DEF LEPPARD Guitarist: 'I Never Really Thought We Were Part Of' Hair-Metal Movement

August 23, 2011

City Pages recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

City Pages: The hair-metal era in the '80s is fascinating. Did you ever have big hair? What did you think of the other bands around that time who were neck and neck with LEPPARD?

Collen: I didn't have big hair personally, but some of the guys in my band did. I never really thought we were part of that. Looking back, I think a lot of bands that came after that time, like MTLEY CRE and BON JOVI, really didn't have the same essence or motivation. All they wanted to do was look a certain way. With every kind of successful genre, there are bands who actually get it and a million trying to jump on the bandwagon and never really understanding what the genre's about. With rap, with boy bands, with BRITNEY SPEARS I do love her voice but she so desperately wanted to be BRITNEY SPEARS just do it naturally. I toured with some of those hair-metal bands and I was like, meh. I did think MTLEY were very real; they were totally into their own thing, and a lot of bands copied them. I decided to not go the way of peer pressure. I stopped drinking and smoking and it was just really cool.

City Pages: As someone who struggled with alcohol for a time, you probably found the '80s and '90s to be full of life lessons for you personally.

Collen: The biggest lessons were after all that. At that time, you're very young and you're running around like a chicken with its head cut off. When you get a little more experience, you start to understand things in a different way. I used to get really fucked up so I stopped drinking. I just hated what I would do, I hated not being in control of myself. It really kicks in when you're a little bit older and things make more sense. You're not just acting on impulse and the physical nature of reaction, you're acting on experience.

Read the entire interview from City Pages.

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