DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott has posted the following message via the group's official web site at www.defleppard.com:
"We finished mixing the album in London on the 7th of May 2002. We did the photo session during the mix, with a great photographer by the name of Clive Arrowsmith. He's been around for a long time but boy, does he still have it! Now, this guy shot the cover of 'Band On The Run' for WINGS back in '73, and 'Play Don't Worry' for Mick Ronson in '74 (you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize what that means to ME!!!!!). It was at Phil's insistence that we used Clive and what an inspired decision that was! In the past, we've been 'advised' as to who we should use, sometimes much to our dissatisfaction. This time however, we are very happy with the way the photos look.
"The same thing goes for the album artwork. We wanted something simple for the cover as, having decided on the title X ('TEN', not 'EX' - well, it is our 10th album) we figured on something striking and to the point. We DID go round the houses for a while, but having had a spot of lunch with an old friend who quite simply said that it should be very plain, we decided that this simple approach was exactly what we'd been looking for. Poor old Todd!!!!!
"Todd is Tod Perry, the sleeve designer who, for the last 4 months, had been bouncing ideas back and forth with me over a concept we had come up with. He had about one week to scrap all his hard work and re-design the sleeve. He has done an admiral job and deserves much credit for having to indulge 5 opinions from the band, as well as Marc at our management office. How Todd got the gig deserves a chapter on it's own, so we'll save that for another time!
"On to the music! I must admit to having a struggle when it comes to describing new LEPP stuff. Imagine: for the first few weeks, you're just too close to it. If you try and listen to it, all you do is come to a part of a song which might have been bothering you and you freeze! Wait till it passes and then carry on doing what you were doing (this is something only us and whoever produces it can ever experience). You have to 'unlearn' all the bits that ever bothered you and that takes time! It does eventually go away and only then, you can listen to a new album impartially. Of course, by then, you're sick of it!!!!! Just kidding!
"I like to think we've done a great job with this album. I know EVERYBODY says that when they put a new album out, but I haven't had this feeling for a long time, and I didn't have it instantly. It grew on me..... I'll admit to having doubts about certain things, but I've come to realize that it was only because I was too close to it. I have now 'unlearned' and I hear it in a totally different way. I LOVE IT!!
"I'm not going to go through every song, there's no point -- you'll make up your own minds when you hear it. I will say, however, that I think 'Now' is the right song to lead off with. It's not the most obvious first song, but it represents who we are in 2002 as well as any song could.
"As I write this, we are in the middle of a press frenzy which, by recent standards, is unbelievable. So for all of you out there that have in the past complained about the lack of coverage we get, worry no more! By the time we've finished this round of interviews, we will have pretty much covered all the magazines you love to buy and more will be done. It wouldn't surprise me if we ended up in the Vatican Weekly the way this week is going!
"We will be doing a 'whistle stop' tour of 3 or 4 US cities late July to talk and play acoustically on some as of yet unconfirmed morning shows. Hmmmmmmmmm..... Singing at 7.30AM..... My favourite time of day..... NOT!!!!!
"We're shooting the video for 'Now' on Wednesday night (June 26),and as you may have gathered, we desperately looked for old LEPP T-shirts! Why? I don't want to give too much away here, got to keep you guessing on a few things for a while !!!!
"The gig in Kansas should be a hoot, we're pretty much rehearsed as much as we can be, the rest is up to the unknown equipment we'll be using, the vibe on the night and most importantly, any of you guys who can make it! You WILL hear new material, that's a promise!
"Straight after the gig (oh, and the World Cup Final!) we head to Europe to give them a fair crack of the whip, press-wise. Hey, as you know, if we don't do it, who'll ever know we have a new album out, right? This will go on for about 6 weeks! Only then can we have a short break before the full-on rehearsals for the tour which, by the looks of things, will start in November.
"So, keep your ears and eyes open for the new stuff. 'Now' should be on a radio station near you from this weekend onwards, so, if you don't hear it as often as you'd like, call in and request it! Word of mouth still works in this digital age - thank God!!!
"Stay well, peace to you and yours, see you down the road somewhere soon..."