In a brand new interview with Rock Today, Vivian Campbell spoke about LAST IN LINE's decision to carry on as a band, with Phil Soussan (OZZY OSBOURNE, BEGGARS & THIEVES, Steve Lukather) taking the place of late LAST IN LINE bassist Jimmy Bain. He said: "Jimmy was a great riff writer, and [the band] really meant so much to him, and that's the only reason why I feel we can continue to do this, because when Jimmy passed away, the initial effect on me was, 'Fuck it! That's it. We're done.' We'll put the [first LAST IN LINE] record out and that's the end of it, but on reflection, Jimmy put so much into this record, as indeed we all have, that we owe it to him and we owe it to ourselves and our legacy to work this record."
He continued: "We did have a tour planned for immediately after the record was released, but we obviously canceled that tour. We ended up doing some of the key shows a couple of months later like the Frontiers festival in Milan and we did the Rocklahoma festival at the end of May, but on reflection, it was important to us. It meant too much. The response to the record also helped fuel that decision, because people did genuinely respond to it and say, 'Hey, this is a great record. It's what we've been waiting for years,' so that obviously buoyed us a lot and we licked our wounds and picked it up and we were very fortunate that we got Phil Soussan, who's about as close as you can get to someone who plays in that style that Jimmy does."
Vivian added: "Phil knew Jimmy for years and years. We were all friends. He played for Ozzy for years and years. He gets what it's like to play that kind of aggressive, time-keeping percussive bass guitar like Jimmy did, so it's never going to be quite the same. No two people ever play the same — guitar, bass players, singers — we're all unique like our finger prints and that's what makes great bands and the chemistry as the interaction of these individuals. It's as close as we're going to come playing with someone like Phil Soussan and we owe it to Jimmy and his memory and the musical legacy that we have together. We finally decided we have to continue to do this, but it was a painful decision."
The DEF LEPPARD guitarist also dismissed persistent Internet speculation that his decision to launch LAST IN LINE was somehow financially motivated. He explained: "We're only doing six shows on the West Coast of America [in late October] before we go to Europe, and the reason for that is that's all we can afford to do.
"It's so difficult to get the economics of it to work. I'm not even talking about making money — I'm talking about not losing money.
"The last time we went and played in the U.K. in, I think, 2012, we lost money. It's just expensive to play in clubs, and a lot of people here in the States have been saying, 'Can you come to Texas? Can you come to the Midwest? Can you come to the East Coast?' I would love to do that, but it's so difficult at this level to make the economics work, but it is something we are going to try and do in 2017."
Vivian added: "I'm really excited about doing this because it's really cathartic to me to play in this band and to play guitar like this again and to reconnect with my inner 17-year-old and just wrangle the shit out of my Les Paul. It's such a visceral thrill for me to do that and it just gives me great joy, and I think that my whole perspective on this stuff is so different now since having a cancer diagnosis four years ago and continuing to deal with that demon. I really, really take great pleasure in these little things in life and to be on stage with these guys and play this music is just exhilarating.
"We are not doing this for money, believe me! There's fuck-all money in this. [Laughs] I get plenty of money in my day job with DEF LEPPARD. This is a passion project, this is very much a labour of love, and I'm very excited to do it."
Soussan made his live debut with LAST IN LINE in April at Count's Vamp'd Rock Bar & Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Freeman previously played with Soussan in the acclaimed Las Vegas rock and roll production "Raiding The Rock Vault".
Appice and Soussan had done a number of shows together as members of the all-star jam band BIG NOIZE.
Bain passed away in late January at the age of 68. He was reportedly suffering from lung cancer at the time of his death.
LAST IN LINE's debut album, "Heavy Crown", was released on February 19, 2016 via Frontiers Music Srl. The CD was recorded at a Santa Clarita, California studio with producer Jeff Pilson, a veteran bassist who has played with DIO, FOREIGNER, DOKKEN and T&N, among others.