Candace of Albany, New York’s Q103 radio station recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen. You can now listen to the chat below.
On what fans can expect from DEF LEPPARD‘s upcoming tour with JOURNEY:
Phil: “Something very spectacular just happened to us — we just released our whole catalogue on digital. So we’ll be promoting the catalogue. Before, we’ve been out there and we’ve been promoting an album or it’s been connected with something else. Now it’s actually everything. A lot of people you see [wearing] the DEF LEPPARD t-shirts [that they got at] Forever 21, just stores… Target… wherever… and some of the people, a lot of the people, don’t really know who the bands are; they wear these shirts and it’s just a cool thing. But with the catalogue being released, they can make that connection. So that’s why [we’ll use this opportunity] to promote our career, basically, instead of just, say, a new album or whatever. It’s really exciting, ’cause it’s been years since digital downloads started cutting [into physical record sales], so for us, it’s a massive deal.”
On whether there is any truth to reports that DEF LEPPARD will perform Hysteria in its entirety in various countries on the upcoming tour:
Phil: “There is, indeed! A lot of countries have requested that. We’re playing [the full album in] Great Britain. And Japan, Australia and New Zealand have requested it, so at some point, we’re gonna be out there playing it. This [U.S.] tour with JOURNEY, we’re obviously promoting the catalogue, so we won’t be doing that on this one. But maybe next year. If there’s enough demand for it, then we’ll definitely do that. It’s like anything — if only, like, two people request it, then we’re not gonna do it. But if there’s an overwhelming thing [where] the promoters and the fans and everything go, ‘We definitely want you to do that,’ then we’ll definitely do it. I know next year, there are requests from European festivals, but I’ve actually got a feeling that there’s gonna be some requests in for playing Hysteria in its entirety in the States. So, yes, we’d be up for that. It’d be great.”
On whether last year’s online war of words between JOURNEY keyboardist Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neal Schon worried the members of DEF LEPPARD prior to the announcement of this year’s tour:
Phil: “Not even slightly. I know how bands work. When a band’s been together for more than 30 years, they go through this at a certain point. And they get through it, they get through whatever. So, yeah, it didn’t bother me at all.”
On whether the increased number of rock bands doing “farewell” tours has made the members of DEF LEPPARD contemplate their own eventual retirement:
Phil: “No. Unfortunately, or fortunately for us, I think it does the opposite. We’ve always had this thing: ‘Last man standing.’ Howard Kaufman, our manager who passed away last year, he was saying, ‘Guys, if you can just keep this going, you’re the last man standing. And you keep improving,’ which we kind of do every years; it’s not like we rest on our laurels. We actually get up there and we’re better singers, we’re better players. So we’ve always had that thing, the ‘last man standing’ thing. We’re actually gonna be there when everyone else quits; we’re still gonna be there. So for us, it actually works in our favor, I think.”
On whether fans can expect to see new music from DEF LEPPARD in the not-too-distant future:
Phil: “I’ve already started the new album. Actually, I started it last year. I know Joe [Elliott, vocals] and Sav [bassist Rick Savage] have got new songs. I started writing this pretty awesome song, and I’ve already passed it on to Joe and Sav. So that’s really how we do it; we do a song at a time. Pretty much like we did [2015’s ‘Def Leppard’ album]. Instead of going, ‘Okay, we’re gonna carve out ‘X’ amount of months and sit in a studio,’ you actually start today — you start on your laptop or your phone, putting down ideas and all that stuff, and before you know it, you’ve got a finished song. And then before you know it, you’ve got two finished songs. It’s kind of what we did on the last DEF LEPPARD album. We had a writing period, we thought we were gonna get one or two songs, and before we knew it, we had 12 songs in no time at all. And [we were like], ‘Oh my God! I guess we’d better do an album.’ So I think that’s really exciting. Instead of carving time out for that, we’ve already started the next album. So for sure, there will be something at some point.”
DEF LEPPARD‘s 58-city co-headlining tour with JOURNEY will kick off in Hartford, Connecticut on May 21 and will wrap in Los Angeles, California on October 6.