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Vivian Campbell playing live with his Les Paul.
What were some of the interesting things you noticed while going through the tracks?
Campbell: Our tempos are so consistent that we could literally splice the front half of a song from one night, and the second half from another night, and put them together. You would never know the difference.
Collen: We’re very precise in that way.
So does that mean there aren’t any mistakes on the record?
Collen: [Laughs.] I’ve got a few mistakes on there. I heard a couple of bum notes and bad chords. I like the fact that I get to do that on a live album. We left mistakes on Hysteria and Pyromania. I remember going to [producer] Mutt Lange and saying, “Hey—that chord!” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah—it sounds great!” It’s kind of funny, because everyone thinks he’s such a perfectionist, but it’s actually the vibe he goes for. That’s more important than getting all nitpicky. If it’s got character, it deserves to be on the record. [Turns to Campbell] How close do you stick to Steve Clark’s guitar parts, Viv?
Campbell: Pretty close. Not 100 percent, note-for-note, but certainly 90-something percent. His parts weren’t guitar solos per se. They were very much a part of the song—very melodic, very thematic. I think it would be an injustice to the song if I were to go way off and do my own thing.
And yet you can still hear your Vivian Campbell-ness on the record—even though you’re playing someone else’s parts.
Campbell: [Laughs.] Thank you. I play heavier than Steve did. When I take the solo in “Armageddon It,” I don’t play it 100 percent, but I definitely play it in my style—which is much, much heavier.
Campbell with a sparkle-finished Les Paul equipped with a DiMarzio Super 3 in the bridge position.