DEF LEPPARD Needs To Keep Making New Music To Stay 'Fresh,' Says JOE ELLIOTT

September 22, 2014

DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott was recently interviewed by the Appleton, Wisconsin radio station 105.7 WAPL. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

Speaking about DEF LEPPARD's three-decade-plus-long career, Elliott said: "We were kids [when we first formed the band]. [Drummer] Rick Allen was 15, and only just 15 — I think he joined us the day after his 15th birthday, and he's still around now, 35 years [later].

"We just did this co-headlining tour of the States with KISS, and they've been together for 40 [years], and it seems like when KISS were playing, we were still in school. But we're starting to catch up, because the older you get, the closer in age you are to everybody that's been around for awhile.

"I saw an interview the other day with Keith Richards [of THE ROLLING STONES], and he's only 15 years older than me, but when I was a kid, he was twice my age; it's weird.

"But, yeah, we've had a really good career. And we're still having a good career. This tour that we just did with KISS has been one of the biggest tours of this summer. I mean, the fans were just incredible for both bands. And long may it continue, because it re-energizes you all as indicuals and as a band when you have such a response that we had for those 42 shows from the audience.

"Obviously, we are very respectful of both bands and of the back catalog of songs that we've both written over the years, and for us to be able to do that and at the same time be making a new album, which keeps us fresh… Because I think we all realize in this day and age new music is a very difficult sell for any band, for any artist — nobody really seems to wanna get involved in new music, and it's all about the nostalgia. But, for us, to keep it fresh, if we can't write new songs and we just become an act that just plays the old hits and nothing but the old hits, it's gonna start getting a bit old. And as much as we're very aware of the fact that when in a live environment, of course, we're never gonna do a show that 'Photograph' and 'Pour Some Sugar' don't get played in, unless there's some specific reason why we don't, like a club where we play the entire new album in front of 400 fans or something. On a general tour, we're always gonna play the hits, because that's why people come, but at the same time, I think an audience is always gonna indulge you in one or two songs that they, maybe, are not that familiar with, just because it's what helps keep the artist alive — it's breathing fresh air into the system, and it just needs to be done every now and again.

"So we're really excited that after all this time that we are still in a position to be able to write new songs, and we're really excited with the quality of what we've been writing. So there'll be a new album coming out next spring, with a bit of luck, and we'll be back out on the road again."

DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell will receive a stem-cell transplant later this month after doctors discovered his cancer had returned and is now in remission.

Campbell — who before joining DEF LEPPARD in 1992 was well known for his work with DIO and WHITESNAKE — went public with his Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis last summer, but announced in November 2013 for the first time that he was in remission.

Campbell's health setback was not expected to affect the recording sessions for DEF LEPPARD's' next album, the follow-up to 2008's "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge", which is being laid down in several sessions.

Campbell told a Florida radio station in April: "Our third and final instalment will be in November, to finish up the record. We're hoping for a release for early spring, 2015."

DEF LEPPARD released a deluxe, expanded edition of 1996's "Slang" album on February 11.

Interview (audio):

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