lung cancer or in my case lymphoma it will yield good results.”
When asked about what it was like to work with producer Jeff Pilson on the New Last in Line Album coming out on Feb 22 2019
“Jeff has so much energy. Jeff is very upbeat, funny, it’s always a better room when Jeff is in it. Jeff’s musical talent is quite diverse too, he’s a lot more than a bass player, he plays keyboards, guitar and sings. He is also a very experienced and talented songwriter, engineer and producer, just a really really well-rounded very talented artist. It’s always a pleasure to work with Jeff, the hardest part about working with Jeff is just nailing him, he’s so busy and that’s true of all of us.”
When asked about recording the new Last in Line album
“We have to work around everyone’s we’re evolving busy schedules and and we kind of do these records piecemeal, it’s not like we go in and we’ve got three or four weeks to actually make a record I mean that would be luxurious. We’d write and record two three four songs at a time and then there would be months in between where we would reconvene and do another two three four songs.”
When asked if there is a Dio flavour to the album and what it was like to play with Phil Soussan
“There’s the underlying element of the Dio vibe yes, that’s because we have 50% of the original Dio members in this band now. When we started the project Jimmy Bain was still alive, so when Jimmy, Vinny Appice and I played it was like the Holy Diver album all over again.There’s just a chemistry that the three had when we played together. Losing Jimmy Bain was a real kick in the nuts for us but we eventually we carried on and we were very fortunate to get Phil Soussan (Ex-Ozzy). Phil is very much cut from the same cloth as Jimmy and in terms of understanding the kind of dynamics or that kind of music but he’s a different player than Jimmy. Jimmy was a very fundamental player, with a huge tone and just great timing. Phil is less of a fundamental player he’s a little bit more adventurous and musical and he wants to find passages to play.”
When asked about the organic growth of Last in Line band
“When the project started we had no ambition other than to play songs from the first three do albums and play some clubs around LA where we were living at the time. Had I known that we were going to record and release albums of original music I would have thought twice about naming the band Last in Line. It just seemed like a very appropriate title at the time. Ronnie had passed away about a year and a half prior to us starting this project and we just wanted to go ahead and play the early Dio songs and have fun. Nobody thought it was gonna grow and become a real serious band but here we are.”
When asked about his thoughts about bands today who sound like Dio Copycats
” I would say, I have no idea to be honest I’m not familiar with them. I don’t listen to a lot of music, I generally live under a rock and I just kind of do my own thing. But you know if our singer Andrew Freeman had walked into that rehearsal room back in late 2011 and if he had sounded anything like Ronnie I wouldn’t have planned any shows. I just think that would be a bit cheesy,. Ronnie was the best of his genre and he was just like such a gifted singer had such a unique voice and tonality and style. I think it would have been really creepy to to go on stage with a Ronnie clone. I had a lot of people say to me why didn’t you get this guy or that guy they sound like Ronnie but that’s totally missing the point,. Andrew freeman is a really strong singer, he can sing anything and he can sing the Ronnie stuffy that’s in his wheelhouse and but he does it in his own way. The tonality of his voice is totally different and makes it his own and that’s what appealed to me in the first place and that’s what made this in interest project for me.”
When asked about him getting fired for standing up for himself because of payments that were promised but not delivered
” I was in my early twenties and it wasn’t about the money to me but it’s about the principle, I’m very very big on principle. When somebody makes me a promise I expect them to keep it because I keep my word it’s that’s just the way I was brought up. When I tell somebody I’m going to do something I meet my commitments. Ronnie had made us a promise and payment and we worked for very little money, less than our road crew and the band was very successful. Back then people bought records and we were selling a lot of records and we were all very involved in the creative process, it was really a collaborative process. We were kind of squeezed. Wendy Dio who never really saw it as a band. She never really saw the value in the band and that’s something that really really upset me. ”
“After I was fired I think Ronnie knew better he understood the real magic that the original band had and the chemistry we had and how we created together. I think Ronnie was really fearful of her and he never stood up. Like I said it was never about money I just wanted what Ronnie promised, it was a contract that was between the four of us and and he just wasn’t man enough to follow through on it and and I called him on it and I got fired as a result. It was very painful for me for many years. We never got royalty checks that was the whole issue, we worked for for minimum wages even though we were writing the music we got no royalties, we got none of the merchandise or the t-shirts or those ticket sales for the venue’s or anything. We got a flat salary that was less than the road crew. Ronnie had promised by the third album Sacred Heart there would be an equity situation so that was the the principal that got me fired. You know they offered us a few few hundred dollars more per week and then I got sent a contract by Wendy and it said failure to sign and return this contract by this date will constitute you’re no longer being in the band. I tried to call Ronnie, I was in Ireland at the time, it was a break between legs of the Sacred Heart tour which finished North America. I’d gone back to visit my family my parents and I got this contract in a FedEx envelope and I was shocked I opened it and and I tried to call Ronnie and he wouldn’t answer the phone. Next thing you know Craig Goldie is the guitarist. It was a seamless transition obviously it was well-executed and planned you know but that I wouldn’t change any of that, I would change maybe how I reacted to it in later years. Ronnie and I both made the mistake of airing our grievances in public which is never a good idea but you know it is what it is and it was only after Ronnie passed away that I was really able to kind of look at the entire situation in a very different light. For years I didn’t want anything to do with with the legacy of Dio. Later on I really wanted to reconnect with that fire.
When asked if Pete Wilis the original guitarist will join the band on their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
“I really don’t know I mean you know Joe Elliot put it out there in an interview. I know that Pete’s Willis was welcome to come join, I hope he does I really do. I only ever met Pete once many years ago very briefly and you know I don’t know the guy at all but he was a very very important part of the legacy of the original Def Leppard. I think it’d be great if he shows up. ”
When asked if he would have mended fences with Ronnie today and work together if he was alive
” I think if the gatekeepers would have let that happen Ronnie and I absolutely would have worked together again. There are always people who come between artists. People always ask me well what’s Ronnie like. Ronnie had his good days and his bad days there were days when when Ronnie was really difficult to be around and there were days when he was a real pleasure to be around. I think Ronnie was very proud of me as a guitar player particularly in the early days he really liked taking me around L.A .saying this is my new guitar player, look what I discovered, like Ozzy had Randy Rhoads. I wanted to bring my best riffs and then play my best solos I wanted to be the best I could be for that band and then I gave my all because again we were working towards a common goal or so we thought. ”
DEF LEPPARD’s brand new greatest-hits collection titled “The Story So Far – The Best Of”, was released in November.
The band will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this spring. The honor comes after the British rockers got the most votes in the Rock Hall’s online fan poll.
Vivian Campbell says: Dio needed a “proper” band manager – and not the singer’s ex-wife Wendy, reported teamrock.com.
The guitarist, who says he was fired by Wendy because he refused to accept a new contract, says the woman was not “musical” enough to understand that the group were a “creative unit” – and they weren’t just Ronnie James Dio’s “backing band.”
He tells All That Shreds: “I would like to make emphasis on the point that I was fired from the band. So many people here 30-something years later people still think that I left Dio, but it was never my intention to leave the band.
“The reason I was fired from the band was that I refused to accept a contract that they offered me which was contrary to the original agreement Ronnie had made with Jimmy, Vinny and myself when the band was first formed. Wendy had different ideas for how it was going to be and for me it was a matter of principle and I refused to sign the contract and that’s why I was fired.”
Campbell has previously spoken out about Wendy – claiming she wanted Dio to be a solo act and thought each band member was replaceable.
He continues: “The original Dio band was a four-piece creative unit and Wendy never understood that. She’s not musical. So, Ronnie and I, I think would have been fine. She doesn’t know that the sign of a great band is the sum of the parts.”
Campbell also says that, despite his occasionally “awkward” relationship with Dio, he’d have worked with him again if Wendy hadn’t been on the scene.
He says: “Hypothetically if somebody else, if Ronnie had a proper manager and not his ex-wife, I would have never been fired from the band and Ronnie and I would’ve never had an issue. We didn’t communicate very well together on a personal level, but on a musical level we worked well together.
“Would I have gotten back together with Ronnie? Yes, but Wendy Dio never would have never allowed it to happen if she was involved in his career. Right up until his death she was involved in his career. I’m going to go with ‘no’ on that.”
Campbell’s Dio offshoot project Last In Line released a lyric video for their track _Already Dead_ last month. They’re currently on the road in Europe in support of their debut album, Heavy Crown.
Last In Line: Heavy Crown tour dates
Nov 13: Zwolle Hedon, Netherlands
Nov 14: Paris Le Trianon, France
Nov 16: Strasbourg La Laiterie, France
Nov 17: Stuttgart LKA Longhorn, Germany
Nov 18: Telfs Rathaussaal, Austria
Nov 19: Zlin Winter Masters Of Rock, Czech Republic
Nov 21: Warsaw Progresja Music Zone, Poland
Nov 22: Berlin Huzleys Neue Welt, Germany
Nov 23: Cologne Luxor Koln, Germany
Nov 25: London O2 Academy Islington, UK
Nov 27: Bristol Bierkeller, UK
Nov 28: Nottingham Rescue Rooms, UK
Nov 30: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, UK
Dec 01: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Dec 02: Sheffield Corporation, UK
Dec 03: Belfast Limelight, UK
DEF LEPPARD and LAST IN LINE guitarist, Vivian Campbell, has released a statement via his official Facebook page with his reaction to the death of his band mate Jimmy Bain. Read the full statement below:
“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I must confirm the news of the passing of our dear friend and Last In Line band-mate, Jimmy Bain. It was Jimmy who gave me my first big break in the music industry and for that I am forever indebted.
Jimmy’s struggles with his demons were well documented through the years, but over the last 18 months he had finally won that battle and he was bright and lucid and motivated throughout the writing and recording of the new record. He leaves behind him a rich legacy of work from Rainbow, through Wild Horses, Dio, and finally, Last In Line. Jimmy was immensely proud of our new album and his input to it was immeasurable.
He was a very kind and gentle and generous soul and our lives were greatly enriched for having known him. We will continue to celebrate his life through his music.
On behalf of Vinny and Andrew, our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this most difficult of times.
According to Ayres Rock Management, ALICE COOPER drummer Glen Sobel (IMPELLITTERI, ORIANTHI, SIXX A:M, PAUL GILBERT) will enter the studio on Monday, December 16 to begin tracking songs for DEF LEPPARD and LAST IN LINE guitarist Vivian Campbell‘s forthcoming solo record. Sobel is a member of Campbell’s club band, SIR SODOFF & THE TRAINWRECKS, who can be seen playing shows around the Los Angeles area.
Sobel has also tracked drums for the upcoming ALICE COOPER covers record which is due out in 2014. A collection of classic tunes, it will feature a variety of yet-to-be disclosed special guests. Cooper will resume touring next year, including a confirmed Sweden Rock Festival headline appearance on June 5, 2014.
Drum-cam footage of Sobel’s solo from the Cooper band’s August 2013 performance in Slupsk, Poland can be seen below: