Tuesday, 4th May 2018
Prev  |  Next

DEF LEPPARD's VIVIAN CAMPBELL On His New Guitar/Musical Influences

Def Leppard 2018. Screenshot

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell was interviewed in March about his new guitar and the full video is available.

Vivian spoke to Gibson Guitars in March about his new custom design model.

Vivian talked about his new Gibson guitar, musical influences, Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore, first guitar, the design and how it plays.

He spoke about a new signature Gibson guitar which is being launched this year.

Watch the full 5 minute interview video below.

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

Gibson Guitars - Vivian Campbell Interview Quotes


"Hi this is Vivian Campbell I'm here at the Gibson showroom in Beverly Hills, California with my signature custom shop Les Paul. I just always loved the sound of the electric guitar. Much to the chagrin of my mother who hated it. Anything that came on the radio that had a guitar solo. I would be turning it up in the car and my mother would be turning it down."

Electric Guitar Sound

"I just gravitated to the sound. Marc Bolan and T. Rex, that was the first that really was a moment. An epiphany for me seeing Marc Bolan on a show called Top Of The Pops in the early 1970s. It was probably '72. It was a life changing moment for me. I just was seduced by the sound of rock 'n' roll. By the time I was really getting serious about playing, I gravitated to the guitar players in Thin Lizzy and like I said, Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham both played Les Pauls. And my ultimate guitar hero Gary Moore played a Les Paul which I later found out was actually Peter Green's original les Paul from Fleetwood Mac."

His First Guitar

"I ordered a Gold Les Paul standard and I waited for many many months. I was fifteen at the time. It's a very important guitar to me 'cause that's the guitar I learned how to play on. That's when I was starting to get really serious about my craft. When I first came to Los Angeles to work with Ronnie Dio in 1982 that was the only guitar I had. I did the first DIO album Holy Diver with that guitar. I did the first tour with that guitar."

Les Paul Guitars

"I mean Les Paul's are seriously substantial instruments. That's part of their nature and it's also part of the tone."

His Signature Les Paul Guitar

"This guitar was actually based upon a hybrid bastardised guitar that I had been playing for many many years. It started life as a, I think it was a '78 Les Paul custom, that I bought in a pawn shop in Nashville. It just became a comfortable guitar. And it was a guitar that I was using most with Def Leppard for these past coupel of decades. And when Gibson first approached me about doing a model. That's essentially what we based it on."

"But there are certain bespoke differences in this guitar than there are in other Les Pauls that I have. Job number one was for Phillip to try and profile a neck that was very very similar to that. I do know that I like jumbo frets. Like the biggest frets I could find because I bend a lot. And I put vibrato on chords and little skinny frets just don't cut it for me. I just can't get any pr=urchase on them. I can't get underneath them."

"The colour was a big thing. That colour is called Antrim. I was born and reared in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The salt is volcanic rock. In Northern Ireland, in County Antrim, there's the Giant's Causeway which is a very unique eight-sided volcanic rock formation. It's very very famous and I guess that's where the name came from."

"But to me it's elegant enough and understated enough you know. I didn't want it to be too glitzy. Also the hardware is all brished alumunium. The pick up in the back is a DiMarzio HS3. It is unique in that it has a brushed aluminum finish. The pick up in the front is a super distrotion. T o my ears I find this guitar to be very balanced."

"As far as the playability of the guitar. I've had so many years experience of playing Les Pauls of all shapes and sizes. I've distailled all of my favourite elements into this instrument. At the end of the day it's just another Les Paul, but it's my Les Paul and it couldn't be any better. It couldn't reflect me and what it is I want in guitar any more. You know it's all of that knowledge and all that exprience we crammed into this."

Buy 'CD/Vinyl Collection: Volume 1' Online

  • Amazon - (Vinyl Collection: Volume 1)
  • Amazon - (CD Collection: Volume 1)

Buy 'Hysteria 30th Anniversary Edition' Online

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

Related News - DEF LEPPARD's RICK SAVAGE On HYSTERIA And His Bass Playing

Related News - JOE ELLIOTT Recalls DEF LEPPARD's 1993 Don Valley Stadium Show

Related News - DEF LEPPARD Members On Their Favourite DEF LEPPARD Albums

Related News - DEF LEPPARD 40 Year Career Feature In New Classic Rock Magazine

Related News - JOE ELLIOTT/PHIL COLLEN On BBC Sounds Of The 80s (Video/Photos)

Related News - DEF LEPPARD's JOE ELLIOTT/PHIL COLLEN On BBC Sounds Of The 80s Tonight

share this story:

get def leppard news

Stay in touch with the latest updates.

explore def leppard tour history
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar