DEF LEPPARD Singer: 'We Can Do 40 Dates For Breakfast'

June 5, 2009 recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott . A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Are there benefits to having a one-armed drummer?

Elliott: He's actually a better drummer now! He plays more to the song than the ego. If a drummer can do a complicated fill, he will. But if he can't, you can prove to yourself you don't need it. People always joke about Ringo [Starr] being a s**t drummer — he wasn't, he was a simple drummer! (laughs) So was Charlie Watts. We encourage Rick to do simple fills. We're not trying to write EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER! (laughs) "Adrenalize" is also being released and then came out at an interesting time too — the L.A. riots were going on and grunge was beginning to take off. Do you remember it having an affect on your sales or fans?

Elliott: Not at all. "Adrenalize" was exactly what everybody expected — we'd nailed America twice and this time beat Springsteen to number one and had five weeks at the top. Only about a dozen artists ever managed that in the '90s, really. So the sales weren't noticeably affected?

Elliott: No, grunge didn't really take root until late 92, early 93. It was like the rise of punk — in 1979, after the SEX PISTOLS had released their album and THE CLASH were heading to world domination, the biggest-selling record was "Breakfast in America" by SUPERTRAMP! (laughs) We were flying around the States in a private plane with an album that sold seven million copies — grunge was happening, and we were replying "So??" It didn't hurt us until '96. We need to go somewhere else with our sound and if anything, grunge gave us a kick. Was going back to basics with "Slang" a risk in 1996?

Elliott: We were looking at each other saying: "We are all aware that this is commercial suicide, right? Yep, we are? Ok… " But we were all really happy with that, we weren't doing it for the money — we didn't need it — we were doing it for the right reasons. We were trying not to be us, but another side of us. Every band does it, KISS did it with "The Elder", but that was actually a rubbish record! This year you've got the 40 cities tour with POISON and CHEAP TRICK. After so long in the band, can it be gruelling or is it still just great to be on the road?

Elliott: We can do 40 dates for breakfast! What gets gruelling is doing the same thing year-in, year-out. At every venue, those tours can feel like you were only there a week ago. But what's great about these big tour is being on the road with different people — last year, it was BILLY IDOL and JOAN JETT, the year before was STYX, FOREIGNER and REO SPEEDWAGON, the year before was JOURNEY and before that we were doing baseball stadiums with BRYAN ADAMS. That keeps it fresh for the time you're not on stage — you get to drink coffee with different rock stars!

Read the entire interview from

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