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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Joe Elliott/Rick Savage Leona Graham Interview Part 1 Transcript

Tuesday, 17th September 2013

Joe Elliott Sheffield 2008. Rick Savage Sheffield 2008.
Pics By DefDazz/Darren

Def Leppard members Joe Elliott and Rick Savage were interviewed by Leona Graham of Absolute Classic Rock radio last week and a transcript of some highlights is available.

DJ Leona Graham played about six minutes of their chat on her weekday show earlier today.

The full one hour special will be broadcast from 8-9pm on Sunday 22nd September and billed as 'Def Leppard: VIVA! Hysteria'.

Leona Graham - Joe Elliott/Rick Savage Interview Transcript

Leona Graham - Hello there how are you guys?

Sav - "We're great. A little crusty round the edges but it's been a long couple of days."

What have you been doing?

Sav - "Well we've just got into town and we had to attend this little screening of..."

Joe - "Yeah VIVA! Hysteria premiere last night and it was a bit of an event."

Bit of a party after?

Joe - "A little bit yeah."

Sav - "Moderate."

Joe - "Luke Morley kept me up all night."

Sav - "Blame it on him yeah."

Joe - "Yeah. We'll blame it on him."

So we're talking about here VIVA! Hysteria. What is this exactly?

Joe - "Well we got invited to do a residency in Las Vegas which you know contrary to local legend is not the place of kind of crooners and stuff any more. It's not like the original version of Ocean's Eleven or something. You know the residencies now is Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue and Cheap Trick and stuff like that. So it's a welcome change really and it was a fantastic thing to do. So we initially put nine shows on sale. They sold so fast that they added two more so we ended up doing an eleven night residency and it just became like the obvious thing to do was to film it. And it's become this film. I mean it's a movie of course there's no script or actors it's like. It's like The Last Waltz or The Song Remains The Same without the fantasy sequences. You know it's us on stage doing the album Hysteria from start to finish on a giant screen with huge sound. It's fantastic. In about 168, 170 cinemas around Great Britain."

Sav - "On the 19th of September."

Joe - "And it's going into close to 2,000 around the world. I mean this is a whole new thing for us. You know this is - they've started to put rock 'n' roll into cinemas along with like releases of movies like for one night and then going on to DVD. There's like live gigs going into cinemas now. Which I think is another thing that's gonna start taking off a bit more cause it's like going on tour but you can sit and have your popcorn and watch a band."

What was it like seeing yourselves on the screen. What was the experience like for you?

Joe - "It's a bit weird when you see yourself."

Sav - "It's a bit gruesome really."

Joe - "You know close up and personal it's a bit too big. But what was fascinating was it was a mixture of like media, fans and celebrities if you like. And you know the celebs were kinda sat on the back row all cool and watching it. And then the media were probably doing the same thing but the fans were getting up and dancing and singign and clapping between songs. It was - stood at the back just watching people headbanging in the cinema was just weird."

So you can get a taste of the atmosphere that's gonna happen on Thursday.

Joe - "Yeah certain things happen on the night and people will cheer and clap like when pictures of Steve come up. And you know they clap about Steve you know it's just an unusual experience."

So you sung Hysteria in its entirety.

Sav - "Yeah absolutely we came back - because we did the whole Hysteria thing the encores were Rock Of Ages and Photograph from the Pyromania album. But previous to the Hysteria set we had 45 minutes almost - we were being a Def Leppard cover band. We were supporting ourselves if that makes any sense. We were a band called Ded Flatbird and we literally went on in comletely different characters and played songs - the great thing about it was we got a chance to play songs that we haven't played in years. Like really obscure songs. Some songs that never even made the first album but were a B-Side of a single."

Joe - "And we actually did set up like a support band you know we curtained off the main stage with a big Union Jack. And then we set up a backline so we had barely any room to play. So we were like a real support band and of course I would go on slagging myself off for not allowing me to have any lights or soundchecks or use the ego ramp. It was really - it was an interesting experience. We had a lot of fun doing it and it wa a great way to warm up for the main event as well. You know you do a 45 minute set. You go off for 20, 25 minutes and come back on and blast through Hysteria. And it's all on this big expensive set that looks really good and it's - you know it justifies the album. It was a big album. A big sounding record so we had to make it look big as well."

So is residency the future? You know everybody comes to you rather than you going on tour? Is this the way forward?

Joe - "It'll be a welcome addition to touring for sure."

Sav - "Yeah. Definitely an addition."

Joe - "There's nowhere to do it anywhere else you see except Vegas. There isn't really a residency place anywhere else in the world. We are taking advantage of the fact that fifty years ago it was people like Sinatra and then in the 70s it was Elvis. But as soon as Elton John took over from Celine Dio's nine month run and filled in the other three months. Then all the rock band sstarted coming in and it becomes a cool thing to do. You know you've heard the phrase what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. We're the only ones that have broken the rule."

Sav - "Yeah we're trying to tell everybody about Vegas!."

Joe - "It's come out it's going into the cinemas and it's going on DVD."

So it's VIVA! Hysteria in cinemas on Thursday.

Sav - "Indeed."