defleppardgroupblue400 Steve Baltin of Rolling Stone recently interviewed Def Leppard guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell along with drummer Rick Allen about the new concert film, Viva! Hysteria and the band’s future. Portions of the interview appear below.

RS: A lot of bands are uncomfortable watching themselves. Have you seen the concert film yet?

Phil Collen: I’ve seen it. I think it’s fantastic. We actually really sing our stuff. Everyone touches stuff up, but this is really us being live. We use different stuff from different nights, and the angles – they shot over two nights so they used the best parts. This is phenomenal. It’s mind-blowing.

Vivian Campbell: I don’t like watching myself, I took that in consideration when I stood in front of the bedroom mirror pretending to be Marc Bolan. I was also really, really sick when we filmed this. When I look at pictures I look very pale because I was anemic and everything, so I’m not in a hurry to go see myself on the big screen.

RS: How does Def Leppard keep the passion up?

Campbell: The problem with being a musician is it’s hard to keep up that passion. You start doing it for the right reasons, then it becomes a job, like anything. We’re all different, we find separate things to motivate us, but we’re in a good place right now. I think I’m playing guitar better than I’ve ever played in my life because, unlike an athlete, it’s not like a physical thing where your body packs in when you’re 30. You actually get better and better. Every time we’re on tour, I have a moment where I think, “Fuck, this is really fucking good.” And also having this whole fucking chemo and cancer bollocks, the fact I’ve been able to work through it has really helped me mentally. And I’m really enjoying playing my instrument again, which I wouldn’t have honestly been able to say 10 years ago.

Collen: There’s a fire there. Normally as you get older you get comfy. You’re a great player, but the fire goes. This is the opposite, for whatever reason. We’ve all got it, and it’s actually captured on this [film], which is pretty amazing.

Rick Allen: It’s like an out-of-body experience. You’re listening to it, the whole band, and you’re going, “Am I actually doing that? Are they actually doing that?” It really does sound that good.

RS: What’s the status with the new record?

Collen: We’ve got a shitload of new songs anyway, it’s just implement them and then, “What direction are we gonna take? Who are we gonna get to produce it? Are we gonna do it ourselves? Are we gonna do multiple stuff?” An album would obviously take too long, so we’re gonna do about four or five songs, get those out and then next year have an album come out, so it’ll be an EP and an album.

Read more at Rolling Stone.



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  • richman on


  • DR on

    ‘We’ve got a shitload of songs, they all sound like Armageddin It, and I don’t wear a shirt for any of the songs we’ve recorded thus far’.

  • Brian on

    I’m not buying an EP. I’ll wait for a whole record.

  • Lee on

    Such garbage. Another round of dismal stuff with Joe Pro-Tool’d like Katy Perry….this group hasn’t put out worthy stuff in 20 years.

  • Bob on

    Last good Leppard cd was High N’ dry….

    • Dana on

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I cannot agree with you there Bob.

      Pyromania is still one of my all time favorite albums, and I would consider that Def Leppard’s last “rocking” album.

      Dana from 🙂

    • MetalMania on

      Still, Pyromania was 1983! Retroactive had SOME good stuff on it, but it also had like what – 2 or 3 versions of “Two Steps Behind”? Euphoria I thought actually had a handful of good songs on it, where they at least sounded like a hard rock band again. And although I haven’t heard it in some time now I recall thinking some of the “Sparkle Lounge” album was decent. That’s the problem though – since Pyromania there’s only been a handful of songs on each, or maybe not even each, album that I like – or can even tolerate. Overall though nothing they’ve done has approached High N’ Dry or Pyromania for me, and I’ve been listening to both of those albums regularly for 30 years and still love them. I’m not getting my expectations up, but my hope is that the “Dead Flat Bird” opening sets they did before the Hysteria shows in Vegas where they played mostly from the first three albums maybe sparked some interest to do an “old school” Def Leppard album. And Vivian Campbell has been revisiting his Dio era, so maybe he’ll shred again. No more country collaborations, no candy sweet pop hits, no cuddly ballads (remember when “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” was their ballad?), just pull their balls out of the closet and give us a proper rock album. They aren’t going to win over teenage girls anymore or sell 20 million copies of anything in 2013, so just plug it in with a chip on your shoulder and show us what’s still left in the tank!

    • DR on

      Gotta go with Dana on this one. High N Dry is a phenom. But Pyromania is their best bar none. All killer no filler. That’s no disrespect to High N Dry or even On Through the Night. Pyromania was their last great kick ass heavy rock n roll album (you heard me….album).

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