DEF LEPPARD's VIVIAN CAMPBELL On His Cancer Battle:' I'll Probably Be Dealing With It For The Rest Of My Life'

September 25, 2015

In a brand new interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell was asked how his treatment is going in his continuing battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He responded: It's going very, very well, thank you. The bad news is this cancer keeps coming back. The good news is the treatment I'm doing largely continues to work, which is a big, big part of the recovery for me, to be able to continue to do what it is that defines who I am."

He continued: "I've had a couple rounds of chemo — actually, three rounds of chemo. And last October I did a stem cell transplant. And I kind of naively thought that'd be it, and I was done with it. I guess given the benefit now of my experiences with this, I kinda realize that I'll probably be dealing with it for the rest of my life. So we're trying a new track now; I'm trying a process called immunotherapy, which is the latest and greatest thinking in how to treat cancer. So, it's part of a clinical trial, and it's early days yet, so I really won't know until the end of the year, I won't really have an idea about the efficacy of this treatment. The good news is it allows me to continue to tour, because I just have to do these infusions every three weeks or so. It's a bit of a pain because I have to travel back to Los Angeles. But as far as side effects, there's absolutely nothing that's of any concern — it's just lowered my thyroid considerably. But if that's the only side effect, I'll certainly take it. It's a lot easier to deal with than doing chemo."

According to Campbell, his ongoing treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma has meant that he "wasn't too involved in the recording process" of the new DEF LEPPARD album, which is due at the end of October. He explained: "My medical schedule did kinda eat into that."

He continued: "I'll say two things about this DEF LEPPARD record: I'm the new guy in DEF LEPPARD, I've been in the band for 23 years, and I'll say that in the 23 years, I think this is the best record we've made — that's point number one; point number two is I've have had very, very little to do with it! [Laughs] So I think the universe is trying to tell me something, you know? That they're creatively better off without me."

Campbell added: "It's a strange process the way this band makes records anyway. We did this record over three installments, and I missed the middle one. Each was between four and six weeks; I was there for the first one and I was there for the last one, and I missed the middle, which, to be honest, is probably where all the hard work happened."

DEF LEPPARD's new self-titled album will arrive on October 30 via earMUSIC.

The CD is the band's first studio effort since "Songs From the Sparkle Lounge" in 2008.

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