Last In Line Biography
Last in Line is an American heavy metal band formed in 2012 by former members of the original lineup of Dio. The band’s name comes from the 1984 Dio album The Last in Line, the first album to feature the core lineup of Last in Line. Following the death of Dio frontman Ronnie James Dio in 2010, the original lineup of drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain, guitarist Vivian Campbell, and keyboardist Claude Schnell reunited along with vocalist Andrew Freeman to perform the Dio songs they originally recorded. The band released a studio album of original material without Schnell titled Heavy Crown in February 2016.
After the death of Ronnie James Dio in 2010, Vivian Campbell set into motion the idea of reuniting the original members of Dio for the first time since his departure from the band in 1986. The idea came to fruition when he joined Appice, Bain and Schnell for a jam session with vocalist Andrew Freeman in February 2012. In May 2012 it was announced that the group would begin performing live shows under the name Last in Line, after the first album they had released together (minus Freeman) with Dio. The band planned to play songs from the first three Dio albums: Holy Diver, The Last in Line and Sacred Heart. Rehearsals continued in the following weeks before Campbell joined Def Leppard on their 2012 Rock of Ages Tour and resumed in December.
The band’s first public performance took place on 3 August 2013 at the Slidebar in Fullerton, California. Every song from Holy Diver was played in addition to five tracks from The Last in Line and two from Sacred Heart. The show was conceived as a warmup show for a four date tour of the United Kingdom starting in Campbell’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland on 8 August and continuing with three more shows in Britain over the next three days.
The band continued performances in the US with a show at the Vinyl, Las Vegas on 8 October as well as Ramona Mainstage in California on 12 October. Campbell’s former Sweet Savage bandmate Ray Haller filled in for Bain during the band’s next performance at Loudpark Festival in Tokyo on 20 October. During 2015, as Campbell fought his battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and embarked on a 100 date tour with Def Leppard in support of their 2015 self-titled effort, Last in Line did not tour, instead they finished the recording of their debut album Heavy Crown.
They joined Def Leppard on their Hysteria on the High Seas concert cruise from 21–25 January 2016, and played a pre-cruise show at Magic City Casino in Miami on 20 January, debuting new songs from Heavy Crown and their new keyboardist Erik Norlander. However due to the death of bassist Jimmy Bain while on board, they only played an abbreviated tribute set on the last day. A scheduled tour for spring 2016 was cancelled due to Bain’s passing. After auditioning bass players, bassist Phil Soussan joined the group for a small set of shows in April–May 2016.
Last in Line began recording tracks for a new album of original material in April 2014, followed by the release of a snippet of the new track “Devil in Me” in June. The album, produced by former Dio bassist, Jeff Pilson, was announced to have an expected release date in early 2016. On 10 November 2015, it was announced that Schnell would no longer be a part of the band, in that they wanted to retrace their footsteps in recording Holy Diver as a four-piece before Schnell became part of Dio. One week later on 17 November, the band released a music video for their premiere single “Devil in Me”, and announced that their debut album, entitled Heavy Crown would be released on 20 February 2016. On 24 January, bassist Jimmy Bain died while on Def Leppard’s Hysteria on the High Seas concert cruise promoting Heavy Crown.