Singled Out: Last in Line's Landslide
Last in Line (featuring original Dio members) are releasing their sophomore album "II" next month and to celebrate we asked Phil Soussan to tell us about the lead single "Landslide". Here is the story:
There was a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the writing on this album considering that I was a new addition to the chemistry as a result of the sad passing of Jimmy Bain. We weren't sure how this change would affect the writing or even if we would be able to write together as successfully as previously. I have to say that the result exceeded all of our expectations, very much to all our relief!
Landslide was one of the first songs that we wrote for the LIL-II album, the first one being "Electrified". The way of working titles is funny; Vivian had been looking for a new house to move into in Los Angeles and each house he saw would have something wrong. Each day he would come in with a statement about his recent viewing and all of our working titles had reference to those house problems - Black Mold, Escrow, Arthur Roof - but this one was different, it was actually called Saxon. We had toured with the band of the same name recently and the feedback at the top of the song sounding like a "metal rock" type of sound. Vivian had that part, and from what I understand some of the verse parts, that he had been playing over and over. He started playing that and I started to play a very Billy Idol type "eights" bass line under the chords. We assembled the song section by section, jamming to find sections that led into each other, and I recorded the finished thing on a portable recorder, as I usually did, taking it back to my home studio to sweeten it up and make it sound a little more like a studio recording.
There were some stand out moments in the song - Vivian's feedback at the top that sets up the vibe, Vinny playing the tom rolls backwards in the re-intro, the half time chorus that Vinny came up with and the cool timing ideas that we brought into the mid section. As this record was very much a co-production between the band and the producer (Jeff Pilson), when in the studio we experimented greatly with sounds and effects and tried the idea of pulsing the feedback at different tempos, right and left, which resulted in a hypnotic intro that draws the listener in. At the end of the day what we have is a dynamite, powerful track played by my favorite format of a traditional 3 piece rock band, with very little in the way of overdubbing or smoke and mirrors for that matter. This is a characteristic of the sound of Last in Line.
Andrew Freeman set to putting his lyrics together for the melodies.
The concept for the lyrics over most of this album was really about the current environment that we find ourselves in these days, with the media, both social and political trying to railroad people into believing what they want us to believe; how to think, what is real or fake, how to vote, the secret agendas - in fact it often seems nothing more than certain persons trying to rile up the nation in anger for their own political power grab...
"Bury me in your clever words, head down, following the herd" ...the song starts.
None of us ever want to sound preachy for that reason, but it is important for people to do their own research, find out the truth and vote and believe in what they know to be true.
"You've come to break the mold, your story's all been told, but your heart lies in the darkness of your soul"
The song does have a positive message as a result of the warnings...
"Cross into the light, how can we fight with our hands tied? ...read between the lines!"
"But tonight, I'm taking what is mine" !
The whole album does end with a light at the end of the tunnel, featuring a beautiful and positive final track, actually titled "The Light". It leaves you with a sense of well being and permanence. It is epitomized by the glimmer of that rising golden light shining out over the stark, cold, ancient stone monoliths illustrated on the LIL-II album cover.
Last In Line Release Video For Unplugged Version Of 'Landslide'