At Rocklahoma, Soussan was already an integral piece of Last in Line, although he did recognize that some strange feelings surrounded his presence.
Said Soussan of being in Last in Line, “I would describe it as a bittersweet experience. I am very happy to be doing this, but there is also a bit of sadness involved.”
“Everyone is familiar with the awards show of course,” he said about the Grammys, “but what we do the other 364 days of the year [involves] advocacy issues and MusiCares* and [other] really important programs.”
Soussan also plays in a celebrity band called Big Noise, with whom he traveled to Kuwait and Iraq for two weeks to entertain the troops.
“It gave me a whole deal of respect for people who are in the military and for the sacrifices they make,” recalled Soussan.
The experience, he explained, has had a lasting impact on him. “I met this guy up at the bar last night who is in the military,” he remembered, “and the minute that came up there was an instant bond, which is really nice.”
“It’s amazing because we play these songs and they’re thirty-three years old and people are going crazy. They’re screaming and yelling, and they know the lyrics!” said legendary drummer Vinny Appice incredulously. “To see it survive that long and have that kind of life—it’s amazing.”
Soussan revealed his rather odd favorite place to eat: Finland. “The food there is really incredible gourmet food,” he explained.
On top of that, Soussan is quite partial to Japanese food, and let slip that he in fact owns a high-end Japanese restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California, called Kaiju, which means “monster” or “sea creature.”
“It’s been open about a year,” said Soussan. “It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for 20 years.”
Soussan has also been a contestant on Guy Fieri’s cooking show, and is—according to his website—an “avid gourmet chef.”
Obviously, this translates to the rest of Last in Line being very well-fed. Campbell remembered one particular meal Soussan cooked: “He made homemade pizza on a pizza stone, made the dough, rolled the dough, and it was served looking like a gourmet chef’s, as opposed to me who makes tuna fish sandwiches.”
Soussan uses an app called Anytune Pro, which he swore has changed his life. “It’s an application on your phone [and it] basically allows you to go over sections, or repitch, retune, or slow things down,” he explained.
A tool such as that is invaluable to a musician on crunch time, like Soussan was last summer.
“I had to learn ninety-two songs in a month, and it was insane,” Soussan laughed.
Appice spoke about a gig he was preparing for at the time called Rock Legends, which took place on June 18th in Temecula, California. He performed with Last in Line’s singer Andy Freeman, along with old Dio members Craig Goldy on guitar and Rudy Sarzo on bass.
“We’re playing with an orchestra,” said Appice. “I’ve never played with an orchestra… You got to play the songs exactly that many bars, because they’re reading music. It’s not like us where it’s Oh, shit! Let’s go one more time! This has got to be a very exact thing, so it’s a very challenging thing to do.”
Thinking about the upcoming event seemed to make Appice nervous as he joked, “The conductor is behind me. He can’t even follow me. I’ll need a rearview mirror!”