Leslie Michele Derrough of GlideMagazine.com recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD/ex-DIO guitarist Vivian Campbell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
GlideMagazine.com: DEF LEPPARD is about to start a residency in Vegas at the end of the month. What do you have planned and what special treats do you think you’re going to throw in for all your fans who are traveling to Vegas just to see you?
Vivian: Well, aside from doing the “Hysteria” record in sequence, we are actually doing two sets. The first set will be, obviously, nothing from “Hysteria”, but we’re going to try to make every night different, even if it’s only by one song. During that first set of the evening, we will be getting obscure. If we follow through on what we’ve talked about, we’ll actually play songs that we’ve never played before, like real obscure stuff, like from the first album and whatnot. So that’ll be interesting, that’ll be exciting. You know, most of the songs from the “Hysteria” record were played for decades, they’ve been staples of our live show through the years, but there’re three songs we’ve never performed before. So that will be exciting to do those for the first time.
GlideMagazine.com: Do you like the idea of staying in Vegas for a month?
Vivian: I’m not a fan of Vegas. I mean, I don’t mind going there for a couple of days and doing a show. I’ve never spent more than a couple of days there so I wouldn’t say it’s my kind of city [laughs] but I, as indeed the other guys, are most excited about the fact that we’re going to get to be in the one place and we have time off, cause we’re only doing three shows a week. So with the other four days, even though we do have other commitments around those four days, our plan is to actually try and write one or two or three new songs on those days off and that’s probably the most exciting thing about it. As I mentioned before, we live on different sides of the world so it’s very difficult for us to get together and trade ideas. When we do get together to work, to go on tour, you do a show, you get on a bus, you travel five hundred miles, you get off the bus, you do it again. It’s not the kind of environment that’s conducive to creativity; at least not for this band. Maybe it is for some people but it doesn’t work for DEF LEPPARD. So here, we’re going to be doing these shows, we’re going to have Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday where we’re free so hopefully we’ll be able to bring in a little Pro Tools rig and set up in some part of the Hard Rock Hotel and try to map out a few ideas. So that will be big for us. Plus it’ll keep us out of trouble. [laughs]
GlideMagazine.com: Tell us about LAST IN LINE [featuring Campbell alongside three other original DIO members — Vinny Appice (drums), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Claude Schnell (keyboards) — and singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB]. That sounds really exciting.
Vivian: Yeah, that is. That’s been a great thrill for me to play with those guys again and to challenge myself to play those guitar parts because they are not easy to play. We’re super excited about that and it sounds fucking incredible when we play. I mean, we’ve got a great singer who doesn’t sound anything like Ronnie Dio, but he has a similar power in his voice and a real passion and he can certainly hit the notes. I didn’t want a Dio clone, I didn’t want to draw comparisons to the singer, I didn’t want it to be about that. I wanted it to be about the original songs and the original band and just have a singer who could do it justice and it sounds pretty incredible. So we’re pretty excited about that and we’re going on tour in Europe this summer and it’ll be a lot of fun.
GlideMagazine.com: Any chance for some American dates?
Vivian: In due course, I’m sure we will. We were actually going to do some warm-up shows, we will do some warm-up shows, maybe by May or possibly later in June or early July. We will do warm-up shows in the States but for reasons of economics, they’re going to be on the West Coast. We don’t have a lot of money to play with. We don’t have a record label behind us, for instance, so initially it’s just better to stay closer to home, so California, maybe Nevada. But beyond that we certainly have plans to tour if LEPPARD‘s not working, we definitely intend to do something.
Read the entire interview at GlideMagazine.com.