Thursday, 15th February 2018
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Def Leppard 2017. Screenshot

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen was interviewed in July 2017 at Rocklahoma and the full audio is now available.

Phil spoke to Chris Jericho of the Talk Is Jericho podcast.

Phil talked about his tour bus, days off, his health and fitness, producing Tesla's new album, being a producer, touring with Tesla/Hysteria tour, support bands, real live vocals, making the Hysteria album, Rick Allen's accident, Hysteria's release, PSSOM single success, setlists, Ded Flatbird, band integrity, Poison/Tesla, TV shows, Sheffield, Manchester Arena bombing, new music, vocal style/Slang album, new songs live, fans, favourite TV show and Rocket.

He spoke about the possibility of playing the Hysteria album in full which is now happening and a potential return to Las Vegas for a second residency.

Listen to the full 1 hour minute interview below. Starting from 4:25mins. The interview was done in May 2017 at the Rocklahoma festival.

Visit the Tour News section. For more news on future tour plans.

Talk Is Jericho - Phil Collen Interview Quotes

Producing Tesla's Album

"The last year and a half I've been doing the Tesla album. I've been producing it. So they've been out with us. So we've been recording every chance we get. We just finished it and they're starting to mix it now. Ronan, our out front guy who does all the Def Leppard stuff, all the albums and that, he's mixing it. And it's just phenomenal. It's like if you can imagine taking Queen, Zeppelin, but Tesla doing it in a kind of a modern way. It sounds...we're blown away."

Recording On The Road

"Usually guitars on tour. Not really many vocals, we don't do that. And drums, we still do the drums last."

Usually drums are first

"Right but then you're stuck with it. So you know we actually change tempos and stuff like that and then we lock on and then the drums can go round the vocals. You're not kinda of, you're not fighting with that. We did that, we've always done that with Def Leppard actually. We always find a dressing room like a spare room. We've done them on here (tour bus) you know all over the place. But yeah it's been really cool."

Being A producer

"I joined the band. I really did join the band. We're trying to make these songs amazing. And then all the guitars have gotta be. You know there's a couple of rhythm guitars and then everything is embellishment. So on top of that you just make it interesting and if you've got a guide vocal, you don't wanna step on it. It's like the drums, you know, before you know it it's kind of like painting by numbers and you just kind of improve on it and it's great. And everything, the lyrics, go back and do another attempt. Just make it better and hooks, just even lyrically and everything else."

Hysteria Album

"Going into it we wrote all the songs with Mutt Lange and he said look we can't be ordinary here. This has to be spectacular otherwise we ain't gonna bother, you know, everyone else is doing Pyromania part II. So let's go in and different influences. There was Rap music was just coming out. There was a lot of bands like Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Police. A lot of different kind of areas that you could kind of, Duran Duran, you know, Billy Idol. It was all very different. So we took all the influences off of that."

"And Run DMC and whatever was happening. So just a bit of that and just made it very different. It couldn't be standard and it couldn't be the same as anything else. So that was the thing and it really sounded good and it was a brave thing because when it first come out people were going oh, it doesn't sound like rock. But we're like it sounds different. It sounds unique."

Rick Allen's Accident/Recovery

"We were anyway, we were still recording. It kind of worked out great. We left it up to him what he wanted to do. So that was great."

Hysteria Released After Four Years

"No we actually wasn't nervous 'cause we were so into what we'd just done. I actually remember me and Steve Clark were sitting there going if no one even buys this it's just our parents that hear it. We're satisfied."

What was it like making the record with Mutt Lange?

"It was great. It was just, I loved working with him. It was pure inspiration and you know he just has these great ideas and it's like he'll push you and make you sing harder and better than you've ever done or play better. Different, in a different way. Not just like shredding or something, you've gotta get in the pocket. Melodic stuff and counter rhythms and groove and melody. That's his thing. Then obviously lyrics and the performance and yeah it's just amazing."

Does he sing on the records too?

"Every album he's ever done. Like Love Bites that's all him. All the backing vocals. We're in there but we're really tucked down. It's mainly all him and he's one take. He's the best singer in the room always. And then we just add to it. And then he'll get us to sing a certain way. But yeah he's a master at singing. It's like he'll wake up like four in the morning, he'll just get bang, one take and then he'll track it. It's crazy."

Hysteria Taking A Year To Kick In

"Now we just...Mutt said we wanna make an album that'll last. We want songs that people actually will play in...we didn't think 30 years but 20 years maybe. So yeah here we are 30 years later, but that was the thing. He said if you really wanna succeed you have to have songs that last. And I was talking to Robert DeLeo, who plays in Delta Deep, I said yeah we're killing it out here, it's great. I said I don't know why. He said, well I do it's those songs. You know they still work. They still mean that, they're just great songs and they las. So I think that's what it was and that was Mutt's kind of intention really."

PSSOM Single Success

"The label thought it was one of these songs that would go and they just didn't and the girls in Florida, the strippers, was requesting it on local radio. Before it even was a single and then they started playing it on the radio and it just snowballed just like that. So it was strippers."

Playing Hysteria In Full?

"We did that in Vegas which was great and maybe again, you know, when we get the offer and we done a festival and they wanted it. In France. So yeah if anyone asks for it yeah that'll be cool."

Was it hard learning a couple of the more obscure tunes?

"Run Riot, singing it and playing it."

Def Leppard Setlist

"We did and then the new album came out. So the deep cuts have to go. We did Paper Sun as the last one and Promises and stuff like that. So they had to go because the new stuff had to take precedence."


"Funny thing we do that sometimes. One of the things that's kind of weird we had. We played Wembley once and Mensch, our manager at the time Peter Mensch, goes let's do Wasted. And we did it and nine thousand and ninety nine people went....and like three people were going Yeah this is great!. So yeah, it's a great idea but it's not really."

VIVA! Hysteria Residency/Second One

"Yeah we've been offered it but it's like something always goes OK, you've got South America. You've got another tour comes out. Another leg of the tour so we...yeah at some point we'll probably do Pyromania."

US/UK/European Touring Schedules

"Every other year."

Popular Countries

"Japan. We done Lithuania a couple of years ago and we've been going there for years. We had like 1,800 people, 3,000. Then we played a 7,000 seat arena with all like 17 year old kids going crazy singing all the words."

Band Integrity

"It does and I think that the fans really see that."

Sheffield/Manchester Arena Bombing

"Sheffield. I'm from London but the guys are from Sheffield. I kinda saw that coming years ago. It's like big crowds. I mean they tried to do it at some of the soccer games in Europe. And it was just a matter of time before someone went in there at a rock concert. Or a music venue. But you know eight year old girls and it's so disgusting."

Incidents At Def Leppard Shows

"We got tear gassed once in Switzerland. This was years ago. And the weird thing is you always think what would I do if something happened?. We had no idea. We just saw half the audience just move over the other side and disappear out the door and we're going whoah!. And then everyone's eyes started burning. And we're just like whoah just stopped and then everyone left and then someone had thrown a tear gas canister. Yeah, it was really weird. Totally weird. It was after that we were like we couldn't see, burning eyes."

Next Def Leppard Album

"Yes absolutely. I think if you make great music people will dig it. We always try and do that and always try and, you know, it doesn't really matter and that's why we're here. Otherwise you'll's a business agenda otherwise. The lifeblood is new material. And it's different. It's such a challenge to make something that someone will like and recognise and injecting new kind of ideas and making it modern sounding without sounding like you're trying too hard. All of those things."

Buy 'Hysteria 30th Anniversary Edition' Online

  • Amazon - (Box Set/Super Deluxe Version)
  • Amazon - (3 CD Deluxe Edition)
  • Amazon - (1 CD Version)
  • Amazon - (Double Vinyl)

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Related News - JOE ELLIOTT On DEF LEPPARD's UK Hysteria Tour (Video)

Related News - DEF LEPPARD To Play HYSTERIA Album In Japan/Australia/New Zealand

Related News - PHIL COLLEN Says DEF LEPPARD To Play European Festivals/USA In 2019

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