DEF LEPPARD's PHIL COLLEN Says Touring With 'G3' Was 'The Best Time Ever'

April 2, 2018

DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen was recently interviewed by Forrest of the Boise radio station 96.9 The Eagle. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On how DEF LEPPARD and JOURNEY decided which band will perform first in each market during their upcoming tour together:

Phil: "We didn't flip a coin, but for example, when JOURNEY plays San Francisco, because that's where they're from, they'll finish that show, obviously. We kind of did that — we actually looked at it and we said, 'Okay, who means more in these areas?' and stuff like. That's really how it turned out."

On DEF LEPPARD not making their catalog available digitally until this year:

Phil: "We had a great clause in our contract. We felt that everyone else was getting ripped off — they were giving all their stuff away — and we felt our stuff [had] more value. One of us died; one of us lost an arm; we spent millions and millions of dollars and years and years recording all this stuff. We felt that it was more value that just kind of throwing it out there, which happened to a lot of bands. We were lucky enough because our management at the time had put a clause in the contract [that] said any kind of new medium, you have to get the band's permission. I'm really glad that we came to a conclusion with it and finally got the thing out."

On touring with Joe Satriani on the "G3" tour:

Phil: "When you're in a band and you're not known for [soloing] — you have, like, maybe eight bars to do a solo. We don't really do instrumental stuff — it's very vocal-heavy, it's very song-oriented. Having said that, Joe Satriani is a great songwriter. He actually does amazing songs. They're instrumental, but they're real songs — you can sing them, they're just beautiful melodies. There's a lot more to him than just being a guitar player. He's an amazing songwriter. It was thrilling and inspiring to be standing next to him and John Petrucci every night. They are incredible, and I had the best time ever. I had such a blast on that tour. It was very different for me, because, like I say, it's usually eight bars or sixteen bars, and on this, it was a lot more guitar."

On DEF LEPPARD bandmate Vivian Campbell, who continues to battle Hodgkin's lymphoma:

Phil: "He's great. As long as he stays on the straight and narrow... he's on these experimental cancer drugs; he was doing that for a while. All his numbers are great; he's really healthy. You've just got to keep your fingers crossed and keep watching out for that stuff. But as we speak, he's great."

On the upcoming TESLA album that he produced:

Phil: "That's amazing. I'm so excited about that. I basically joined the band. I'm friends with the guys and have been for years, so for it to work, I actually pretty much joined the band. We recorded it mostly while we were on tour, and we got really excited and inspired about it. The songwriting and everything about it, it was a joint effort. I jumped in there and was part of the whole thing. I honestly can't believe how great it sounds – it's like, BEATLES, [THE ROLLING] STONES, THE WHO, AC/DC, AEROSMITH, QUEEN, it sounds like a bit of all that, but it sounds like TESLA as well. It's very exciting."

DEF LEPPARD and JOURNEY's 58-city tour will kick off on May 21 in Hartford, Connecticut and run through October 6 in Los Angeles.

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