Friday, 18th August 2017
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Def Leppard 1988. Def Leppard 1988 Stage

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott was interviewed on US radio recently and the full audio is now available.

Joe talked about the 30th anniversary of Hysteria, UK promo tour, revisiting the album, album sales/Women single, success in England, Animal single, Pyromania success, lack of UK success, Jim Steinman, production, Mutt Lange and Rick Allen's car accident and return, Phil Collen joining the/his influence on Hysteria, replicating the album live, the length of the album, working with Mutt Lange again and the 2018 tour plans.

Joe suggests the 2018 Hysteria tour will start in the Spring on May.

Listen to the full 27 minute interview via the radio link.

Joe's part started at 12:35mins in and lasted until 39 mins.

The tour is set to feature the In The Round staging for the first time since April 1993 and the full 'Hysteria' album played in sequence. And will include a home town show at Sheffield Arena.

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

Eddie Trunk/Trunk Nation - Joe Elliott Interview Quotes

Future Plans?

"Well we've got a short tour of South America starting up the 21st of September which opens up at Rock In Rio. Which is gonna be huge 'cause it's like a 110,000 sell out already with Aerosmith. And we've got a couple of shows with The Who. Actually we've got one show with The Who. Four shows with Aerosmith and some headline shows in Buenos Aires and Mexico and then we're wrapped, we're done and we're done until maybe next May. We may be looking at doing some shows, worldwide tour possibly next year."

"We let the grown ups come up with some ideas and we'll talk about them later on.. Right now just enjoying a little break promoting this record. Getting ready for South America. I've got a Down 'n' Outz album to record which I'm hoping to do this winter. And we've all got our fingers in various pies. Vivian's out on tour right now with Last In Line somewhere in Germany. So everybody is still kind of got their own little thing going but Leppard will probably be back in the saddle some time next Spring."

How has it felt to revisit the album after 30 years?

"I just feel when it's something like this you have to embrace this. You can't just diss it and go we don't wanna talk about it. It is a fantastically iconic album. It's a major important part of our DNA you know. And it's something that we chose to do back in 1987 when we made that record. It was a breakthrough record from a sonic point of view and it's a yardstick that we've been judged against ever since and probably forever will be."

"And in fairness so have other artists. I've spoken to so many people in bands who go every time I mention an album they always put Hysteria on to see how to get it right. I mean it was to judge against if you were into that kind of melodic hard rock stuff. So it's great to embrace it for a time but specifically the 30th anniversary is very important. So it's not been a pain at all. It's been a pleasure to do."

Did you know the record company were scared Hysteria would flop?

"I think maybe the panic was put into them by us by saying: 'We told you not to go with Women first.'. It wasn't a great move. The rest of the world had gone with Animal and it was a smash. It was like, you know, our first big hit in England and the UK. It was huge in Europe and they chose not to go with that because I think they were worried about credibility or some nonsense. They thought we'd better go with a heavy track first so we were always out of synch. By the time Animal came along the whole thing started to kick in a bit more. And it kicked in with each subsequent single that we released, the album got stronger and stronger and stronger."

"With hindsight I don't mind that it took 49 weeks to reach Number One in the States and it was straight in at Number One in the UK because it finally established us in Europe which we hadn't been established before. And in America it was re-establishment and it took a long time but you know you look back at it and think there wasn't really any panic on our part. It was really only on the managers part because we'd had the discussion about what to do and we were totally against going with Women first but as it turned out it wasn't a bad thing because it all worked out in the end. So it's hard to criticise it later."

On your home turf you were still relatively unknown before Hysteria

"That's correct we were a theatre band at best. We were playing Hammersmith Odeon, Sheffield City Hall. 2,000, 3,000 seater venues. We were an album band that hadn't had any like chart success if you like. You know first album went Top 20 and then we kinda just disappeared but in America it was going up and up and up. So yeah it was kind of odd. 'Oh you're in a band right?'. But then all of a sudden when Animal was a big hit. Like 'Ahh OK, I get it'. It was a little weird it was almost ten years to the day from when me and Sav met to when we had a hit you know. That's a long time."

Why did Pyromania connect so big in America and kept you under the radar in England?. Why did Hysteria connect in the UK?

"It was purely down to the fact that the way radio is in the UK compared to the way it is in the States. Every city in America had them a minimum maybe two rock stations that would play music 24 hours a day. And in the UK we had one national station and it was Top 40. That did specialist rock shows twice a week for an hour. So you don't really get the exposure that you can get in the States. And unless you had a hit in the UK and it was in everybody's you know on the Top 40 charts then you'd get played and then your records sell. So you know we didn't have one with Pyromania, we didn't have a hit. So we weren't getting played on the radio. But we were in the States so consequently we had a hit in the States."

"When Hysteria came out Animal was a single before the album. So it was the only thing available so kids would be buying it. We'd set ourselves up in the UK the year before by playing Donington. Which was Rick's first gig back after his accident and they were kind of primed for this record. And by then Pyromania had sold. By the summer of '87 when Hysteria came out it was up to about 2 or 300,00 copies in the UK. Which is quite a lot but it was over a long period of time. By the time we had a hit with Animal they were primed and the album just flew because it was getting airplay and it was literally down to airplay."

Did you complete anything with Jim Steinman?. Any tracks left over?

"No. Not at all. It's one of the questions that came up about the box set. Like why didn't it feature any Steinman stuff?. It doesn't exist. You know back in 1984/85 you were recording onto two inch analogue tape and you'd do sessions and if they didn't work out we would wipe them you know. We would record over the top. When we started working with Nigel we'd go OK, that lots gotta go. We might keep the drums and we'd replace some of the guitar parts .and then we'd end up replacing everything. So, as far as I'm aware, there is absolutely not in existence anywhere anything to do with the Steinman sessions. We just, you know it was at a time period where it was gonna be expensive to keep hold of all this tape and we'd replace stuff and we were just trying to make a record. So we'd just wipe it off 'cause we're not gonna use these ever. We weren't thinking at the time about the historical value t might have in 30 years time. You don't think like that you know. It's like we didn't like what we had so we got rid of it."

Are you still in touch with Mutt Lange?/Talked to him about the 30th anniversary?

"I certainly didn't. Phil talks to Mutt quite a lot. I haven't spoken to Mutt in a while. He normally only calls me up when his football team have beaten mine. He likes to rub that in. So you know I'm a little out of the loop with Mutt. I know that Phil talks to him on at least a weekly basis. He wouldn't have been interested in getting into the celebrations on it. It's just not his thing. He's a guy that likes to keep himself to himself. Make the record you know and leave it to us to promote it. He was more than happy to work with us but he doesn't wanna talk about it. It's not his thing you know it's just not his thing."

Sticking by Rick Allen after his accident. Was there a moment where you said we're gonna have to bring in another drummer here?

"Not at all. Never occurred to us to do that. It was, you know he's a brother. He's family you know we were friend before we were musicians. The fact that I have musician on my passport is kind of embarrassing. It always seem a little weird. But no it never, ever ever occurred to us to do anything like that. He was in the band until he said he wasn't. And then you know he never said that. So he's still in the band. You know it was just the right thing to do. It's the way that we work. We've always been that way. We've always stuck with as long as we could, even with Pete. Pete Willis was given so many opportunities to turn himself around. You know until we just couldn't deal with it any more. But we tried. We really, really tried to never have a line up change you know. And with Rick it was easy because it was the humane thing to do you know. It's the humanity that's the important thing for us. Not the exchanging musicians every five minutes so we can reach a deadline. You know whatever reasons people swap out musicians, we just - it's never been in our DNA to do that. We don't need to."

Phil Collen as a full time member on Hysteria

"That's correct yeah. When Phil joined the band. He says, even to this day, he's never actually been officially asked you know. He came down to the sessions on Pyromania by request because we'd been hanging out. We'd known Phil for years you know. 1980 he stayed at my parents house when Girl played Sheffield City Hall opening for UFO and I stayed at his place in London when we were down there. He was - I wanted him in the band you know in 1981 but it was just, it wasn't feasible to do. He came in on Pyromania and when there were still solos, backing vocals, little licks that needed doing. It was a great way to kind of come in. The songs were already written. When it came to Hysteria of course it was the first opportunity to write with us and by then you know we'd got the know him and we knew his style. And we knew that what he was gonna bring to the band was gonna be more in the direction that we wanted to go because some of the stuff that he'd written with Girl. I thought was very adventurous and it was slightly left field of your bog standard rock. And we were really interested in that side of things because it wasn't just. It wasn't all Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard."

"We were rock music. Japan and you know bands like Sparks and you know mostly things like Queen but even they were pretty left field at times. And he was gonna bring that flavour in. It was just a little bit more commercial but at the same time left field and unusual and experimental than just going with the straightforward rock and we always wanted to push the envelope a little bit. Which is why that album sounds the way it does 'cause it is a lot more sonic. It's a lot more Star Wars for the ears as we always liked to say. It's not just a band setting up recording drums, bass, guitar, guitar like a live performance in the studio. It's orchestrated and pieced together and invented. It's like painting on a blank canvas and keep going until you've got something that's different to everything else out there."

Did it cross your mind that you've got to sing this stuff live?

"Not really. You know you never think about the 30 year thing. I mean I maybe now. I would be brave enough to think yeah there might be a 40th anniversary of Hysteria because you know we've come this far, why wouldn't it go any further?. When we made that record ."

The 'Hysteria 30th Anniversary Edition' was released around the world on 4th August.

Hysteria 2017.

Buy 'Hysteria 30th Anniversary Edition' Online

  • Amazon - (5CD/2DVD Super Deluxe Edition)
  • Amazon - (2CD Deluxe Edition)
  • Amazon - (1CD Edition)
  • Amazon - (2LP Vinyl-Black)

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Related News - JOE ELLIOTT Hints At DEF LEPPARD HYSTERIA In The Round 2018 UK Tour

Related News - VIVIAN CAMPBELL On DEF LEPPARD's Vocal Style/2018 World Tour

Related News - PHIL COLLEN On DEF LEPPARD's Massive 2018 World Tour/New Music

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