During an appearance on this past Wednesday’s (August 3) episode of SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, LAST IN LINE guitarist Vivian Campbell spoke about the band’s upcoming EP, “A Day In The Life”, which will arrive on November 11 via earMUSIC. The effort is numbered and limited to 3,000 copies worldwide.
To kick things off, the title track, which is described in a press release as “one of the heaviest versions” of THE BEATLES classic “ever recorded,” was made available late last month digitally. The silver colored 12-inch vinyl also includes two live tracks and a recently recorded new track, which gives us a first hint of how LAST IN LINE‘s third album will sound like.
The trippy visuals in the accompanying music video are by artist Matt Mahurin — a big fan of LAST IN LINE and a four-decade filmmaker for rock and metal greats like METALLICA, U2, R.E.M. and DEF LEPPARD.
Regarding how LAST IN LINE‘s cover of “A Day In The Life” came together, Vivian said: “Going back to spring of 2020 when everything shut down, we talked about doing a cover song prior to that and we’d already started cutting the first six tracks for what will be the third album, which will come out early next year.
“LAST IN LINE always cuts tracks live and we look at each other in the studio while we do it; we have that push-pull dynamic going on,” he continued. “Well, ‘A Day In The Life’ is the one exception to that; that’s the one song that we didn’t do that way. We kind of did it the DEF LEPPARD way by building on a track and reverse-engineering it. That was just out of necessity, ’cause this was in March, April, May of 2020 and we couldn’t travel; we couldn’t be together. So we basically built up the track that way and did it remotely. And that was an interesting thing for us, because, like I said, that’s never anything we’ve done before or done since.”
Asked if he was a fan of THE BEATLES growing up, Campbell said: “THE BEATLES were huge for all of us. The first song I ever actually learned how to play on guitar was ‘She Loves You’. I remember working out the chords when I was a kid on holiday one summer. And I was well chuffed with myself ’cause I had actually figured that out.
“[‘A Day In The Life’] was a pretty ambitious song to take on,” he admitted. “To be honest, I don’t know how we really ended up on that one. We were discussing what would an appropriate and interesting cover for us to do. We didn’t wanna do something from the genre, so it wasn’t like we were gonna try and do an AC/DC song or something from the hard rock world. We decided we wanted to tackle something that would be a little left field. I’ve gotta say probably it was [bassist] Phil Soussan who came up with the idea for ‘A Day In The Life’, but we were certainly not in need of coaxing ’cause, like I said, we’re all massive, massive BEATLES fans. And it is such an ambitious song to take on, with time changes and key changes and whatnot, especially to do it in the way that we had to do it — in this remote sort of fashion. But it was good in as much as it actually gave us some impetus to do something and to keep moving forward. Like I said, this was spring of 2020 and all of a sudden all plans were on hold. So it was a good thing for us to keep inching the band forward and keep making that progression.”
“A Day In The Life” EP track listing:
01. A Day In The Life
02. Hurricane Orlagh
03. Devil In Me (Live)
04. Give Up The Ghost (Live)
Last month, LAST IN LINE drummer Vinny Appice told Robert Cavuoto of Metal Rules that the band had just completed work on its third studio album. He said: “Chris Collier, who mixes a lot of KORN stuff, he did our albums. He just finished the mix. And it sounds fantastic.”
The news of LAST IN LINE‘s partnership with earMUSIC was shared six months ago by Appice during a appearance on “Waste Some Time With Jason Green”. Vinny also revealed that LAST IN LINE completed recording six more new songs in late January at Danny “Count” Koker‘s Desert Moon studios in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Formed in 2012 by Appice, Campbell and bassist Jimmy Bain — Ronnie James Dio‘s co-conspirators and co-writers on the “Holy Diver”, “Last In Line” and “Sacred Heart” albums — LAST IN LINE‘s initial 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.
LAST IN LINE‘s debut album, “Heavy Crown”, was released in February 2016 via Frontiers Music Srl, landing at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Heatseekers chart. Initially, the release had been preceded by tragedy when Bain unexpectedly died at the age of 68 on January 23, 2016. LAST IN LINE, honoring what they knew would be Bain‘s wish to keep the band moving, brought in Soussan and committed to sustained touring in support of the album before beginning work on the follow-up release, 2019’s “II”, which was also made available through Frontiers Music Srl.
In February 2021, Appice told Metal From The Inside that former DOKKEN and current FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson, who produced both “II” and “Heavy Crown”, is not involved with the upcoming LAST IN LINE album. “We made a change,” he said. “Actually, the guy who mixed the last record, Chris Collier — he’s great; he’s working with KORN — he recorded this record. And we’re kind of producing it ourselves, between all of us.
“Jeff is great — Jeff‘s a great producer, and [he has] great ideas and stuff, but we just felt that we could probably do what we wanna do now that we’re a band, we’ve been on the road, and we know what we wanna hear,” he explained. “But it’s coming out great. The stuff sounds fantastic.”
Also in February 2021, Soussan told the “Pat’s Soundbytes Unplugged” podcast about the musical direction of the new LAST IN LINE material: “The songs are another progression from the last album — the difference between ‘Heavy Crown’ and ‘II’, and now ‘II’ and whatever this next album is gonna be called; we don’t know yet, by the way. But it’s definitely evolved even more; it’s gone into even more of an evolution, but we are always trying to keep the characteristics of LAST IN LINE there. I mean, you can’t shake those things — you can’t shake Vinny‘s drumming, you can’t shake Vivian‘s playing. And I’d like to say the same thing about myself, and, of course, [singer] Andrew [Freeman].”
Some of the early recording sessions for LAST IN LINE‘s third album took place in January 2020 at Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood, California.