Impellitteri Working On New Record For Late 2017 Release

By Andrew Catania

Legendary guitarist Chris Impellitteri is in the studio writing and recording for a follow up to 2015’s ‘Venom‘ record.  Chris told All That Shreds, ” I am in the studio writing and recording new music at this time……The new music is very much in the vein of VENOM, so I think our fans will like it very much!! IMPELLITTERI want to evolve artistically without losing our identity….so the new record will have a lot of fast tempo metal songs filled with shredding guitar solos, screaming Vocals, and an energetic rhythm section with lots of punch and power in our mix.”

Impellitteri is looking for a late 2017 release date.  This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Impellitteri’s debut record, the black album.

Image result for impellitteri



ReverbNation Featured Artist Dreamkiller

DREAMKILLER is a nationally touring melodic hard rock band that presents elements of soulful melodies, jazzy harmonies, catchy rock hooks and prides themselves on colorful lyrics that include positive themes of strength, perseverance, conquering your fears head-on, as well as pushing with no limits to accomplish your goals.

The band was founded in 2004 by triple threat, Christy Johnson, [2010 Los Angeles Music Awards NATIONAL FEMALE VOCAL PERFORMER OF THE YEAR; 2013 International Music & Entertainment Awards ROCK FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR] who has been featured in such films as “Tobe Hooper’s Mortuary“, “National Lampoon’s Pucked“, and is starring as Judy Hartley in the upcoming re-imagining, “Night of The Living Dead: Genesis”. Involved in arts her entire life, Christy holds an MA and BA in Acting. On lead guitar and backing vocals is seasoned industry veteran, Scott LaFlamme, of Springfield, MA. Scott is most known for his work as the lead guitarist for a national act, “Bang Tango“, with whom he toured from 2010 – 2014, as well as “Randy Rhoads Remembered” tribute events. Touring extensively for over 20 years, and praised for his extensive knowledge of intricate musical theory, Scott spearheads LMI Studio (LaFlamme Music Instruction), where he educates students in technique and theory for guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals, and songwriting. He is endorsed by InTune Guitar Picks, Gibson & Spector Guitars, D’Addario Strings, Flying V Leather Accessories, and Rock N’ Roll Gangstar Clothing. Chaise Elliott is a veteran of the Memphis, TN hard rock and metal music scene. With over 14 years of experience on guitar and bass, he is a multi-talented asset to Dreamkiller. On bass and backing vocals is Jason Cornwell (Boston Bassman), who is most known for playing in “Mr. Big’s Eric Martin” as well as countless tours with bands such as “Dokken“. He is currently endorsed by Brubaker Basses, SIT Strings, Ernie Ball, Vivid Amps, and most recently EBS Professional Bass Equipment. Derrick Pontier, from Huntington Beach, CA is a world touring drummer who is most known for playing with Great White, Jack Russell’s Great White, C.C. Deville’s Samantha 7, and Stryper’s Oz Fox. Playing drums for over 30 years, he has toured the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, Singapore and more.


Touring in 2015 included shows at the House of Blues Los Angeles, CA before it closed, their debut at SXSW & Heart of Texas Music Festival in Austin, TX, headlining Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, NC, several events at the Hard Rock Cafe Memphis, TN, premiering Tim Owens’ Traveler’s Tavern in Akron, OH as the first headliner since their makeover on “Bar Rescue“, SMACK Fest in Auburn, NY, KOHL Fest in Reading PA, Pappy Z’s Farm Fest in Negley, OH, the 7th Annual Amory Railroad Festival in Amory, MS, Rock Solid Pressure Industry Showcase Pre-Party in St. Petersburg, FL and playing live on the air at Face the Music STL/1380 The X in St. Louis, MO. Dreamkiller has shared the stage in 2015 with such bands as Gemini Syndrome, Upon A Burning Body, 12 Stones, Butcher Babies, Saliva, EVE TO ADAM, Blue Felix, Artifas, The Maension, Bridge To Grace, Wayland, American Head Charge, Super bob, Psykotribe and Bobaflex.

Music from Dreamkiller has received placement in 12 different films so far, many of which have been released worldwide and have won numerous awards. Notably, their single “Absolution” is currently being utilized in “Monster Jam” experiences globally and their track “Lyrik’s Battle” was named as #7 of the Top 10 Most Requested Tracks of 2012 on the nationally syndicated FM/internet broadcast Rock Solid Pressure Show. Along with receiving numerous accolades, they have played the main stage of Rockapalooza, Megaton, KOHL Fest, performed at the Vans Warped Tour, SXSW & Heart of Texas Music Festival, showcased at numerous music conferences and tour nationally in support of their full-length concept album “Sleepless Dreams“. Additionally, they have released singles that were mixed by Grammy award winning producer, Toby Wright, “Absolution” and “Love vs. Dreams”. Dreamkiller is currently working on their second full-length concept album, entitled “11:11”. With numerous U.S. national tours under their belt, they are now also touring Canada and pursuing their plan to span their travel worldwide.

2015 UNCG ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Young Alumni Award Recipient 2013 INTERNATIONAL MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS – Rock Female Vocalist of The Year 2012 Top 10 Most Requested Tracks of The Year – Rock Solid Pressure Nationally Syndicated FM Broadcast 2012/2011/2009 QUEEN CITY AWARDS – Rock Artist: Female 2011 INDEPENDENT ARTIST MUSIC AWARDS – Best Rock Band 2011 LOS ANGELES MUSIC AWARDS – Debut Music Video of The Year [Watch This] 2011 LOS ANGELES MUSIC AWARDS – Rock Single & Rock Album of The Year Nominee 2010 LOS ANGELES MUSIC AWARDS – National Female Vocal Performer of The Year 2009 CAROLINA MUSIC AWARDS – Rock Band of The Year 2009 CAROLINA MUSIC AWARDS – Rock Artist: Female.

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Mark Kendall And Great White’s New Record Full Circle

By Andrew Catania

Looking at my caller ID, it says “Beverly Hills, California.”  “Hello, Andrew, Mark Kendall here.”  I met Mark and Jack Russell when they were on a coheadlining tour with Tesla back in 1989.  We spoke about their new album, Full Circle.

“It was a great experience working with Michael Wagner again,” Kendall said.  “Michael is used to having all of the material ready to be recorded; we did one song at a time.”  “We were recording as a band and not having Terry do vocals separately, then me doing lead guitar.  Michael had us record as a band.”

With hits like “Once Bitten,” “Save Our Love.” was he trying to capture the sound of that era?

“Great White has always been evolving with our songwriting” assures Kendall.  “We grow with each record,”  I asked Mark how different it is working with Terry than Jack Russell.  “Terry is a musician.  Terry contributes to the songwriting and music process where Jack did not.”  Does one person do all of the songwriting or is it a band effort? “It is most definitely a band effort.  Everyone contributes and has a say.”  I asked Mark if he had a favorite song on Full Circle.  “They are all my favorites!”

Mark has been sober for nine years.  He has an online group where he mentors others with their sobriety.  “It started as me tweeting if anyone needed someone to talk to turned into a group of 94 people.”

Great White’s new album, ‘Full Circle’ carries on their bluesy rock sound.  Songs like ‘I’m Alright‘ and ‘Give It Up‘ are songs that stand out.  I was hoping for Great White to get out of their comfort zone and have a heavier sound on this record.  They stayed faithful to their roots which Michael Wagener did a good job of doing.  I rate this album 7/10 stars.  Full Circle will be available June 2nd via regular distribution channels.

Full Circle, the new album from Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum recording artists, Great White, teams up the rock and roll band once again with its original producer, Michael Wagener. It is an honorable nod to their first EP Out of the Night (Aegean Records, 1983) and debuts self-titled full-length record (EMI,1984). Wagener, is, of course, the legendary producer behind the iconic Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and a slew of other rock gods. Full Circle’s chemistry is palpable – Wagener’s influence is immediately felt…however, take note, this is not one-and-done swan song for a band that has churned out chromium-laced hard rock since the early ‘80s. No, this is far from the word ‘finished.’ It is back to work and back to where it starts – one song at a time.

Recorded at Wagener’s Nashville-based WireWorld Studio, Great White spent the majority of January and February 2017 sequestered in Music City. Set for worldwide release, June 2, Full Circle’s packaging includes a must-have companion DVD called “Making of Full Circle.” Rockslide Entertainment (produced by Todd Sadowski) captured the band developing the songs in the studio – a never-before-seen band access. The footage is just another look at how Great White works together, puts egos aside for the love of their fans.

Great White is:







Chris Cornell’s Younger Brother Peter Posts Tribute

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Peter Cornell, younger brother of Chris Cornell, paid tribute to the SOUNDGARDEN singer on Facebook a few days ago, following the death of his sibling earlier this month. Peter wrote: “It’s been difficult to put words together. My heart is broken. Chris was always just my brother. We just ‘were.’ No pretense. No dog and pony show. We didn’t have to get deep all the time. Sometimes we only needed to just be in the same room and just be present. That was enough.”

Peter added: “It wasn’t until this week, it really hit me how he belonged to the world. That he is an icon and a legend. That being said, I am so sorry to YOU for your loss. Artists, actors, musicians. We rely on these people to lift us up. To inspire us and distract us in times of trouble. Chris protected us when we needed him to. His one-of-a-kind-ness surrounded us like a suit of armor. He was a warrior and a wizard. A howling wolf and a trusted mentor.”

Peter continued: “My brother gave freely of his gifts, and it was never a struggle. He kept himself from the saturation of celebrity in such a humble way. The power and anger and passion of my brother’s music was always genuine, original and legitimate. He was the powerful, sensitive, fragile, angry, mystical creature that will exist forever in his body of work. And he did it for ALL of us.”

Peter concluded by thanking all of Chris‘s fans for their “kindness and condolences,” saying, “I will never wrap my head around his passing.”

Chris Cornell died in the early hours of May 18, the victim of an apparent suicide by hanging, shortly after SOUNDGARDEN played a concert in Detroit. Toxicology and autopsy reports are pending and will determine if the anti-anxiety drug Ativan, which Chris was taking, was somehow a factor in his death.

His funeral took place last Friday (May 26) at the Forever Hollywood Cemetery in Los Angeles, attended by bandmates, fellow musicians, and actors.

ReverbNation Featured Artist Melia

Melia has quite a resume!  Melia has been awarded numerous awards.  When I listen to Melia, I hear talent that Lizzy Hale would die for!-Andrew

Melia has become known as one of the top female indie rock artists on the music scene today. The winner of 3 awards, including “Best Female Rock Artist“, as well as “Best Rock Song” and “Song of the Year” (“Just A Bride”) at the 2012 Indie Music Channel Awards held at the House of Blues in Hollywood, again in 2013 “Best Female Rock Artist” and once again “Best Female Rock Artist” and “Best Rock Song” (“Charge Like A Bull”) in 2016. Melia’s first EP “Soundproof Walls” as well as her most recent ep “Skeletal Remains” has received rave reviews.

Skeletal Remains” was released in December of 2015. The ep was recorded in NYC at The Magic Shop and was engineered and produced by Grammy-winning Kevin Killen (Peter Gabriel, Shakira).

Melia began her music career as a guitarist at the age of 16. She had been trying to get her parents to let her take guitar lessons after going to her first Green Day show during its “American Idiot” tour two years earlier. They made her wait two years before taking up lessons, which she feels propelled her motivation. She excelled at guitar very quickly, practicing 6-8 hours a day and within eight months of taking up the instrument had formed her first band with a couple of high school friends.

During that summer after graduation, she had the experience of a lifetime when she attended another Green Day concert and was chosen by lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, to play guitar for the song “Jesus of Suburbia.”

She is now playing with some excellent backing musicians for her live shows. The music is a guitar-driven alternative rock style with message-laden lyrics that come from her personal experiences or of those close to her.

Melia has played with The Offspring, Eve 6, Gaslight Anthem, Our Lady Peace, Walk The Moon, Oberhofer, The Tea Party, Thousand Foot Krutch, Love and Death, Big Wreck, Steve Vai, Twenty One Pilots, New Politics, Fuel, Sick Puppies, Black Star Riders, Asia, Chevelle, Lacuna Coil, The Misfits, Buckcherry, Drowning Pool, Saliva, Otep, Adam Gontier, Chris Daughtry and Halestorm.

Melia uses:

2008 Epiphany Black Les Paul Standard

2010 Gibson Custom Les Paul Silverburst

2014 Gibson Custom Les Paul Purple Widow

2017 Gibson White Flying V T

Follow Melia @

Guitar Vibrato

.Playing the guitar without vibrato is like eating Mexican food without salsa. Vibrato is one of the most definitive techniques in defining your musical style, your unique sound. No two players have the same vibrato sound. Some play slow and wide while others play narrow and fast, and that’s the beauty behind spending a lot of time learning different vibrato techniques. It’s like eating different salsa’s every time you go to your favorite taco stand. Enough talk about food let’s talk technique.

Vibrato is sometimes confused with tremolo. It is just a method of vibrating the string sharply and flat around a root note. For example, if you are playing the 7th fret on the 3rd string with your 3rd finger on your fret hand you can just push the note up slightly and then pull it down slightly. Do this in quick succession, so the primary effect is a “wobbly” tone around the root note you are playing. Use your hand, wrist, and arm to make the movements. Never just wiggle a finger. Some people use a technique of pulling the string down towards the floor and then releasing back up.

Try this in a variety of speeds and levels of bending during your vibrato. The trick is to be consistent and smooth with your motion. If you are playing a slow blues riff, then you may want to slow down and make a wide circular motion with the string, or if you are playing a fast rock lick, you may just add a fast narrow vibrato to accent the final note in a run.

It is possible to add vibrato using any finger you play with, but it is most commonly done with the first and third finger on the fret hand. Using your first finger is a bit trickier. I usually use my first finger for fast vibratos similar to BB Kings style. I will lift my other finger far off the fret board, press down and just “vibrate” the string as fast and as open as possible. That’s funny the work vibrato is a lot like vibrate because that’s actually what you are doing vibrating the string.

When you combine vibrato with string bending, harmonics and legato techniques you begin to discover the musician inside of you. Playing guitar is about finding your inner flow of creativity and having the techniques to be able to express them. Vibrato is one of the more personal and efficient methods. As with all aspect of playing guitar, you need to experiment with these techniques, and most of all have fun!

An Alternative Way To Adjust Your Guitar Nut

Most new guitars arrive from the factory with the nut just barely playable. Older guitars may have the nut filed or worn down so much that fret buzz cannot be eliminated by neck or string height adjustment. If you have a new guitar, or you are replacing the nut with a new one, here is an alternative method to file and adjust the nut material to make your guitar play like the professional’s guitars play.

Before adjusting anything, make sure your guitar is strung up correctly and that your neck is straight and not bowed or warped. If your neck is bowed, you first need to adjust the truss rod. If your neck is warped, it will require a more extensive repair. For the lowest possible action or to avoid fret buzz all across your fingerboard, it may be necessary to have your frets leveled and crowned first.

You will need a set of nut files, and a good set of feeler gauges as well. Different grades of sandpaper are very useful too.

Fret each string individually, starting with the High E, between the second and third fret, use your feeler gauge to check the amount of space between the bottom of the string and the first fret. You should have approximately .005″ of space between each one, with the string barely touching the second fret. If this measurement is close or dead on then move on to the next string right up to the Low E string. You may want to record the gap on a scrap piece of paper as you move across the fretboard, to see the nut slot’s height about the fretboard as you do so.

For most players, a string height (also known in guitar slang as “action”) of 3/64″ of an inch is considered normal. Some players choose a higher string height such as 4/64″ of an inch while players which tend to have a light touch and want the fastest action possible strive to lower the action as close as possible to 2/64″ which in many cases’s is very hard to setup and maintain without fret buzzing somewhere on the fingerboard.

Of course, you can use the traditional method to set your string height about the nut, by using multiple feeler gauges below the nut and filing down to the factory depth and width. However, I have found this method to provide a better and more consistent feel while playing near the nut.

ReverbNation Featured Artist Tim Holman

Tim’s love of shred runs deep.  Inspired by such guitar heroes as Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, and Vinnie Moore, Tim made the transition from piano to guitar at 14 years of age.  It was a move that was a few years in the making due to saving to buy his first guitar himself.  His parents were sure it was just a phase, but he certainly proved their theory false.

Being almost entirely self-taught, Tim started with the typical method books and tab books.  He also gleaned valuable information from informal lessons with his high school band teacher.  However, being unable to find a teacher to show him the technical aspects that he desired, he began buying books and records to learn from, a number that grew to thousands of albums and hundreds of books.

After graduation, Tim studied at the respected Trebas Institute in Toronto.  The education that he received upon completion of their prestigious audio production course opened the right doors to start working, and he often pulled double duty as a session musician and assistant engineer.  Tim attributes this experience as a large part of the development of his style.  Says Tim, “Working on everything from Ska and Reggae to Metal developed my versatility as an artist. Having to be in top form and shine at the moment when the client was footing the bill whipped my playing into shape!”

Tim is also a gifted teacher who loves to further others’ ambitions.  His new website is dedicated to teaching the technical aspects of the guitar with lessons that he wishes had been available when he was learning.  You’ll find these lessons written in easily digestible chunks.  There are already many challenging lessons with more to test every aspect of your playing being added regularly.

With the release of “Impact,” Tim has realized a huge goal and provided a remarkable statement to the world of shred guitar.  Melding classic influences with his unique style, Tim has forged a great album that guitar lovers can listen to over and over and catch something new every time.

Now organizing a tour consisting of both shows and clinics, expect to catch Tim live soon.

Following years of session playing, live performance and teaching, Tim has released a stunning debut that exhibits an exciting playing style and is versatile and accessible to all listeners.  From over the top shred licks to “chicken picking” country and blues, Tim has displayed that he does indeed have the chops for a solo outing.

Luminary, Gary Hoey has said, “Tim Holman is a force, mixing bluesy feel with killer shred.  The future looks good with players like Tim.  Watch out world.”

Being largely an instrumental album, the final draw is the high energy that every track exudes.  Beginning with the blistering track “Lift Off,” the album doesn’t let up throughout its nine-song entirety.  With the final song, “The Pilgrimage,” culminating in some of the most extreme soloing on the album, it’s a journey that the listener can take more away from with every spin.

Other highlights include the haunting love ballad, “I’ll Still Have the Strength,” the intense and progressive tour de force “Abaddon,” and Tim’s inimitable rockabilly style on “Hillbilly Boogie.”

With industry veterans, Avid Steele on vocals and Phil Robertson on drums, “Impact” is an album that will satisfy the rocker in everyone.

Release Date: March 28th, 2017 

Track Listing

  1. Lift Off – 3:35
  2. Hillbilly Boogie – 4:42
  3. Abaddon – 4:37
  4. Who Let the Satch Out 3:40
  5. I’ll Still Have the Strength 5:42
  6. Outside Cat – 3:45
  7. Impact – 4:02
  8. The Rising…Dawn of the Apocalypse – 4:19
  9. The Pilgrimage – 6:39


Tim Holman

Phone:  403-829-7730







Album Credits

Produced by Tim Holman

Mixed by Dave Martone at Brainworks, Vancouver BC

Mastered by Jamie Sitar at Outta Town Sound, Winnipeg MB

Engineered by Tim Holman and Kasey Kline at Vibe West Studio, Penticton BC

Additional Engineering by Dave Martone, David Steele and Phil Robertson


Tim Holman – Guitars and Bass

David Steele – Lead and Background Vocals


Phil Robertson – Drums


Strings in “The Pilgrimage” by Black Dog String Quartet

Vivian Campbell: “I Was Fired From Dio And The Dio Disciples Are A Tribute Band!”

By Andrew Catania

(This interview was originally published on November 9th, 2016)

The 1980’s turned out to be a great era for the global music industry. This period could be rendered as the time when some remarkable talents emerged and made their mark in their respective genres, revolutionizing old school and contemporary approaches through their penchant for experimentations and innovative techniques. In the midst of them all, Vivian Campbell, aka The Journeyman, the North Irish, Belfast, rock and metal sensation outshines in the most important category of the musicians of the mighty 80s.

Having set his fingers on the chords at the tender age of 12, the bond Campbell developed with guitars in his childhood only strengthened over time as he practiced and learned the intricacies of the strings and chords. By the time Campbell set his feet in the professional music domain at the platform of Sweet Savage, despite being an amateur in the pool of professionals and maestros, he made a quick and promising start of his professional career.

Two years later, he bid farewell to Sweet Savage and joined Dio as the main guitarist, substituting Jake E. Lee. Although Vivian’s association with the Dio only brought in more success and fame to the band, the collaboration didn’t last for long, and Campbell eventually parted his way in 1986.

Whitesnake turned out to be the next milestone in his career. However, the association became even more short-lived than what he had with the Dio. Vivian worked with some music groups later only to make a breakthrough in his career, as he joined Def Leppard in 1992, replacing their deceased guitarist Steve Clark.

The association turned out to be incredibly symbiotic for the band as well as Vivian. The void created by Clark was efficiently filled by Campbell for good, who proved his mettle in his debut performance with Def Leppard. Not looking back since, the band, with Vivian Campbell on board, delivered a fiery performance at the stage of ‘Freddie Mercury Concert for Life.’ Vivian’s association with Def Leppard made an incredible addition to his profile, with last hit records like Retro Active (1993), Slang (1996), Euphoria (1999), X (2002), Yeah! (2006), Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (2008), Mirror Ball – Live and More (2011), Viva! Hysteria (2013), and Def Leppard (2015).

Besides casting his spell at Def Leppard’s platform, Vivian Campbell also worked over his solo ventures and released his personal album titled ‘Two Sides of If,’ featuring some interesting cover editions. He also convinced Jimmy Bain, Vinny Appice, and Andrew Freeman, the former Dio members, to reform and launch their own ‘Last in line, an American heavy metal band, in 2012. The band released their album Heavy Crown in 2016.

Vivian Campbell’s’ music career can be summarized as being punctuated with historic highs and lows, yet the maestro only excelled at his expertise through consistent dabs of style, finesse, versatility, and creativity. Vivian Campbell has managed to maintain his charm and vigor with an evergreen and unforgettable personality. At present, he is suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is under intense treatment through stem cell therapy and regular courses of immune therapies. However, with his natural liveliness that is a signature hallmark of his playing style, he is optimistic to tame the disease and looks forward to doing more stints in his career profile.


How is the Last in Line Tour going?
It’s not a tour yet.  We’ve been weekend warriors for the last couple of weekends.  We did three shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and then the following week we did the same just on the west coast out here.  It doesn’t feel like we’re on tour yet, but we will be because we are heading to Europe on Tuesday for a solid month worth of shows over there.  So, that will feel more like the real thing.  The six shows that we have completed through here on the west coast that is evolving significantly.  The response is fantastic, and it’s very encouraging.  We need to get out and play more.  I read a lot on social media people want to see us play in Texas, out west, Detroit, Canada, New Jersey and New York you know.  It’s difficult on this level when you’re playing clubs.  Exceptionally difficult from an economic point of view.  I’m not even talking about making any money; I’m talking about not losing your shirt for the privilege.  We’ll try to do something in 2017.  Def Leppard’s not going to be too busy next year, so I’ll have a bit more time, and hopefully, we’ll be able to put something else together.  Like I said the economics of it are complicated.

I can imagine because you do not have any Florida dates on here, I kept looking.  The Last in Line album that I mean, Jimmy Baine RIP, that album rocked!  As soon as it came out, l was like this had it, it just did, it reminded me of you, Vinny Appice, I forgot how you pronounce it

They both pronounce it. Differently Carmine says Appice (A-peace) and Vinny says Appice (Ap-pacie)

What I was saying

Yeah, that means that the record was great! We were pleased with how it came out and the response to it apparently, you know, Jimmy passing away when he did, that was a major blow to us.  We had a tour planned.  You know a pretty comprehensive North American club tour was in place for March, April, and May of this year.  When Jimmy passed away we immediately just canceled those plans apparently.  It took us a little while to regroup and rethink what it was we wanted to do, and in the end, we felt that we owed it to Jimmy, and we owed it to ourselves to do something with the record because it did so well.  You know we had incredible responses as I said.  This record meant a lot to Jimmy.  He put his heart and soul into it.  You know something that ticked me off when Jimmy died was that so many people immediately jumped to the conclusion that his past was associated with his addictions and that wasn’t the case at all.  For the last year and a half or two years of Jimmy’s life, he was very sober, and he was very focused.  Being in this band, writing and recording this album was his focus in the last couple years of his life, and it meant a lot to him.  And Jimmy felt like it was his band.  He was very creatively involved in it.  He even went out and got a Last in Line tattoo.  It was the only tattoo he had.  So, you know it was hurtful that a lot of people just jumped to that conclusion that he died because of his former addictions.  His addiction, he won that battle. Finally, you know.

Well, that’s too bad.  I liked Jimmy a lot.  He was on all the Dio albums and like I said when your Last in Line album came out there was a great response to it.  Do you feel like, I don’t know if the word redemption is the exact word I’m looking for but do you think that with this album you’re kind of getting some closure you think of previous Dio albums where you thought, I just read that you didn’t get individual credit for writing stuff and all that?  Do you think this is kind of redemption for that because the other albums didn’t sound so fantastic?

Well, Yes.  It does make it clear that the sound of the band is the result of some of the parts, you know.  The band was called DIO for obvious reasons.  I mean Ronnie was the damaged one.  It wouldn’t have made any sense to call it Appice or Campbell.  It’s a long story that whole Dio thing.

I got you

Let me just back up by saying none of this happened, this Last in Line project it happened by accident at the time.  This wasn’t an intentional thing.  It just grew out of a jam.  One thing led to another and even when we were first starting several years ago when we were first starting playing shows as Last in Line we were just doing the songs that we had written and recorded with Ronnie from the first three Dio albums.  Our intentions were very much just a fun side project.  We weren’t thinking about writing and recording music.  It was only when Frontier Records approached us in 2013 they offered us a record deal.  They asked if we’d be interested in writing and recording the music.  Honestly up to that point we had never even thought of it.  That’s when we sat down, and we talked and decided that that would be the next natural progression you know.  So, went about writing the record and recording very much in the way we had gotten with Holy Diver with Ronnie and that’s not to say that we were trying to make a record that sounded like Holy Diver, but we wanted to set up similar parameters.  When the band Dio was formed, Ronnie had one and a half songs.  He had the title track Holy Diver, and he had half the idea of a song that would go on to become Don’t Talk to Strangers.  The rest of the album was written with Jimmy, Vinny and I.  The way that it was written is that we would go into a rehearsal room and that was usually just Vinny and Jimmy and myself.  We’d go into the room in the afternoon, and I would have an idea for a riff or Jimmy would have an idea for a riff or if neither of us had an idea to start with Vinny would just play a beat and I’d always find Vinny Appice, the most inspiring drummer I’ve ever played with.  When Vinny plays, even if I don’t have anything to bring to the party, we’d just jam something that would come up with an incredible idea for a song.  So, that’s how a lot of the early Dio songs were written, and that’s how everything on the Heavy Crown album was written they all grew out of jams, and we don’t sweat it much, we don’t think much about what kind of song we want to write or what direction we want the album to go in.  There’s none of that bullshit.  There’s no preconceived notion of what the records were going to be.  It’s just if somebody has an idea we just go with it we don’t think about it a lot it’s very straightforward organic hard rock music.  Going back to the Holy Diver album, Ronnie would come in in the evening, and we’d play him what we had, and sometimes he would say, “no I don’t hear that” or other times he would say “ok, that sounds good.”  He always had books with lyrics, he’d sit down and listen to what we had, and we’d play it for him a couple of times he’d step up to the mic, and he’d start singing.  Other times he would start changing the arrangement and say I hear this part saying this, so we’d start rearranging the building blocks of it, but it all happened very quickly.  Within a couple of days, we’d have a song written and then when we came to the recording of the Holy Diver record it was again very organic we cut the tracks live, guitar, bass, drums, Ronnie singing a scratch vocal, I double the rhythm track, we’d do the lead vocal, do the guitar solo, bang!  The mix was done.  There are very few mix embellishments on the record.  We also did much of the Heavy Crown album the same way.  We recorded tracks live; I’d double the rhythm track, we’d do a couple of minor guitar embellishments here and there.  I’d do the solo, and we’d do the vocal, and away we’d go.  Also, when we went in to do the Heavy Crown record, it meant that we had parted ways with Claude Schnell, the original keyboard player.  Again, because we were going back to the way we approached the Holy Diver record and Claude was not part of the band when we wrote and recorded Holy Diver. Ronnie brought him in at the end of the record, and that’s when the keyboard embellishments were done.  Even the keyboard in Rainbow in The Dark that was Jimmy Bain that played that, he wrote it, so keyboards were not part of the creative process of the early Dio band.  In fact, they only became so in the Sacred Heart album.  That was the first time that we wrote with Claude.  I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Jimmy, Vinny and I that’s when we were having issues creatively with Ronnie.  We kind of all felt that Ronnie was trying to bring keyboards into the sound of Dio too much that we were getting away from the original guitar, drums, vocal vibe of the original Dio band.  None of us had particularly good feelings about the Sacred Heart album, but there were also a lot of business things going on with Ronnie then.  Ronnie was in a very dark place when we were doing Sacred Heart that’s when he was divorcing from Wendy.  He was miserable; he was very moody.  Nobody wanted to be in the studio when we were making that record.  We all would just go in do our parts and leave which was very different from Holy Diver and Last in Line records where we were very much all encouraging each other we were all in the studio all day every day.  It was very much a group effort, but that is the assigned job with all of this.  You know a lot of people were wondering why we parted ways with Claude, which was the major component that we wanted to clear it with our keyboards.  It was important to Jimmy, Vinny and I that we did. Apparently, that made a difficult situation for Claude.  When we did the Heavy Crown album, we just wanted to approach it in the writing and recording aspect and very much as we had done in the Holy Diver and the original Last in Line record with Ronnie.


Well, it does, it sounds phenomenal.  You left DIO back in what ’86?  I saw you on the Holy Diver tour


I think it was ’85. We had gone tour for Sacred Heart, and we had done the first leg of the tour which was a North American tour although I think it was the second leg of North America where Craig Goldy perform.  We finished the first leg of the tour of North America, and we were supposed to start in the UK, and I GOT FIRED in the transition, and they brought in Craig Goldy.  I think it was ’85 sometime.   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, I didn’t leave DIO.  It was never my intention to leave the band.  I was fired from 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.

Ok.  I had read so much back when Metal Edge was around that time and Hit Parader we read so many kinds of different stuff that you were fired, that you quit 

Back then there were no social media, so the only way for me to counter what the DIO camp was putting out in the press was for me to hire a publicist to get out my side of the story.  I couldn’t have afforded to do that back then and obviously; I didn’t.  That’s one of the things that hurt me because not only was I fired from the band I put my heart and soul into for three albums, but I would think the stain in the press that I was the one that turned my back on the band.  It was absolutely 100% untrue, so that left a bitter taste in my mouth for many many years which is why I didn’t want anything to do with DIO or the band or even that genre of music for so long.  You know I’ll admit that I was foolish for saying some very hurtful things in the press, as was Ronnie, we both said some unnecessary and nasty shit about each other, but you know you do that when you’re hurt.

Yes, I understand.   A lot of people 30 years later like Guns & Roses and all them are reuniting and all, they put everything behind them.  Do you think if Ronnie was alive, do you think you could do the same and reunite?

I think Ronnie and me fundamentally never had a problem.  I don’t believe we would have ever worked again if Wendy Dio was involved in his career.  Wendy was the one who was never on the same page as the rest of us.  She never saw us as being a band.  Wendy always thought like ten Ozzy Osbourne’s she saw it as Ronnie and his backing band.  She didn’t care who was in Ronnie’s band.  She’s not musical.  She doesn’t know that the sign of a great band is the sum of the parts.  It’s not just about the singer.  You know it would have been one thing to put Ronnie out on tour behind a bunch of fierce fewer musicians if Ronnie was the one who created all the music in the first place.  That was never the point, Ronnie never did.  We created it as a band look at the writing credits on any of the first three DIO records, yes there’s a couple of songs like Don’t Talk to Strangers and Holy Diver like I said that was Ronnie’s songs, everything else we wrote together and in fact, you know I could go on.  Jimmy Bain and I we wrote, we rocked.  Ronnie was not a guitar player; he didn’t write those riffs. We didn’t get credit for a lot of the songs we wrote, and that’s all well and good.  I’m not bitching or anything like that that is water under the bridge.  We very very much created as a band and that’s what made those first records so special. Wendy doesn’t understand that she’s not a musician.  Ronnie knew that.  That’s why when the band was formed there were four people in the room, and Wendy Dio was not one of them.  Me and Jimmy and Vinny and Ronnie and Ronnie made a promise to us that by the third album Sacred Heart we would have an equity situation at that point, we got none of the records, none of the tour receipts, none of the t-shirts, none of the mechanicals.  We got paid less than the road crew which was awkward.  Somewhere along the way Ronnie kind of lost sight of that.  Wendy pushed him toward being a solo act.  The original DIO band was not a solo act.  The original DIO band was a four-piece creative unit, and Wendy never understood that.  So, Ronnie and I, I think would have been fine.  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.  I mean our relationship was always a little catchy.  It was an awkward relationship.  We didn’t communicate very well together on a personal level but on a musical level we worked together.  We worked well.  So, to answer your question, 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.

Did you write any credits to We’re Stars where everybody got together?  Did you write anything about that?  Did you write any of the leads or anything?

Jimmy Bain and I wrote the music for that.  It was while we were doing the Sacred Heart album.  We brought it to Ronnie and like I said when we were doing Sacred Heart earlier Ronnie was in a very dark, very stressed place in his lifetime.   So, we brought this idea to Ronnie to do this project I asked him to help us and would he write the lyrics.  At first Ronnie said no then he changed his mind and he came back to us later and he agreed he would be involved in the project and it was at that point that Wendy took over a lot of the management of the Stars project and took it away from Jimmy and me which is ok because we needed that official sort of DIO involvement for us to make it happen.  It would have never happened without that.  Yes, Ronnie wrote the lyrics, Jimmy and I wrote the music.


Having all that immense talent coming in there, you’ve had everybody from George Lynch; you had Yngwie Malmsteen you had all them.  Then you had I know that Wendy has talked about remastering that.  That’s one of the soundtracks that I’ve been after for years, and you can’t find them except for in Japan for like $500.00.  Have you heard anything about that?  Or is it kind of a conversation you’re not privileged to?

Yes, Wendy took it over.  My involvement in the project stopped like I said we wrote the songs and took them to Ronnie.  I worked the phones extensively with our lady who was a deal publicist back then, and I utilized her connections, and I’d go to her office every day, and I’d get on the phone, and I’d call people.  I’d be calling people I never met in my life you know, “Hi my name is Vivian Campbell, I play guitar for Dio” I had my whole schpeel done, tell them what we’re doing.  I’d ask if they can get involved in it.  So, we did, my involvement with the entire project ended that night after we had done the recording session.  That was it, from that point on I had nothing to do with it.

You’re Last in Line, you have the Dio Disciples which Wendy manages.


Is there any or was there any comparisons?  Did anybody give you any flack about Last in Line? Because of the Dio Disciples, have they said that Wendy’s involvement makes them “Official.”

Well, I know that it’s more official if Wendy Dio manages that band or the original DIO band put a real band together when we started doing the Last in Line project I had to go to extremes sometimes to explain to people the difference between the Dio Disciples and us.  Dio Disciples are a tribute band.  No one in that band was part of the original DIO band, no one! Not like one person.    Where on Last in Line you had 75% of the original DIO band.  People were referring to us as a tribute band you cannot be a tribute band if you are the original band. Obviously, Andrew Freeman is not Ronnie.  So, it’s not the original DIO band which is why we didn’t call it DIO obviously

Andrew Freeman knows his thing 

It’s a good thing.  It’s technically incorrect to refer to Last in Line as a tribute band.  We cannot be a tribute band because we are the original DIO members.  The group superseded all that once we started writing and recording music it became something very very different

When you got fired and then joined Whitesnake how did that go?  Did David Coverdale call you up?  

No.  The Whitesnake band was put together by John Kalodner; he was an analog guy for Geffen Records back in the ’80’s.  In a nutshell, the album was written by John Sykes and David Coverdale.  The album was recorded, and John Sykes played all but one of the guitar solos on the record.  John Sykes played 97% guitar on the album to pick a figure or something like that, but he and Coverdale parted ways.  So basically, they brought in some session musicians to finish off the record.  They sweetened it; they could hear real potential.  They brought in a keyboard guy and did several different mixes for certain singles and stuff.  It was a very well-orchestrated camp, and they knew they had a big record on their hands, and they find themselves in the situation where they didn’t have a band it was the zenith of the MTV era you know where they had the hair metal. John Kolodner had the idea to put together a superstar band that would-be image driven, video group.  So, the first thing, he called me and asked me if I’d be interested, and he sent me a copy of the record, and as soon as I heard the record, I knew it was going to be huge.  It’s monster playing and writing from John Sykes.

John’s a great player.  Very underrated too 

He is, yes! People to this day don’t even realize that’s his record that’s his writing and his playing.  Not mine, not Adrian Vandenberg.  I feel sorry for him because he is missing the credit for that.  It was a great record; it went to number 1 in the U.S.  and sold gazillion copies, the tour was immensely successful.  With the band, the first thing we did was we met on a video set, and we shot a couple of videos over the period of a few days, and then we went into rehearsal and started playing together.  On paper, we were an excellent musical unit regarding pedigree but in my opinion and I do not mean this to be offensive in any way shape or form but I don’t think that we gelled on a musical level certainly not like the original DIO band.  That was real chemistry.  When Vinny and Jimmy and I played together right from the first moment, we played together in London in 1982 when I auditioned there was an immediate chemistry to the original DIO band that was undeniable.  When I played with Vinny and Jimmy again in 2011 for the first time in 27 years that chemistry was immediate again.  I don’t believe that Whitesnake lineup ever had that chemistry.  We were brought together despairingly to make music videos, and I think that set the tone in a way we were more of a performance band than we were a solid musical group and that has nothing to do with the pedigree of the performers.  I mean Tommy Aldridge, Rudy Sarzo and Adrian Vandenberg, Coverdale and myself I mean every one of us has a pedigree and experiences, but I don’t feel we ever had that magic and musical connection and like I said I don’t say that to sound disrespectful to the other guys in the band in any way because that’s not what I mean.  I just say for nine years it just never gelled as a unit on a musical level.

Wasn’t your solo remixed in the Give Me All Your Love video?  

Yes.  That’s the only thing I recorded with Whitesnake.  We went in and mixed that track.  I did a guitar solo on it.  By then what was supposed to be the follow-up album that’s when the wheels were starting to fall off.  I knew.  David was writing with Adrian, and they had a good thing going on together, and that’s David came and said he was going to write the record with Adrian and from that point on I could tell that I didn’t have a future in the band.  I wasn’t going to be in a group that I couldn’t participate in, but I fully respected his decision to want to write with Adrian.  They had a connection that David and I didn’t so be it

It sounds like Jake E Lee with Ozzy Osbourne he didn’t get any credit on those albums like you did with DIO it’s just the similarities your telling me it sounds like with Sharon on Ozzy and Jake on those couple of albums 

Yes, I’ve heard a lot from other people who have worked with Ozzy as well that the Osbourne’s do that a lot.  Have you write songs for them and you sign it away.  It’s a timeworn school concept, not something I agree with.  I don’t think it makes for good music.  I believe that you must keep your employee’s happy if you know what I mean.  People must feel like there a part of something to bring out the best in them.  That’s why the early DIO records were much more vital because even though Jimmy and Vinny and I got nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing from those early records we were promised that by the third record we would.  So, we were working towards it.  We were a team we were in the trenches together.  Like I said nobody left the studio early.  We were all encouraging one another, bringing out the best of each other, making suggestions.  By the time we got to Sacred Heart, it was evident that that wasn’t going to materialize.  What had been promised to us was not going to happen that’s when it started to go sour.  You know when we did the Heavy Crown record with Andrew we split everything on that record twenty-five percent for each guy.  It doesn’t matter who had the idea for a song where it started or who contributed what it’s a full four-way split on that record and that’s part of the reason I honestly believe it’s an excellent record because everyone is in it together.  When you’re working as a team you bring your best; you bring your A-game when you know you’re writing a song for someone, and he’s not even going to put your name on it you’re less inclined to want to bring your A-game.  Even like a song We Rock where Jimmy and I we be involved in that song but we have no writing credit in it we were kind of ok with that at the time because we had writing credit on other songs on the record and us still trying to work toward the end goal that Ronnie had promised us you know.  It’s unfortunate that it didn’t turn out to be, but it’s part of the pitfalls of the music industry.

True.  When you worked with Lou Graham, and then you did your Riverdogs album did you have input there?  Was that entirely different creativity for you?  

Riverdogs is a very different project.  Everyone wrote in Riverdogs, but the majority of the songs in Riverdogs were already written by Rob Lamothe when I got involved with the band when I first worked with Riverdogs it was as a producer.  I was producing demos for them.  They already had a guitar player.  It was never my intentions to join the band, in fact, I was with Whitesnake when I first started working with them, but it was one of those things where the Whitesnake thing was starting to fall apart, and Riverdogs were losing patience with their guitar player and I ended up segwaying into that band.  So yes, that was a very different thing.


How do you like the current state with Def Leppard?  Are you enjoying doing that?  

Well, it’s been 25 years.  Def Leppard is a unique band in every aspect.  How the band creates.  How the band performs live.  You know I’m still the new guy.  I’m going to be forever the Ronnie Wood of Def Leppard.  You know Ronnie Wood’s been in the Stones for close to 40 years, and I’ve been 25 years with Leppard.  It’s a very different challenge for me being in Def Leppard.  It’s challenged me as a songwriter to grow and to think in a variety of ways.  I’ve learned an awful lot from being in the band.  It’s challenged me as a singer.  I’ve become much more proficient vocally than I ever was.  That was important to me.  I always wanted to sing.  I didn’t do that with DIO, but from everything after DIO, Whitesnake, Riverdogs, Def Leppard I’ve been very active as a singer and Def Leppard is a big challenge for me on the singing.  That’s the big challenge for all of us.  There are so many intense vocals in each song that Def Leppard does it’s kind of cathartic to me in a different kind of muscle that I exercise when I go on stage with Last in Line because Last in Line I do not sing at all.  I just play guitar, and it’s very challenging guitar to me in Last in Line to play the original DIO songs.  To play the songs from the Heavy Crown album.  It’s a very different muscle that I’m exercising than when I’m on stage with Def Leppard.  Def Leppard is an incredible band, and I was always a fan even from the early day’s way before I knew Joe way before I became part of the group.  I was very much a Def Leppard fan, and I followed them in their career since day one, so it was quite a privilege to be able to join the band back in ’92

My last question, how is your health?  Are you doing alright?

It’s a work in progress.  I mean it’s as good as it can be.  Sometimes it’s one step forward, two steps back but I’m happy with where I am right now.  The kind of treatment I am doing right now is called Immunotherapy, and I’m taking a drug called Pembrolizumab which is the same thing that cured Jimmy Carter’s melanoma.  I’m taking that as part of a clinical trial.  It’s FDA approved.  I’ve been on it for a year and a half.  At the very least it is holding my tumors where they are, and it might even be slowly starting to shrink them.  I can do the treatment for about another 7 to 8 months so by summer of next year I’m going to have to possibly consider doing something else because I don’t think it’s going to cure it but at least I can continue to work with this treatment.  There are minimal side effects.  It’s not like doing chemo or anything its very benign very easy and the schedule is enough where it allows me to work I just must come back to LA every 3 or 4 weeks to do the infusions.  So, for now, it’s good.  Next summer I don’t know I might have to do radiation or something, combination therapy.  I don’t know.  That’s going to be next summer’s problem

I wish you the best like I said I would give some prayers on I hope a full recovery.  

Thank you, Andrew,

You need a solo record out there too!

Well I know between Riverdogs and Def Leppard, there’s not a lot of time for that.  Plus, my health.  I got to jump. Nice to talk to you!