Monday, 6th February 2017
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Joe Elliott On Def Leppard Songs Let's Go/Dangerous/Man Enough

Joe Elliott 2016. By Chele Drappel

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott was interviewed recently by Redbeard and discussed songs from the current album.

Joe spoke with DJ Redbeard yesterday to promote the new Live From Detroit DVD.

Joe talked about the Live From Detroit DVD, Let's Go, live concert videos, Animal, Let It Go, being a band and not just individuals, Dangerous, Rock On, Man Enough, Bringin' On the Heartbreak and David Bowie.

Joe talked about the reasons for the new Live DVD and songs from the current DEF LEPPARD studio album.

Listen to the full 30 minute interview via the radio link below.

Joe was promoting the Darien Center, NY show which ended the second leg of the current tour.

Visit the Album News section. For more news on new music (based on band member quotes) dating back to January 2011.

In the Studio With Redbeard - Joe Elliott Interview Quotes

Live From Detroit DVD/No Live Film Since 1988?

"Yes and no. Yeah we've been filmed many times but not commercially if you like you know. There's been, obviously there's been guest appearances on TV. There was things like the Freddie Mercury Tribute show that we were part of. We've had some broadcasts on TV like there was an Italian one in '93 and there was a Japanese one in '99. And we did of course record and release the VIVA! Hysteria Blu-ray/DVD back in 2013. But that was essentially like a special recording of you know, of a start to finish live version of Hysteria. It wasn't such a, it wasn't just like a live performance of a band like you'd say go and see McCartney or The Stones. You're kind of getting a mixture of new material and a greatest hits show or whatever."

"It was specifically Hysteria but this is the first time that we've actually filmed and released a performance of us on tour, as it were, since '88 yeah. I said guys, I said I think we owe it to ourselves to kind of document ourselves the way we are now. You know Vivian's been in the band nearly a quarter of a century and it's kind of mad that the last thing that we put out was on VHS tape."

Let's Go/Rick Savage

"Sav wrote that song mostly you know. As I said when we did the press release for the album, yeah, it's credited to Savage/Elliott but the truth is it should be in capital letters for him and small print for mine. It was written as an opener. It was written as a classic Def Leppard song. We weren't trying to do a pastiche. We just wanted to carry on where we've left off in the past if you like. You know you look at a band like Aerosmith or AC/DC. You can kind of guess where they're gonna come from because they're not gonna throw 360s at you the way David Bowie might have done or other artists. Mostly solo artists can do that but bands they have a different head space and a different method of working."

"Yeah we all come to the table with different ideas and those different ideas are like four solo albums that all end up on one record. If you look at what I contributed to this record it's like maybe three full songs and bits to other people. Phil came in with three full songs and bits to other people's and it all balances out at the end of the day."

"But you know it was written with a kind of a - it was written to be sang on stage. It wasn't written to be heard purely as a piece of art the way say a song like We Belong or Blind Faith is. It was written to be performed on stage because it's questioning the crowd 'Do you really wanna do this now?' It's like Foolin' had you know 'Is anybody out there?'. You can point at the people and get a response. It's a call to arms you know, it's that kind of a song. So it was always - when he first played the demo. I remember us all in the room all looking at each other going 'Oh yeah, this is gonna work'."

"I only wrote the verses for that. Sav wrote the melodies and the chorus and all that kind of stuff. And he really nailed it you know. And he's really coming into his own as a songwriter. You listen to some of the stuff that he's written recently. Things like C'mon C'mon off the Sparkle Lounge album. Kings Of The World which was one of the new songs on the end of Mirrorball the live album. Something like five years ago or whatever it was. He's always been a great contributor to songs but now it's a case of he's delivering the finished thing with maybe just a few holes that need filling in. And he just said look you go write the verses, we'll get on with doing something else. And that's how we approached this whole project."


"It's been knocking around since Sparkle Lounge in 2008 as a lot of these songs were. That's why this album was such a breeze to do because we'd let all these little ideas percolate, you know, it's nothing new for us. Photograph on Pyromania was a, half of that at least, was a left over from High 'n' Dry that never got finished. And that goes on you know I've heard some great stories that Tattoo You by the Stones in '81. Most of those tracks were pulled out the archives by Chris Kimsey going back to Black And Blue and It's Only Rock And Roll even. They just never got finished and a great idea is a great idea. And just because you're aware that it's maybe five or six years old, doesn't mean that you should abandon it if it comes back round into it's place six years later you know."

"We just weren't in a position to record these songs because we were out on the road. We weren't in the head space to make a new record but when we were we had a bucket load of riffs and ideas to pick from. It weren't like starting from scratch which was the great thing. So when we had this song that Phil had been messing with and it was originally called Dangerous Drug. And we were trying to, and that was his whole prospect of it. It was just using that as a metaphor. And we were working on it and I said Phil I can't get it to fit. You know any kind of decent melody or rhythm. I wanna drop the word Drug and just call it Dangerous. And he's like yeah, OK. There was no fight and that was the great thing about it. It's like look if you've got a vision for this, go with it you know."

"The riff was always there and it's class Leppard you know. It's taken from that school of Photograph or Promises where it's a kind of a jangly,. staccato intro if you like. It breaks into just massive big chords and that's what we love to do. We unashamedly love the commerciality and rock mixed together. So with it only having two or three chords in the verse it gives you so much scope for melody. When if it's stuck with a riff sometimes you just can't move or veer away from it. We're all, the lot of us, are very aware of the scope that a Lennon and McCartney or a Jagger and Richards gave gad over the years. To be able to move great melodies around because they keep their chord sequences pretty low key and simple. I think it was Bono that once said you know that U2 are three chords and the truth. Well you know we're three chords and a little white like if you like because we don't take the same like lyrical approach that Bono might on most of our stuff. But we like to portray a song and sow that seed into the listeners head that they can take this any which way they like and Dangerous is one of those songs."

Man Enough

"Phil came in with a riff. He said Guys, I've got his bass lick. So we all went yeah. It sounds a bit like Queen. So we all went OK. Now ten years ago we'd have gone, oh well, we can't go there then. On this album we said let's wear our musical heroes and influences like tattoos. Let's just keep them exposed on the outside. Instead of trying to bury them and hide them, let's just, if somebody says Oh it sounds like Queen. Go yeah, what's your point?. You know this song sounds like The Who. Yeah, what's your point?. Of course it does, we grew up listening to them. You listen to Jimmy Page and his stuff sounds like Leadbelly or John Lee Hooker and he would say yeah, what's you point?. You know, we have our influences, of course we do. What you do with them is what makes you better than the other band that came up at the same time as you. Or gives you that opportunity to outlast because you have a natural born talent to take what were your influences and mix them in with your own."

"So once he came up with this bass lick and he played it to Sav. And Sav went gives me the bass, give me the bass. And Sav starts playing it and Rick starts playing the drums and then Phil starts throwing in little chuggy guitar licks, stuff like that. We just out the basic track together and you know I said listen, don't giggle. But I've got this idea that's kind of half comical as a lyric. You know are you man enough to be my woman. And we worked at it and it's like well, woman doesn't fit. So OK change it to girl you know it's the same thing because we have to make sure that it's a phonetic fit as well as a lyrical fit."

"Which is why I've always said and you can quote me here a thousand times. I'm all for you know 'The answer my friend is blowing in the wind'. God bless you but you know 'She had a hub cap diamond star halo' which is what Marc Bolan sung on I think it was Get It On. You know it's just like what's one of those?. The answer is, who cares!. It sounds amazing. So that's a big part of our DNA as well is we want it to sound good. It's got to be phonetic. It's got to have a rappiness to it even. So once we put that together and it's like this is just going in all the right directions for us, that song was born pretty quickly."

"We're just, we're not really gender bending on it. It's more a case of like you know are you man enough to stand up for it. Are you big enough is really what it's representing. Are you brave enough you know. And it's just, it's a play on words. That's all it is. It's not a sexist statement or anything like that. It's just us having fun with the English language which is what we like to do. the English language is so ripe for picking when you say something that you don't mean. Or somebody else thinks that you mean something different to what you said. We try and incorporate that into our lyrics a lot. A lot of it comes from humour of you know John Cleese in Fawlty Towers or The Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers even. We mix a lot of that in with all the sensible stuff. Keeps us sane you know."

Buy 'And There Will Be A Next Time...Live From Detroit' Online

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Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar