Vivian Campbell has been in his role of guitarist for Def Leppard for a majority of his career, but one of his earliest gigs was as a guitarist for Dio. The musician recently hopped onstage at a Steel Panther show, laying down some licks on their cover of 'Holy Diver,' and says it gave him a fresh perspective on that era.

Campbell told Springfield, Mo. Station US 97 (via Blabbermouth), "I'm very proud of the records I made with Dio. For some reason, a lot of people don't understand that. But I wrote those songs and I feel a very passionate connection to them."

He adds, "That was very inspiring to get up and play those solos from the Dio songs again. And I'm actually inspired by that. I actually called up the other guys from the original Dio lineup [drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain, keyboardist Claude Schnell] and we've been getting together a couple of times and we've played."

The guitarist says that they added Hurricane and Lynch Mob vocalist Andrew Freeman to their sessions, and it's his hope to go out and play some shows revisiting the Dio material the next time Def Leppard takes some time off.

Campbell says Freeman doesn't necessarily sound like Ronnie James Dio, but he knows that Dio was the best of the genre and there's no way he could ever be replaced. He adds that for him it's just important that it's the original band members and the songs from that era and the fact that Freeman doesn't necessarily sound like Dio is not a concern. "It's about the songs and the band," says Campbell.

When asked about his own difficulties working with the late vocalist, the guitarist recently stated, "Even when I was in the band with Ronnie back in the days, we never had a very strong relationship beyond music. That was what brought us together: we were on stage together, recording and writing songs… It was a very strange relationship between he and I. It was a lot of miscommunication, of misunderstanding and I think a lot of it was generational.”

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