​February 2nd AT&T Center San Antonio

February 5 American Bank Center corpus Christi

February 6th State Farm arena Hidalgo

 

www.DefLeppard.com Facebook.com/defleppard

 

 

DEF LEPPARD

DEF LEPPARD   A Bunch Of Musicians Having A Good Time

Words by Scott Yager, Sound Magazine

 

 

DEF LEPPARD’s influential career includes numerous hit singles and groundbreaking multi-platinum albums including two of the best-selling albums of all time, PYROMANIA and HYSTERIA, capturing the group legendary tracks, bringing together classic Leppard has such as Rock of Ages, Pour Some Sugar On Me, and Foolin. This tour follows on the heels of the bands massive 2014 co-headlining tour with KISS and the release of their new album, DEF LEPPARD; we had a chance to speak with Phil Collen from the band in advance of their upcoming Texas shows.

 

STEAM what was 2015 like for Def Leppard?

DL It was crazy and we haven’t stopped. We obviously just finished the record, but we've also been doing this DELTA DEEP, this extreme blues album. The Def Leppard tour is looking crazy long; they just keep adding stuff to it. The new album came out in October, so it’s just been nonstop.

 

STEAM You guys have succeeded in five different decades at this point. What are the major differences in music industry that you can pinpoint when it comes to the touring in particular?

DL It really comes down to the music industry becoming more of a business then an art form. It really changed everything, even down to help people tour now. Unfortunately, it's very corporate. Whatever you do, it's got that at the back of it; not really for the artist. We still love it. It's still amazing for us, but the changes are mainly business changes. Like how we don't have MTV anymore; MTV was really responsible for breaking Def Leppard. First it was a cassette, then a CD, and now it’s downloads; now you have a certain amount of people who’ve gone back to the vinyl. When it really comes down to it, the industry changes and you just need to go along with it. When it comes to us personally, we are still playing the same venues that we played 30 years ago. Sure it changed because now people can buy VIP tickets where they meet you, but when you look out into the audience, it all looks and feels the same. You never give up and you keep making good music. Our producer, Mutt Lange, said look we can be an average band or an OK band or we can be a great band with music that last, but that takes a lot more hard work. We were on board with him and we worked a lot harder.

 

STEAM You guys have made it so long without ever breaking up or having any big bumps in the road while so many of the bands from your area broke up within a few years let alone a few decades. What makes you guys such a cohesive unit?

DL There is a lot of narcissism in music and musicians. They have become elitist without becoming elite. I think one of the things is that we are all from England, except Vivian who is Irish. All of our parents lived through World War II. All of our parents would talk about stuff blowing up down the road and it was something about those people that instilled this really strong working class attitude in us. As we all got older or more experienced everyone is completely different socially, politically, spiritually, no one agrees on anything, but when it comes down to why we all started and that working class background, that is why we have been able to make it work. With some bands it's like a young girl getting her period for the first time and they are such wussies and they have no idea about what’s hard and what's not. People ask whether we get tired of playing the same song every night and it’s like no, I wrote this and there is nothing better than seeing thousands of people sing these songs. Some musicians have real first world problems, as my wife and I like to say real champagne problems. I have a friend who just got out of Rwanda. That is real hardcore. We’re just a bunch of musicians having a good time. I think that's why a bunch of these musicians can't keep it together because they don't think of it like that and they're not deep enough.

 

STEAM You guys have songs like Pour Some Sugar On Me that get covered by bands every night, in every city in this country. As a band that appreciates a good cover, and put out a cover album yourselves, what does that mean to you?

DL I went on iTunes once and, if I'm not mistaken, I think there were 300 or something versions of Pour Some Sugar On Me and it's really great. I always talk about this; the reason that a lot of these songs have this staying power is that our producer, Mutt Lange, really made us make these things special. He said look let's make it great, everyone can be average. That is why you still get people covering these things. Even the production on some of these records, not gratuitously, but we did spend a lot of time making sure that all these things worked. There is an art in artistry and you've got to bow down to it and really look at yourself in the mirror. Figure out where you’re fitting in and what your goals are and everything just falls into place. It's great.

 

STEAM You guys have so much great work over the years and so many albums that many people consider to be your best work. I know it's a hard question to answer but do you have an album that you believe was the absolute top of your game?

DL Absolutely. It would be HYSTERIA. When I listen to HIGH AND DRY some of it sounded a bit like AC/DC and at the time are blue print was AC/DC and QUEEN. If you can kind of imagine a hybrid of that and all those records even, with PYROMANIA, it sounded like someone else; but HYSTERIA didn't sound like anyone else. It only sounded like Def Leppard. It was us being brave. Again it was Mutt Lange saying don't be someone else, let’s get seven singles off this. MICHAEL JACKSON's THRILLER was absolutely the inspiration on it because it crossed genres. It was soul, pop, R&B. It was open minded and humble. I think we did that with HYSTERIA.

 

 

February 2nd AT&T Center San Antonio

February 5 American Bank Center corpus Christi

February 6th State Farm arena Hidalgo

www.DefLeppard.com Facebook.com/defleppard

 

There is an art in artistry and you've got to bow down to it and really look at yourself in the mirror. Figure out where you’re fitting in and what your goals are and everything just falls into place.

STEAM
MAGAZINE
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