DEF LEPPARD Didn't Have To Answer To Any Record Company Executive While Making New Album

July 23, 2015

Amber Lee of WYDR The Drive 94.3 FM conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen before the band's July 18 appearance at Rock USA festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked how DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell's battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma affected the making of the band's upcoming album, Collen said: "[Vivian] missed the second [writing and recording] session."

He continued: "This album's been great, 'cause we didn't do it the normal corporate, or DEF LEPPARD, way that's been pretty much the way that bands do things since the mid-'80s onwards. Back in the day, you know, whether it was THE [ROLLING] STONES or [David] Bowie or James Brown, Ottis Redding, whoever it was… THE BEATLES… They'd write a song, record it… Bob Dylan… And then, that would be it. But now, [in the past couple of decades], [the attitude towards making records has become], like, 'Well, we've gotta get an album,' you've gotta get your filler tracks and all that stuff, and that whole thing, so it became this lump of very uncreative… Or [it's become] harder to be in a creative mode. I think, back in the day, when you just let it out, it was artistic expression, and that's what it was supposed to be. So we actually went back to that more."

Collen added: "You know, we had three [writing and recording] sessions. We've never really done that before — it's always been [us setting aside] one block of time [to write the albums]. We started in January or February 2014, and [Vivian had] just had the news [of his cancer diagnosis] when we [had] done that first session. We thought we [were] doing a single, and then we came out with 12 songs. So we got the start of the whole thing. He missed the second [session] because he was having treatment, and then we went on tour with KISS, and then went back again, [and we'd] done the third session and pretty much finished it. We've been finishing it off on the road as well — just little bits.

"So, [Vivian's cancer diagnosis did] not really [affect the making of the album]. As when Rick Allen [DEF LEPPARD drummer] had his accident, we were able to, kind of, do other stuff while he wasn't there. There's always so much to be done on a DEF LEPPARD record."

Collen also talked about DEF LEPPARD's mindset going into the making of the band's new CD, which will be a self-titled affair. He said: "With DEF LEPPARD, when we had such huge success, we tried to go left field, we'd done this album called 'Slang', and everyone was, like, 'This sucks. You guys…' 'Cause we just wanted to try something different, and we [weren't] allowed to, which is kind of weird. So, with this new album, we actually did exactly what we wanted. We thought, you know, we don't care what anyone thinks. We haven't got a record company executive who's gonna teach us, or tell us, you know, to do this or whatever. So we'd just done it ourselves, on our own, and it was wonderful."

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