Thursday, 23rd May 2019
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Def Leppard 2019. Screenshot

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen was interviewed in December 2018 and the full video is now available.

Phil spoke to Jonathan Graham for Guitar Interactive.

The interview was conducted in December backstage at a show on the UK/Irish Hysteria tour.

Phil talked about his new Jackson PC1 guitar, Jackson Guitars, Hysteria Lyrics/Politics, Hysteria recording, changing as a person, Mutt Lange, Multiple Guitar Parts, Playing Rare Hysteria Songs Live, Knowing Hysteria Was A Special Album, modern pop music, Coldplay, Vivian joining Def Leppard, a New Def Leppard Studio Album, Tesla album Shock, Live Guitar Setup, G3 Tour, 2019 Def Leppard Plans and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

He spoke very briefly about the next album and repeated what various band members have said over the last year that work is ongoing and gave no more detail.

Watch the full 22 minute interview below.

The 34th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction took place on 29th March at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Read parts of the Vivian Interview conducted at the same time and view the full video.

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

Visit the Album News section for more news on new music (based on band member quotes).

Guitar Interactive - Phil Collen Interview Quotes - (Transcribed by dltourhistory)

Hysteria Lyrics/Politics

"Well nothing changed 2,000 years before that. It's always been like, people like having a row which is bizarre. I mean how anyone could like war is beyond me. But Yeah it's a source of kind of's always there. Human nature is pretty weird. And as well all know it's nothing to do with helping someone out, it's usually a monetary thing at the bottom of it. Just a power thing which has never changed it's always been exactly the same."

How He Changed During The Making Of Hysteria

"It was positive and, you know, I've given up drinking for 31 years now. So that's been cool. But the trick is to, with all this experience and all the travelling you know more to day than you did yesterday. And we were really lucky we had grat people around us and I think especially Mutt Lange you know. He's an inspiration to be around like you'd try something. He said well that's a great idea so he'd go try this. You'd go I can't really play it and he'd go yeah just do this. And he would get you to sing stuff that you couldn't. That was way above your level. You know he'd go OK just try it. And I'd go no I can't hit that note and he'd say yeah you can."

"I mean I could just go into just the vocal thing alone. I'd go but it hurts and he'd say no it sounds great just try it, just try it. Alright we go it double track it and then before you know it you're in there and that's your new bar has been raised. So he was amazing like that. And some with the songwriting and that whole album, you know, he really taught us how to sing and play...really."

"You know I think we'd have been an OK band. We'd have been a good band but he made it something great. He deserves all the credit."

Playing Rare Hysteria Songs Live

"You know we've got two guitar players. Everyone sings great. We just done Promises over on soundcheck and me and Joe was going wow. It's sounds like we're using samples on the vocals. It's just so so good. So over the years that's got better and better and better. So we can kind of deal with stuff like that. So it's the most prominent part that you hear and the vocal is always gonna be louder anyway. So you kind of focus on that. The stuff that goes around it like, you know, Love Bites. And you can get away with just two guitars. But you can get away with some of that. So some of the other things you have to make a collage. Like on the chorus of Hysteria. You know that's got, on the record it had like clean guitars. So you just do a different version you play those and that would be going all the way through. But all out of the way of the main melody. You know it's all enhancement."

Knowing Hysteria Was A Special Album

"When Mutt got involved again 'cause we were all a bit doubtful. He had to go off and do The Cars so we wrote the songs in Dublin. He said we can't do Pyromania part II 'cause every other rock band's doing that. So we'll just do something a bit special. You know The Police, Prince, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, different influences. Guitar sounds, The Fixx. All these different kind of elements. And he had to do The Cars. He went off we got Jim Steinman and that didn't work out. When he came back in it was pretty obvious he was like fired up, inspired and these particular songs that we'd written we done them in a certain way. In a different way completely because all the pop stuff had happened. It's all about grabbing different influences and especially if they're from a different genre because you're not gonna step on anyone's toes."


"I love how Coldplay...Chris Martin writes great songs. But I don't really hear a lot of new stuff coming out. the last new thing I heard was Skrillex and that was like, you know, six years ago really. But if anything's out there, you know, it's really cool. You know there's...I know everyone likes Drake and all that stuff. I'm still mourning the death of R and B the stuff that I grew up listening to. You know because you hear Stevie Wonder sing or Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin. No one really does that and so there's a. I get, I get the whole thing, the new stuff. And the last Hip Hop artist that I thought was absolutely exceptional was Missy Elliott. because it actually was something different. You'd go whoah! production wise it was ridiculous."

Vivian Campbell Joining Def Leppard

"With Viv It was kind of easy because we'd had such a big...when I joined, you know, the band was still playing, you know, half empty theatres and opening. Same kind of stuff I was doing with Girl. And they'd had albums and there was some interest in it but it wasn't like, you know, after Pyromania, after Hysteria and Steve and the whole story. So with Viv he was a fan as well. So we just though, yeah you can never replace. You can't replace your best friend or your brother or whatever anyway."

"He brought something that was so amazing. the main thing, we knew Viv was a great guitar player, goes without saying you know. But he could sing. And he would do Mutt's parts that we couldn't actually do live before. Me, Joe and Sav, Steve wouldn't sing much. He'd kind of, he was a bit shy with the vocals so it would be, there'd be a gap there. And we always missed that stuff 'cause Mutt sings on all the records with us. So he does all high stuff. And Viv could do that so he came in and all of a sudden it's like right OK there's another piece of the jigsaw puzzle and we just filled it."

"And we worked on that and, like I said we just finished a tour and at soundcheck me and Joe are going f**k! that sounds amazing. It sounds like we're doing tapes or something."

A New Def Leppard Studio Album?/Tesla Album

"Started it. Started it last year, you know, while we're on tour. I just produced the Tesla album. We did that while we were on tour like a year and a half we've been in a room like this when there's no soundcheck and you go OK you've got 40 minutes let's do a guitar part. And we literally did that every day. Hotel room, back of a bus. And it's coming out in January. It sounds amazing. So really pleased with that."

2019 Def Leppard Plans

"Yes and no 'cause we got NAMM coming up in January Then we've gotta do the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame thing. And as these things go you know something will pop up. Like I know that's gonna happen. We've been offered to do this and then other things happen. So before you know it you don't get any break."

Def Leppard 2019. RRHOF 2019

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

"It's wonderful. it's great. And I know everyone says Oh, it's for the fans. It actually is 'cause we, it doesn't really bother. Butit's so lovely that actually it puts us in a different bracket. So for the band and the brand if you like it's amazing. So and for our fans 'cause people would get really upset. They'd call me and go how come you're not in there. Almost in tears. It's like well sorry, not our fault. Same thing with the Superbowl thing you know playing half time. You gotta wait until the time's right."

"So yeah this is great. It's great that it happened now at the end of such an amazing year. You know we went and released all our stuff digitally. You know it's on iTunes, Spotify, god knows what. And got a new album, a new greatest hits album out. And everyone goes well how can you just rehash and it's like no there's so many people who weren't born when this stuff come out and it's brand new. So yeah no it's kind of cool."

Watch some Fan Videos from the show here.

Def Leppard 2019 Fan Videos.

Buy Online

  • Vinyl Collection: Volume Two - Amazon (£177.27)
  • CD Collection: Volume Two - Amazon (£66.02)

Buy 'The Story So Far...The Best Of Def Leppard' Online

  • Amazon - (1CD Regular Edition - 17 Tracks)
  • Amazon - (2CD Deluxe Edition - 35 Tracks)
  • Amazon - (2LP Vinyl Edition)
  • Amazon - (MP3 Regular Edition - 17 Tracks)
  • Amazon - (MP3 Deluxe Edition - 35 Tracks)

Related News - JOE ELLIOTT Says DEF LEPPARD Are Constantly Making New Music

Related News - 2019 Def Leppard Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Fan Photo Gallery 1

Related News - DEF LEPPARD 2019 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (Setlist/Speeches/Show Report)

Related News - DEF LEPPARD On ROCK HALL 2019 And Their Next Album (Audio)

Related News - DEF LEPPARD Talk RRHOF And Play Two Songs On Howard Stern Show (Audio)

Related News - JOE ELLIOTT Says BRIAN MAY Inducting DEF LEPPARD At RRHOF Is Great Honour

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