An Interview with
Bassist of 'Last In Line' (formerly of Ozzy Osbourne, Vince Neil and many more)
that took place on Wednesday 6th March, 2019.
Glenn: While we were mentioned Jimmy Bain not too long ago, was that hard for you to go into those shoes, play that material on tour because they were songs that Jimmy had played on? Also, was it less pressure on the second album because it was all your bass playing and you weren't trying to emulate what someone else had already put down there?
Phil: The first thing was that it was never presented to me that way and I never saw it as me either replacing or stepping into Jimmy's shoes or anything like that. When Jimmy passed away, it was a real shock to everybody, including me. The guys didn't know what they were going to do. I remember being at Jimmy's funeral. I was sitting next to Andy, next to Vinny. One of the two, I can't remember who it was said, “We don't know what we are going to do but if we were to do some shows, would you be interested ?”. I said, “Well yeah – just let me know”. They didn't know what they were going to do. Jimmy had just passed away when the album was released.
Then after they thought for a while they said, “We think that the right thing to do is to at least take this record that he worked hard on and perform it for all the fans”. It was something he never got around to doing. It was the last part of the equation. The shows had already been booked. They were already there. The way I saw it was that there was never an intention to move forward with this. It was really, “we're just gonna go out there and play those songs”. For me, it was my honour actually – something I felt that I could do for Jimmy because there's not much you can do when somebody's gone.
From a band's point of view, they were just going to go out and do some shows. From my point of view, this was an opportunity for me to do something for my friend – do that for Jimmy. For me to be able to go there and go out there and at least present those songs for the fans. That's all it was ever intended to be. I don't think in Vivian's mind that they were planning on even going further than that. I was out there playing, basically Jimmy's parts. The Dio songs were all Jimmy's parts, the Heavy Crown songs were all Jimmy's parts. I was pretty much playing Jimmy's stuff and I would like to think that he would be up there giving me the thumbs up, saying something like (in Scottish accent) “That's Great, thanks a lot!”. We were friends. We had lived together. There were a lot of connections between us all.
Phil: It wasn't until we'd been on the road for quite some time that we'd start jamming on ideas and then realised there was a chemistry. There was something in it. Eventually it all came around to, “We should write another record”. That's how it evolved. But right at the beginning it was something I was just very honoured to do. Certainly, it wasn't a challenge at all. I felt like I was doing something really good.
Glenn: Yeah, it was a natural thing to do as well - so to speak.
Phil: Yeah. The surprise for everybody was how well 'Heavy Crown' was received live.
Glenn: Yeah. Yeah it was.
Phil: And the records as well. I don't know what was going through their heads – you'd have to ask Vivian, Vinny and Andy. They were going to go out there and do some shows, play some Dio songs, play some songs off the 'Heavy Crown' album. Who’s to know that if that every time they played a 'Heavy Crown' song everyone would get up and go to use the bathroom? But people received it very, very well. I think that's what led to the idea that the band had some legs here and should continue.
Glenn: Yeah, I'm glad you did. I mean, one of the songs that really stands out is 'Starmaker'. It's an incredible momentous moment in that set and and the album itself. What songs would you say your favourite songs are or that stand in your mind from the new album?
Phil: The very last track, 'The Light' is probably my favourite track. Not because it's better than any of the others but it ties the whole album together. We had some great debates about that because we weren't sure what to call it. We were going to give it a different title and I remember that me and Andy were talking and I said, “We have to call it 'The Light' – it has to be”. It has to be that thing at the end of the tunnel. The whole subject of the album is quite dark with a lot of unease that seems to be in society today. Whether it's political, whether it's divisional or whatever it is you want to talk about, it’s a little bit dark so this one track at the end is the one thing that focusses the whole album. It's like the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, when you look at the album cover, it's that monolithic, grey stone tomb with a ray of light in front of it and light coming over the horizon – that little golden light. That's what it is. That's what the whole album's about.
Glenn: Wow! Nice!
Phil: That's where the title ties in. We've been through a lot of thought on this record. Lyrically as well. Andy's great with lyrics. I do a lot of lyrics too. The two of us talk a lot about stuff like that.
Glenn: Yeah! Which songs are you most involved with lyrically?
Phil: The track called 'The Unknown'. Andrew had some idea for a chorus lyric and then I wrote most of the rest. It was one of those songs where... we do this collaboratively. All the music is done very much collaboratively. We get together and we come up with ideas together and we say what's going to work next. “Let's try this”, I come up with a riff, Vivian will come up with a riff, Vinny will come up with a very creative inspirational drum part. He's really great with arrangements. So we work on it together. Then Andy, he'll go off and in time he'll add in his contribution as well. He and I will sometimes work on melody lines or we work on harmony, we'll work on words here and there. He's written most of the lyrics on this record. He has great influences as well. It's been a really great way of working. To be able to write an album this way, literally where everybody brings in parts. If you took any one of the songs and ripped them apart, there's not one song on here that doesn't have an equal contribution from each of us.
There's stuff that goes in. It might be something that Viv comes up with. He'll come up with a chord and I'll say, “Oh that's great!”. Then he'll say, “Oh no, that's very typical”. So I'll say, “Alright, let's work on it for a bit because there’s something that we can make sound really unusual” and we'll bring it around. It might be somebody else that comes up with something but you just get the encouragement from someone else to try something new or try something different. You can't do that on your own. If you're writing on your own it's different. It becomes very one-dimensional.
Glenn: And you can't see the good from the bad or the indifferent can you? You can't see the wood for the trees any more.
Phil: Yeah that and the ideas, where you tend to rehash the same ideas, same thoughts, same chords, same changes, you know?
Phil: When we talked about solo records. I am writing songs for another solo record at the moment. It's everything I can do to stay away from the same old chords. It's like I've done that before.
Glenn: Exactly. When it comes to bass players, what bass players interested you in the first place and why? Also, what bass players have you took to these days and what does it take to get you interested in them from a playing point of view?
Phil: I have a range of influences that come from a number of different bass players. One of the first bass players that I appreciated would be Paul McCartney and then Andy Fraser from ‘Free’. Free had some really big hits that drew me in. I really admired his creativity. Like McCartney, he wrote a lot of stuff – he was a writer. Through that, I went onto John Paul Jones – all the Classic Rock Guys that we listen to.
I then went through this appreciation for people like Bill Black – early 50's Rock 'N' Roll bass players. Then I went through a fusion thing – Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke, Ralph Armstrong, Tom Fowler – certain stuff – discovering people like that. Ronnie Wood – I thought he was a fantastic bass player. The British 70's punk, Glam Rock, The Rolling Stones era that kind of music as well. Tons and tons of bass players that I love that I would listen to and learn from.
Bassist today – who do I really like? People like (Robert) DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots – I think he is an amazing bass player. He's an amazing bass player because he finds great ways to play around chords. That's the sort of stuff I love to listen to. It's easy for someone to sit down and play root notes and sometime's that's all that's needed. But when you have somebody that is able to play around the actual chords that are going on and add an interest that implies the vocal melody or whatever melody that is going on at the same time, that's a talented bass player. That's what I respect a lot.
If I go back a little further, I'm classically taught. I played violin first in my life – that's my childhood. When you listen to four part harmony or Bach composition – a lot of that was figured bass. Figured bass: what it means is that you have a defined bass line and you have a melody line – the bass line and the melody line are related together. It kind of leaves all the other parts in the middle open to interpretation. Some people have called it the embryonic form of jazz because each quartet would play the same piece slightly different. It's interpretation. Figured bass – this is the chord and this is the bass line that you have to play. The melody has to be adhered to, but the structure of the chords you can interpret how you want.
I therefore see a great connection between melody line and between the bass line. I think that many times, bass lines should end up working with the melody line. In doing so, they can dance around the chords and accent different intervals within that chord that will inspire that melody line. I think that's why you have so many great bass player singers whether it's McCartney, Sting, Geddy Lee or any others. That's how they're working. They are not thinking, 'How do I play this bass line at the same time that I am singing this vocal?'. They are doing something that goes together. It's very, very closely connected. It's nice to hear a bass player that does something like that. I usually sit up and pay attention. I respect so many other bass players. Many people.
Glenn: Sound! One bassist that comes to mind when you say that is Marco Mendoza – what he does and when he scats and all the other stuff – it's mind-blowing and he's a pleasure to watch how he goes about things.
Phil: Yeah absolutely. Marco comes from very much a fusion background, a jazz background – big time. He's played in a Jazz band for years. He had a Jazz trio with Joey Heredia (Drums) and the keyboard player (Renato Neto). Those guys are fantastic. People like Billy Sheehan too. I appreciate all these things that people can do. Billy is tremendous at what he does. When I first heard him I thought “This guy is breaking into a whole new thing” He does what he does and very, very well.
Glenn: I guess it's almost like going back to school again to watch some of these guys on stage?
Phil: Yeah it is. That's the beauty of it. When you think you know everything about an instrument, somebody comes out with a whole new way of playing four strings that never occurred to you before.
Glenn: Regarding bass and your various basses, do you use different basses for different styles of music or do you have a certain favourite bass that you like to play or does it just depend on the style?
Phil: It depends on the style. I have quite a lot of instruments. They are like horses for courses. A lot of stuff I will do with... it might call for a Precision type bass – like a passive Precision sound. Something else might call for something that's more active so I'll use my MusicMan Sterlings – those are my main instruments. I still have other eclectic things. I have odd Gibson EB0’s I have Wal basses which I love, I have Fernandez Basses that I use for different things. I find their 5-strings are really great. I still have a range of different basses, such as a Roger Giffin, that I have had made for me that I have used from time to time. Then fretless basses; for example on the Japanese release of 'II' there's a bonus track which is an acoustic version of 'Landslide' that we've recorded completely differently. I ended up mixing that track and put a whole bunch of cool things on there including a fretless bass. That track is unique when you hear it. You need different instruments for all these different things.
Glenn: That makes a lot of sense. What made you guys decide on having 'Landslide' as the opening teaser track? Was that a Frontiers Records idea?
Phil: I don't really know to be honest. All of a sudden it was 'Landslide' as the forthcoming single. It didn't come from the record company. It came from us. But I don't really remember how that came about. I think it was more like a discussion somehow where someone, it might have been Vivian said, “Well 'Landslide” is the obvious one to start it off here”. I didn't have any better idea. I mean, sometimes, like you said about the forest from the trees, I get so close that I'm not the right person to ask anyway. I'm glad that we picked it. It did really well.
Glenn: The timing worked well when it got released. Every time you put Facebook on it was there. You would scroll up and, “Oh look, it's there again”. Like 'not Landslide again' – hahaha.. it did it's job and it's a great song. It's a natural chorus. It's a massive hook and it sticks in your head. It's been stuck in my head since I first played the album a few days ago. It's an amazing number. Back in the day that would have been a big hit – somewhere in the Top 10 or Top 20 at least. I wish those days would come back as such.
Phil: Yeah. I think its been doing well. It's had a great response from chart position. It's number 10 in the US Classic Rock Radio Charts at the moment.
Glenn: It's perfect.
Phil: Now what we need to do is any additional work to keep activity there because it will help it to rise higher which means we will probably get more out of it.
Glenn: It makes sense. I'm just pleased it's going so well for you guys.
Phil: Thank You. We are too and we don't take it lightly. We don't take it for granted. We're probably just as surprised as everybody else. I don't want to make out , “Oh yeah we saw it was all gonna go (that way)”, because in this business you can do everything right as we often do and there’s no guarantee of success. You watch what happens. If it does work you don't really know how it happened. Like “Wow! Okay!” I'll take it but there's that element and that factor that we don't know... that X-Factor or the planets lining up, right place, right time, I don't know. We can do nothing to engineer it.
Glenn: Maybe it's a case of it was that sound and people wanted that style... obviously there's that DIO sound and everything else. There's a certain feel to it and sound of it that grabs your attention somehow. The subconscious thinking, 'I like that' for whatever reason and you just buy onto it and keep on with it. That's from the listeners point of view from our side.
Phil: Well I think part of that is Vinny's style of playing drums. He's not a typical groove drummer. He's a much more explosive drummer. He plays parts and they're very definite. If he hits something, he doesn't do it in any half-measures, you know he hit it. You've got that and Viv, the way he plays as well – he's very definite with his attack. I hear bits of Rory Gallagher, I hear bits of Gary Moore – those are his big influences. The way he plays, he has an incredible attack and that fits with what Vinny does.
I like to think that I do the same thing as well. If you put those things together it does command some attention. No-one is coasting through these songs. These are very much parts. Maybe that's why it grabs the attention. I don't know. But the one thing I take out of that is that there's a definite connection and musical chemistry between the three of us and then you've got Andrew Freeman on top of course.
Glenn: Yeah! He's like the icing on the cake isn't he? He's just as good as all you guys. It just works.
Phil: Yeah it does. He has the freedom to do what he does. Andy has a really diverse range of influences. He listens to everything. It doesn't matter if it's Hip-Hop. He listens to everything, takes it in and goes, “Okay. There might be something here that one day might be an inspiration that I want to throw in there”. It could be one note. It could be a word. It could be anything. I think that's what's necessary to be creative. He allows himself to be influenced by whatever is out there.
Glenn: He becomes like a vocal chameleon somewhat?
Phil: A little bit. You hear that stuff. It's really funny because if you are in the car with him.. you can put on an R'N'B station and he's knows every single song. He just absorbs that stuff. Then when it comes down to him coming up with a creative part for a song, he'll come up with something and take it in a direction that no-one has ever really considered. “Wow, that's cool, where'd you get that from?”
Glenn: He could say, “Well I took it from some rapper or something”.
Phil: Yeah it could be.
Phil: It could be. We clown around all the time as you probably know but a lot of the time but then he’ll throw one line in and nail it.
Glenn: How did you meet him? As an outsider, we might think it was at 'Raiding The Rock Vault' but it's probably way before that.
Phil: Actually, I used to do a jam at Sherman Oaks at a bar here called 'Cozys' with a couple of other players, JP Cervoni the guitar player and Mike Hansen the drummer. It was a jam on a Tuesday night. It was a classic rock jam. We played for two or three hours. Just standards for fun. People would come in and they jump on stage. They'd jam. It wasn't an organised jam. It was a very disorganised jam. That's what was great about it. I first met Andy because he's good friends with Mike Hansen. He would come on stage and sing here and there. That's the first time I met him. Then later on I ended up working on the 'Rock Vault' with him and I got to know him. Then he was in 'Last In Line' when Jimmy was alive.
Glenn: Nice. That's cool. Vivian goes without saying as well from the Dio days with Vinny. But there you go. What would you say your proudest moments have been over the years?
Phil: Playing with Jimmy Page.
Glenn: Wow! How did that happen?
Phil: That was in 1983/84. I has been in Simon Kirke's band. He had a band called 'Wildlife' on SwanSong and I had been in that band. When that petered out, through the people of the label I met Jimmy.
He had wanted to put a band together and start working again. He hadn't worked for some time. After John Bonham died he'd been very quiet. He wanted to get back into playing. Initially what it was, was he wanted to get a band together that he could just jam with. We would go into a rehearsal room everyday and jam. We played and ended up playing together for a few months. It was an idea was that would eventually become The Firm. It was always earmarked that Paul Rodgers would be the singer.
Paul never actually came down at that time - it was Jimmy, Chris Slade and myself. We just got it going and played songs. Just jammed and worked out ideas. All kinds of stuff. It was really fun. The only reason I left that band was to join Ozzy. I had this predicament where I had got the Ozzy gig and now I had to decide what I wanted to do. Did I want to play with Ozzy or did I want to stay with Jimmy? What a problem huh? (I laugh) It was a problem...
Glenn: I bet.
Phil: ...And it was causing me a great deal of anxiety at the time. I loved Jimmy and I wanted to be in his band. I suppose if both bands were going to out on tour at the same time I would have gone with Jimmy but he wasn't planning on doing anything, in his words for “Probably another year or year and a half”. That's why I decided to go out with Ozzy. That's one of my proudest moments. Another proud moment was all the work I did with Steve Lukather. I wrote a lot with Steve and we accomplished much together.
The first time I came to America I got to play in a huge band with Ozzy. This was a dream I had when I was a kid. I am also very proud of this ‘Last in Line’ album right now. Anytime I've managed to gain some sort of success doing something that I have set as a goal I've been very proud. I was very proud of being Vice-President at The Grammys, a position I held for two years.
Glenn: How did working for The Grammys come about?
Phil: I decided I wanted to be involved with The Grammys, which does far more than the awards show. It does a lot of other work. A lot of advocacy issues, fund-raising and what have you. I remember saying to my girlfriend then who is now my wife, “You know, I'd love to get more involved, I'd love to be involved on the board in some fashion”. I put myself up to be elected to the board. I got elected, I served three two-year terms. By the third term, I wanted to take a run at Vice-President. I ran for Vice-President, got elected and did that for two one-year terms. Then after that I would have been President of the Los Angeles Chapter. But one day I didn't like the politics at the Grammys any more. There's a lot of politics. Anytime you get involved with political organisations be it the Recording Academy, be in the Congress, you're going to have all of this weird stuff going on.
Glenn: You've got to go the way of the old boys and the way they want it to to be run so to speak?
Phil: Yeah. I think that sometimes some of the work that we did could be better if it were people who were more focused on what we were trying to do rather than trying to maintain their own position at the organisation. There's a great quote that says that “Once you consider a career in politics you're already corrupted”. (I laugh). This should not really be a career thing. It's an opportunity to step up and do something. When you start thinking about it in terms of a career then it's like “Hang on, I need to ensure that I stay here!”. Then you start making decisions based upon that. That's the reason for that quote. I see that in all organisations no matter how big or small.
Glenn: Yeah. People want to get there and then go down in history as doing something no matter if it's good or bad. Once it's been done they've disappeared and we're left with the sh*t to deal with and put up with later. Then we have to untangle all that and get something positive from things. It seems to be everywhere now.
Phil: Yeah. I've got to be very careful because I don't want to get into any political discussion here. I do think that when people are entrusted to do things on behalf of organisations, they should remain focussed on that and whatever they are trying to do. That's very, very important. Anyway, for those reasons, I realised at the end of that, I said, “You know, if I'm going to be President of this it's going to take hours and hours of work every week and then I will have to play the game”. I had worked with the people who oversee that board because it's overseen, and they knew that I wasn't going to be that person - I was probably going to be quite vocally critical about it. I couldn’t believe that I got a call one day asking me to strongly reconsider my application for President of the Los Angeles Chapter.
Glenn: Brilliant answer.
Phil: It’s the best way I can put it. I said, “Wow, did I really just get this call?” Then I realised I did. At first I was going to make a big stink about it. Then I thought, 'You know what, this is exactly the reason why it's time for me to gracefully bow out. I realised that I had done some really good things here, made some fantastic friends, helped pass some great laws that benefit all musicians and raised a lot of money for 'MusicCares' that help musicians who find themselves fallen on hard times. I focussed on all the good things that I did and came away with a big smile on my face.
Glenn: Here's something totally different, when you come across here to play, what do you miss about things you get in America and when you are in America, do you miss things about Britain a well that you are used to when you originally lived here?
Phil: I don't know. That's a really interesting question because I think when I first came here I was just amazed at the standard of musicianship. It was so pristine. I had felt really good about myself before I got here. Then when I got here I saw, “Wow! I've got a lot to learn”. Some of these guys are insane – they are so good. In Britain, the acts were always about originality and over here it was about playing performance and ability. That would be reflected in the bands. You'd see lots and lots of original bands in Britain. If you went to a pub it was an original band.
Over here you'd never see an original band – they were all cover bands. If you were in the bar they'd all be playing cover songs. That was the first thing I noticed and so became very focussed on the way that I played. I practised for hours. I'd do crazy things. I would get together just with drummers – playing tons of stuff, just drums and bass trying to make everything lock together really, really well. Those were my perceptions of the differences.
Going back to Britain - the business. I see fellow musicians in Britain and realise how difficult it is for them to make a living doing what they're doing. You come over to America – it's a very legitimate career being a musician. Everybody considers it to be a legitimate career. In England, I still think there's a little bit of a “Oh you're a musician, when are you going to get a real job?”.
Glenn: Yeah, like next time you sign on or something?
Glenn: I remember Lemmy saying he didn't start making any money until he moved to America.
Phil: Well he started making money because he started playing Fruit Machines. (We laugh)
Phil: I'll always remember it. The first time I met him was in a pub in West Hampstead and he was playing a fruit machine. He won some money. It poured out of the bottom of the machine and I looked at him and said, “So finance has come through for your next tour has it?”. (We laugh). I think he's right. Coming to America, they treat us a bit more special – everybody does. You go to a bank and say, “Hey, I want a credit card?”, “What do you do?”, “I'm a musician”, “Okay, how interesting, well write down ‘musician’”.
Glenn: Yeah in the UK it just wouldn't happen would it? They say, “Oh we need it in writing how much you officially earn”.
Phil: My Dad had a friend who was a bank manager and I said, “I want to get a credit card”. He said, ”Go see my friend at NatWest bank”. So I walked in there and said, “Hi”, “Oh you're Jack's Son”, “Yes I am”, “Sit down – you want a credit card? Okay”. He started filling in an application and he said, “What do you do?”, “Musician”, he laughed. Putting the pen down he pushed the paper away and said, “Well, you'll have to come back when you have a real job that we can put down here”. I thought, 'F*ck! That's not very nice'.
Glenn: It's a joke isn't it.
Phil: Yeah. So there is a little difference in the way the business runs but as far as musicians go the players over here were of a very, very high standard. I think that it's still the same. Very polished. I'll go into a studio and record with guys over here. You put the headphones on and it sounds like a Steely Dan album.
Phil: The level of playing is very complete. It's not like, “We'll fix it in the mix type”.
Glenn: Yeah. Plus you get decent singers over there as well. Not too much autotune sh*t.
Phil: Yeah, but there it's a little different. What makes a great singer is somebody who is unique and identifiable. I often tell a joke; my wife loves to watch The Voice and stuff like that, which I abhor. I can't deal with it. I think it sends the wrong message out to hopefuls. I say that if you had David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger on The Voice, they wouldn't make the first round.
Glenn: It's true. It's so true. (We laugh)
Phil: It really sends the wrong message out.
Glenn: They all sound the same.
Phil: I know. It's not just about being able to copy a song. It's about being creative too. The singer is even more important.
Glenn: All the women seem to sound like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. I lost interest in it altogether.
Phil: I really stress the importance of being a really great musician. It's great to have vocal technique as well. You need to have a great vocal technique but you also need to have something that's unique about your voice. If you can identify who the singer is within three seconds on the radio, you've got a superstar singer.
Glenn: Yeah. I agree with you completely. It's like Rod Stewart, Paul Rodgers, Paul McCartney or Elton John – you know who it is straight away. These up to date people all sound the same.
Phil: Yeah. Absolutely. Even if it's something bizarre. I was a huge David Bowie fan. Huge – very early on as far as I can remember. At first I thought he sounded like Anthony Newley which I still think he does. He took that vocal personality Anthony Newley had. Newley wrote unbelievable hits for people. He’s very identifiable.
Glenn: That's what's missing half the time. There's too many bands that you see at various festivals or on TV or radio and you think, 'I've just heard them already' and then you find out it's a different band altogether. I think, 'Oh yeah, it's just a cookie cutter machine thing'. You've got to sound like this, this or this. It's same with Country Music these days. It's the same thing over and over again. All the vocals are the same. It's a bit sad.
Phil: Yeah. Its not grabbed me that style of Pop-Country.
Glenn: No not at all. I hate it. They all sound like wanna-be Hank Williams and they are often from New York or somewhere. They put a cowboy hat on, some fashionable clothes and think they're country stars. Like No! (I laugh).
Phil: Well I was very much a fan of what used to be called 'Country Rock'. I was a huge fan of Little Feat, a huge fan of Lowell George, Ry Cooder and people like that. I respected that kind of music. I wish there was a little bit more of that around. I guess that would be called American Indigenous Music today but it used to be called Country Rock.
Glenn: Is there anything else you'd like to discuss that we have yet covered in this great chat.
Phil: Not really apart from of course this album we're really proud of (Last In Line – II) and how people can go and listen to it. I'm writing a book at the moment – an Autobiography which will be really fun. Hopefully, I'm going to get that finished within the next few months. It takes a long time to write doesn't it?
Glenn: It does yeah. I was going to ask you if an autobiography was coming out some time which will be very interesting to say the least.
Phil: Well sometime soon. I have to finish it first. I'm about 300 pages in at the moment. Hopefully in the next three or four months I'm going to have that finished. I'm good friends with David Ellefson. He has published quite a few books and he's helping me a little bit with it. I'm going to probably reach out to him and have help me to get it published. I'll probably do something. I've no idea how I'm going to do that. I haven't even gotten into that but it should be good.
I've tried to stay away from the boring stuff and the history and just talking about me. Nobody wants to hear about me (he jokes). I'm trying to talk a little bit more about what it was like actually growing up in the 60's and 70's in England, what it was like coming to America in the 80's and being here. Stuff that would be of more interest from a perspective of the environment of the circumstances. I've tried to put as much humour into it as well. Keep it funny. Lots of funny stories.
Glenn: Nice one.
Phil: It should be a good read.
Glenn: I've got to ask you as well, due to the popularity of 'Last In Line', can you see a DVD coming out in the future like a live show with videos and extras such as little interview snippets and stuff like that? Or is that way in the distance?
Phil: No I don't think people buy DVD's any more. The last 'Heavy Crown' album was available as a CD and DVD combination with some videos on it. I gave a copy to somebody, a friend of mine who will remain nameless. He called me up and said, “That album's great. I really love that album. The other album doesn't seem to work. I don't know why it doesn't”. I said, “Actually it's a DVD”. He said, “Oh!”. He thought it was a CD. (I laugh). People don't even know what a DVD is any more.
Phil: I think with the ascent of YouTube, everything is out there. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Glenn: Yeah, it's killed it off hasn't it.
Phil: It's whatever happens in Vegas stays on YouTube.
Glenn: (I laugh) It's so true. The sh*tty phone sound goes with it too. You say, “ No they didn't sound like that 'In Concert' but it sounds like that off the phone.
Phil: I know. Of course, the minute there's a mistake or something you are thinking, “Oh f*ck*ng hell!” Preserved for posterior! The thing is, it's tricky. What we did on this record is we've done snippet videos. We do videos with little talks about particular songs, little fun things and put them out there. I'm sure you've seen a lot of it and there's something more as well.
One guy in Britain, I think he did a song by song review of the album – three or four of those were actually video reviews that we did and talk about the songs. That kind of stuff is really interesting for people. I would be interested in seeing that. As far as live performances go, well lots of people have cameras out there and they post stuff on YouTube but if really want to enjoy the show come and see the live show.
Phil: We can't duplicate that.
Glenn: Exactly. Some good shows coming up. I'd like to thank you for a great chat for the best part of 90 minutes Sir.
Phil: Bloody Hell. One thing I'd like to say in closing is that it really is a fantastic ride. There's not one single thing in all the playing that I've done that I regret. I know that people say it's always good not to regret anything. Everything has something so redeeming about it. It makes you a better musician. It gives you a better outlook on everything. So when we do an album like this, it's really an honour and a pleasure to speak with you and say, “This is a combination of a lot of great stuff”. However, I only account for about 25% of this. There's three other guys. I'm sure you'll get as diverse information from them as well. Andrew, Vivian and Vinny are a great bunch to be working with.
Glenn: Anyway, I'm going to let you get off Sir. Bit it's been great talking to you Sir.
Phil: Thank you very much. Thank you for your time and thank you for doing this.
Big thanks to Jon Freeman for setting up the Interview.