DEF LEPPARD's VIVIAN CAMPBELL: 'We Can't Believe People Pay Us To Do This'

February 20, 2019

DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell was recently interviewed by Jasmin Laine of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada's 92.1 CITI radio station. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On performing live:

Vivian: "It gets better and better. None of us take it for granted. We still get as excited as we ever did. In fact, maybe more so because we are advancing in our years, shall we say. And our audience is not just our own generation anymore — we've been seeing for years — and it just grows exponentially year after year. Our audience are now, probably 30 or 40 percent of them are young enough to be our children, which is very flattering. And it also brings a great energy to the show, 'cause we really thrive off of the energy that the audience puts out. And when you get a more youthful percentage in your audience, the energy level goes up, and conversely, we give more. So it's exciting. It's a great time to be in DEF LEPPARD."

On how DEF LEPPARD compares to some of the other bands he has been involved with:

Vivian: "Well, DEF LEPPARD is a thoroughly unique band. There's no other band on the planet like DEF LEPPARD. I've worked with a lot of artists, but I've been with DEF LEPPARD now for 27 years as the 'new guy.' And everything about LEPPARD, every aspect about the band, is thoroughly unique to DEF LEPPARD. There's a very, very serious work ethic within the band. That was the first thing I noticed 27 years ago when I first met all the guys. I'd known Joe [Elliott, vocals] socially as a friend for a few years, but we'd never played music together until I joined the band. And then meeting the other guys… Coming in compared to other acts, I really, really noticed that every aspect of DEF LEPPARD's career is just taken very, very seriously. All the T's are crossed, all the I's are dotted. [It] doesn't matter if it's a live performance or choosing the setlist or songwriting or the recording process, everything about it is just meticulous and done to the highest degree and as good as it can possibly be. Good is never good enough for LEPPARD. We're always trying to reinvent the wheel."

On DEF LEPPARD's live show:

Vivian: "It's a hell of a show. The music is high energy, as is our show. We put a lot of effort into the live performance and the production values and the lights and the staging and the video screens and the content and the videos. And the energy that we bring on stage as well — we don't just phone it in. Like I say, we don't take it for granted, and we seriously enjoy this so much. We can't believe people pay us to do this."

On how DEF LEPPARD makes its concerts an experience to remember:

Vivian: "Well, Phil [Collen, guitar] and I talk about this a lot when we come off stage. And maybe we're the only ones that really notice it, but over the years — year after year after year — we finesse and nuance our performance, be it the vocals, the vocals especially, or the guitar parts or whatever, or just the actual energy and the cohesiveness of the show. And I just think anyone who hasn't seen DEF LEPPARD in a long time, I think you'll be very, very, very surprised at how the band is performing recently. We just had a stellar year in 2018 — we did 60 shows in North America, doing a co headline tour with JOURNEY. Many of them were baseball stadiums and most of them were sold out a hundred percent. There's been a phenomenal resurgence in interest in the band, and that hasn't gone unnoticed with us. And I keep going back to this — we absolutely do not take it for granted. It lifts us, the energy of the audience, it elevates us. We wanna be the best concert experience that anyone has ever seen, and we're still striving to that. And year after year, we try and just finesse it and then nuance the show and make it better and better and better. So anyone who hasn't seen LEPPARD in a few years I think will be very, very pleasantly surprised."

DEF LEPPARD's brand new greatest-hits collection titled "The Story So Far - The Best Of", was released in November.

The band will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this spring. The honor comes after the British rockers got the most votes in the Rock Hall's online fan poll.

One of the top-selling rock acts of of all time, DEF LEPPARD has been eligible for the Rock Hall since 2004.

The 34th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will be held March 29 at Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center. HBO will broadcast a truncated version of the ceremony later in the year.

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