In a new interview with Independent.ie, DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott explained how acclaimed bluegrass singer Alison Krauss came to guest on two songs on the band's upcoming album, "Diamond Star Halos". According to Elliott, he got to know her through LED ZEPPELIN's Robert Plant who has made two full-length records with Krauss.
"In 2020, Wolves [Plant's beloved football club] were playing Sheffield United [Elliott's club] and we were having the banter," Joe recalled. "He said, 'What are you up to, kid?' And I said, 'Don't tell anyone, but we're making a new album.' And he said, 'Oh, I have to tell Alison because, annoyingly, you're her favorite band.
"We'd known for a while she liked us, because she'd interviewed us for Q magazine," Elliott continued. "We've become an accidental favorite of a lot of country artists because our backing vocals were often arranged in a country-like harmonic way because Mutt Lange [who produced the band's bestselling albums] was a huge country fan and he'd say, 'Change that major to a minor' and we would and it would take [the song] away from that standard rock thing."
Word soon reached Elliott that Krauss was keen to be involved on the new album. "We sent her 'Lifeless' and 'This Guitar' and said, 'Pick whichever one you fancy because these are the two songs most appropriate for you' and she texted me back within an hour going, 'OMG, I can't pick one — I love them both.' And without asking the guys, I said, 'Why don't you do them both?' And she did."
"Diamond Star Halos" will arrive on May 27 via UMe. The follow-up to 2015's self-titled LP was recorded over the past two years simultaneously in three different countries with Elliott in Ireland, Rick Savage (bass) in England, and Phil Collen (guitar),Vivian Campbell (guitar) and Rick Allen (drums) in the United States. Without the pressure of timelines or a fixed schedule, they poured all of their energy into crafting 15 meaningful tracks with a mixture of classic spirit meets modern fire. Thematically, they nodded to their earliest collective influences such as David Bowie, T.REX and MOTT THE HOOPLE, among others. The title itself notably references T.REX's "Bang a Gong (Get It On)".
The artwork for "Diamond Star Halos" follows pedigree with DEF LEPPARD's instantly recognizable album covers from their celebrated past. With images by world renowned photographer and director Anton Corbijn, styling concepts by Maryam Malakpour and graphics by the U.K.-based Munden Brothers, the design truly follows the band's influence through their eyes today.
DEF LEPPARD's "The Stadium Tour" with MÖTLEY CRÜE, POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, and then to 2022, due to the coronavirus pandemic.