In a brand new interview with The West Australian, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell explained why his band kept plugging away even when no-one seemed to be listening during the seemingly sudden rise of grunge in the early '90s, when bands like NIRVANA and PEARL JAM stole the pop/rock niche.
"When the going got tough in the late '80s, so many of our contemporaries called it quits," Campbell said. "A few years later they peered up from behind the walls and said, 'Hang on, people like '80s music now, we'll reform and cash in. We continued putting out albums even in the '90s when nobody cared and we tried to change and adapt. But it is a balancing act because when you're successful for something, you become almost a prisoner to your success. We're known for doing a certain kind of thing and we do it very well, but we've never rested on our laurels. There's an integrity to this band that a lot of our contemporaries don't have."
And unlike many other groups still touring long after their heyday, Campbell insists the band is still a tight-knit unit who "like one another."
"We spend a lot of time in each others' pockets — we're in a tour bus, we're in a dressing room, we're in the studio for months on end," he said. "We kind of have to get along. "You've got to respect each other on a personal and professional level. After 30 years, we still share the same dressing room."
He continued, "We just did some European dates with WHITESNAKE [which Campbell once played with] and, you know, they're not a band, it's [singer] David Coverdale and whoever. I was talking to the drummer in a bar the other night. He's the 49th member of the band of which I was inversion 37c or whatever for about 20 minutes. They travel separately, they stay in separate hotels on tour, David Coverdale stays in a separate dressing room where the door's always closed with a sign that says 'Knock, do not enter.' We interact with our crew. People always want to come back and work for DEF LEPPARD. We don't have class distinction within the band and the crew. That's what makes it fun for us."
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