Vivian Campbell states that his early ’80s band Sweet Savage sounded so much like Metallica
Current Def Leppard, Last In Line and Riverdogs guitarist Vivian Campbell was interviewed by Eon Music and was asked about coming full circle when he plays with Last In Line while being the recipient of the Oh Yeah Legend Award in Belfast, Northern Ireland later this year.
Campbell stated: “Well, my entire musical journey has been quite colourful. I sometimes think would it have been more rewarding to have been in one band. It’s always occurred to me; what if Sweet Savage had gotten a record deal and made that debut album? Maybe Metallica wouldn’t have existed, because we sounded so much like Metallica, you know?! But you can’t change history. I guess it would have been nice to have had a career in one band, but on the other hand, I’ve had a very, very colourful journey with all these different bands, and like I said before, I’ve been fortunate I’ve gotten to experience playing with so many A-list musicians and A-list bands; it’s been frankly, the sort of education that you could never replicate. I’d like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two from all of that.”
Wikipedia states the following about Campbell‘s time in Sweet Savage (with slight edit): “Campbell began playing guitar at the age of 12 with a Telecaster Thinline and Carlsbro Stingray amp. When he was 15, Campbell joined Teaser, which went on to become Sweet Savage, a NWOBHM band. The band’s song “Killing Time” was covered by Metallica as a B-side for their “The Unforgiven” single, and was included on Metallica‘s Garage Inc. covers album. In 1981 they released an EP consisting of four BBC radio sessions and their first single “Take No Prisoners”. Campbell left Sweet Savage in early 1983 to join Dio after guitarist Jake E. Lee was offered Randy Rhoads‘ spot as Ozzy Osbourne‘s lead guitarist in December 1982.”
Campbell also provided an update on the next Last In Line album to Eon Music when he stated: “I was very pleased with how ‘Heavy Crown’ came out, and we’ve got six songs written for the next record. When we go back to L.A. after this tour, we’ll work on getting the rest of the record done. I do have a lot of ideas for it, and I’m excited about it; I would actually say it’s more riffy than the ‘Heavy Crown’ record; it’s a bit more intricate, a bit more involved. I’m not talking prog rock or any of that stuff (!), but it’s a little bit more complex, a little bit more upbeat, tempo-wise, and I am certainly intending to make it a lot more guitar-focused than even ‘Heavy Crown’ was. Between doing ‘Heavy Crown’ and the Riverdogs’ ‘California’ album, I think I’ve got my groove back, so I’m feeling ready. There’s going to be a lot of notes on this next record!”
You can read the rest of the interview with Campbell at Eon Music.
Sweet Savage performing at Maysfield Leisure Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 4-3-1981:
Sweet Savage’s Line Up Ray Haller – Vocals, Bass Vivian Campbell – Guitar Trev Fleming Guitar (RIP 2010) David Bates – Drums Set List Sweet Surrender (0:09 -2:11) Prospector Of Greed (2:22 – 6:20) Eye Of The Storm (6:24 – 10:00 Take No Prisoners (10:00 – 13:11) Ending credits Killing Time (13:20 – 16:06)