DEF LEPPARD's PHIL COLLEN On TOM MORELLO's Guest Solo In 'Just Like 73': He 'Nailed It'

July 10, 2024

In a new interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen spoke about the band's latest single, "Just Like 73". The track, which features a guest guitar solo from Tom Morello, can be heard below.

Regarding how the Morello collaboration came about, Collen said: "Well, Tom heard my original demo of the song with just me on it, and maybe Joe [Elliott, DEF LEPPARD singer] doing a vocal. And he's, like, 'Oh my God, this is great.' So he told our friend Brian Monaco, who is actually president of Sony Music, and Brian's, like, 'What do you think about Tom being on it? He loves this thing.' And it was, like, 'Yeah, that'd be awesome.'

"You know, I love RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. I think Tom's really, really cool and his guitar style is so unique and he really didn't let us down. I remember talking to him about it. He said, 'Well, what do you hear?' and I said, 'Well, you gotta do your Tom Morello thing.' And he did. [I] heard it back and said, 'This is absolutely perfect.'

"The song is about us discovering the music that kind of shaped our lives, you know, the [David] Bowie/T. REX period of the very early '70s, and he totally got it, and kind of nailed it. So we're overjoyed about that."

Asked if there is more new music to come from DEF LEPPARD, Phil said: "There is. That was kind of left over from the 'Diamond Star Halos' [album sessions], and we actually hadn't finished it off. We only finished it off this year with everyone playing and singing on it. So, yeah, it was like almost there but not quite for that album.

"We've got this thing now where we write. I was on with Joe on Sunday in Dublin. I was in California, and we were writing a song together and coming up with backing vocal ideas for something else. We are so excited about new stuff. So, it's growing, you know, it's expanding, our whole thing, as opposed to people getting writer's block or something. We're having the complete opposite experience. We're just getting more excited about what we're doing."

Last month, Collen told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about the writing process for "Just Like 73": "We started it when we were doing [2022's] 'Diamond Star Halos' [album], and anyone who doesn't know, that's a line from a Marc Bolan song [from] T. REX. He says 'hubcap diamond star halo'. And me and Joe [Elliott, DEF LEPPARD singer] have always used that phrase to describe the time that we got really baptized into music. I remember seeing [David] Bowie on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' and 'Top Of The Pops' and was, like, 'Oh my God. This is my guy.' I was, like, 14 or 15. I'd already seen DEEP PURPLE; it my first concert, which was amazing. So, then all of a sudden this glam stuff came out. So we would always describe that as 'Diamond Star Halos'."

Phil continued: "I was writing a song with Dave Bassett, who I wrote 'Kick' with. And the same deal — I really want to put a SLADE slant on the backing vocals and just make it very much about '72 or '73. And Joe heard the demo and he's, like, 'Why can't you have both?' So we did, and then Joe started writing some lyrics because he's obviously really tapped into that, and all the verse lyrics and all the imagery from exactly that 'Diamond Star Halos' period ends up on this song. We actually hadn't finished it, so the rest of the band hadn't even heard the demo, and we played it to everyone and they all loved it. They all put their stuff on it. Viv [guitarist Vivian Campbell] played guitar, Sav [Rick Savage] did [his bass tracks], Rick [Allen, DEF LEPPARD drummer] put his part on and then we had some vocals — everyone had sung on it — and before you know it, it came out like this. So, we're really thrilled. It actually sounds better than the stuff on 'Diamond Star Halos', to my ears. So I'm really excited about that. And it seems that everyone really digs it as well."

Asked if this is a one-off single or the seed of another DEF LEPPARD full-length album, Phil said: "Oh, it's absolutely the seed of another DEF LEPPARD record. I mean, it was a leftover from the album before, but it was also the start of a new album. So, without a doubt. [Joe and I] write all the time. We send each other things. Sav gets in on there. Just between the three of us, there's just a lot of stuff floating around already. So we've, yeah, got a bunch of stuff. It's really exciting. And it's a great place to be. It's never that thing where, 'Well, we've got to sit down and write an album.' It's, like, 'Wow, I can't wait to play this to the guys and see what the reaction is.' And we keep pushing the boat out even further."

Regarding whether he envisions a new DEF LEPPARD full-length album coming out this year, Phil said: "This year would be pushing it, I think this year. But once we kind of get into the groove, I think — yeah. Who knows? Next year [or] early the year after. But you know how these things go. We have these tours and everything, but we've got a new song. So that's really exciting. So that'll be on the go pretty soon."

"Just Like 73" will arrive on seven-inch vinyl on August 2, 2024 and will be available in a special color variant only through the band's D2C store and in black at all retailers.

DEF LEPPARD teased "Just Like 73" on social media earlier in June, sharing an image with two different phone numbers for U.S. and U.K. fans to call.

"Light up the fuel. Just Like 73. Hotline Now Open," the band wrote in an accompanying caption.

Fans who called the phone numbers were able to hear Elliott singing lyrics from the song, which marks the band's first new original music since 2022's "Diamond Star Halos" album.

DEF LEPPARD's 23-city trek with JOURNEY kicked off on July 6 in St. Louis, Missouri and will continue through September 8 in Denver, Colorado. Along the way, the two Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees will bring their show to stadiums in major cities like Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and more. CHEAP TRICK will play two shows at the beginning of the tour and two concerts at the end of the trek, while STEVE MILLER BAND will join the bill for the majority of shows.

The DEF LEPPARD/JOURNEY tour is being promoted by AEG Entertainment.

Both bands are offering VIP packages through their respective web sites.

DEF LEPPARD's VIP experiences include a premium seat, personal photo with the band, exclusive merchandise and more.

DEF LEPPARD's 12th studio album, "Diamond Star Halos", came out in 2022. A year later, the band followed it up with "Drastic Symphonies", a collection of reimagining of some of DEF LEPPARD's greatest hits with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road. The album spent 15 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Current Classical chart.

DEF LEPPARD's 2022 stadium tour across North America with MÖTLEY CRÜE reportedly sold more than 1.3 million tickets.

Find more on Def leppard
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).