Veteran British rock outfit Def Leppard will begin recording its next studio album in January at frontman Joe Elliott's house in Dublin. Basic ideas were hashed out on the road during the band's extensive tour in support of this year's covers album "Yeah!," a first for Def Leppard.
"We've got about five or six songs on the go, and there'll be 11 or 12 on the final version," guitarist Phil Collen tells Billboard.com. "We're trying to get it out for next summer, which for us would be amazing. But we've never been this far along. We come off tour, wait six months, then we start writing. We've already got that sorted out.
Collen says the songs thus far have "absolutely" been influenced by the process of making "Yeah!," which featured Def Leppard's spin on songs popularized by Thin Lizzy, the Faces and Mott The Hoople. "We did that so quick," he says. "It was raw, and it didn't demand we sit around for months or years. That really inspired us."
Archive for 2006
Let us state, for the record, that rock bands from the 1980s have a right to exist.
Even when principal players are missing, hits sound dusty with age, trends have passed them by and new songs just don't cut it anymore – well, who would be arrogant enough to proclaim that nostalgia acts need to call it quits?
And why would musicians want to shut down such lucrative time machines?
Hardcore fans still come out to their concerts by the thousands, even if shows are held outdoors on chill, rainy weeknights in November.
It's no secret the Top 40 chart heydays of Journey and Def Leppard are long in the rear-view mirror. While both bands have had brushes with invading the zeitgeist again recently — Journey with its associations with the 2005 White Sox and the Fox TV show "The OC"; Def Leppard with a successful Greatest Hits CD last year — neither is making MTV's flavor of the month sweat the Sunday song countdowns.
However, in the concert arena, it's quite another matter.
Both bands proved they've still got the goods during a high-energy, three-hour plus show Friday night at The Mark of the Quad Cities. Girded by a bevy of familiar smashes from Reagan era, still performed with the vitality of yesteryear, the groups thrilled a crowd of roughly 8,000.
Def Leppard is covering David Bowie and Blondie to prove once and for all it's not a heavy-metal bandMonday, December 11th, 2006
Joe Elliott is a gambling man, but not with the slots.
The Def Leppard frontman is calling from Atlantic City, N.J., one of the cities on the band's tour. The group plays the Hollywood Bowl tonight and the Hyundai Pavilion in Devore on Saturday. He says he's not tempted by the one-armed bandits.
"I like the idea of winning. I like the idea of putting 25 cents in a slot (machine) and 2 million bucks coming out and then walking away with it," Elliott says. "But the chances of that happening are pretty slim. What's the point?
"This job in itself is a big enough gamble."
If you've been dying to hear the phrase "gunter glieben glauten globen" again, Tuesday night has been a long time coming for you.
Crank your hearing aids to 11 for Def Leppard along with fellow "dinoroars" Journey. The '80s rock bands are taking over the Budweiser Events Center.
Fans are guaranteed to hear classics including "Rock of Ages" (the start of which has long been debated but is actually just a gibberish countdown from producer Mutt Lange during the recording of the song).
The arena rockers just completed their summer, co-headlining tour but are back for Round 2. But don't call it a comeback – these guys are cashing in on your requests for retro.
In some ways, it's as if the '80s never ended for Def Leppard.
The pop-metal band's blockbuster albums — 1983's "Pyromania" and 1987's "Hysteria" — still sell. The band's many loyal fans still flock to Def Leppard concerts.
The British band, on tour with Journey, continues to churn out albums. Its latest offering, "Yeah," is Def Leppard's first all-covers album.
Vocalist Joe Elliott called from his Dublin home to talk about the disc, how it feels to be cool again, and why Def Leppard is rock's ultimate survivor.
I've added a video of Def Leppard's appearance on "Monday Night Football" in 1993 and a concert recording of Ring Of Fire live in Yokohama, Japan in 2002 to the Video section.
Thanks to Darren for providing the footage.
EDIT: These videos have been removed at Darren's request. Contact him if you want to see them.
The '80s loom large. And why not? For anyone in their mid- to late 30s, this was the decade when so much was decided. Political awakenings. Perhaps the genesis of a sense of family and love relationships. But God forbid that your taste for music was forged during the Reagan years. Drum machines for drums; arms for hostages; big hair for talent – it wasn't the friendliest of times for anyone who believed in the promise of the '60s. Though Def Leppard started out in Sheffield, England, copying the twin-guitar harmonies of Thin Lizzy and the angular muscle of Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, the music Wednesday was of a different stripe. This was "pop metal," a friendlier version of the sound that was electrifying Britain and haunting independent record stores in this country, circa 1980.
Def Leppard pulled a large crowd to Darien Lake, and there's no doubt that co-headliners Journey had something to do with the number of people willing to brave the cold. But clearly, it was this British fivesome – unchanged, pretty much, save for the loss of original member and guitarist Steve Clarke – that was responsible for bringing metal to the folks who would've never been receptive to it. Def Leppard played a close to flawless show to an audience ranging in age from 15 to 50. The group pulled from throughout its career, and there was, as a result, an interesting mix of music. The blatant AC/DC-infused hard rock of "Let It Roll" sat snugly against the post-Mutt Lange mega-overdub choir of vocals informing "Women."
Journey began its career as a '70s prog-rock band with epic guitar solos, hippie-dippie lyrics and deep roots in the classic Santana lineup. Def Leppard came to the fore as part of the New Wave of British heavy metal, alongside such other manic stalwarts as Iron Maiden.
Both went on to became among the major pop icons of the '80s, and both appeared Saturday night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in a double bill that promised memories of senior proms, battles of the bands and late nights cruising with the radio on.
And the show made good on that promise — at least in part.
Before the 2006 version of Journey emerged, the P.A. system played, not so coincidentally, a 35-year-old song by the Who: "Won't Get Fooled Again."
As the band took the stage, Roger Daltrey sang, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss," which was fitting but inaccurate.
Journey's original "boss" was lead singer Steve Perry, who was replaced in the late 1990s by Steve Augeri. In July, Augeri went on sick leave with a bad throat.
So the singer on this idyllic late-summer night in Bonner Springs was another new boss: Jeff Scott Soto, who used to sing for ace guitar shredder Yngwie Malmsteen.
Def Leppard and Journey can't help it at this late stage in their careers: Their roots are showing.
While the 6,300 fans Thursday night at Hilton Coliseum in Ames wallowed in 1980s nostalgia – or imagined it in the case of the young college students wearing crisp, new Leppard T-shirts – the bands on stage channeled their own, earlier musical heroes.
Two of Leppard's finest performances Thursday were covers from "Yeah!," its current tribute album to the early-1970s English glam rock that inspired its melodic, inoffensive pop-metal. Guitarist Phil Collen grooved through a rendition of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy," while it was bassist Rick Savage who eased the band into the slow and slinky David Essex hit "Rock On."
Below are some questions asked to Joe Elliott for an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal Newspaper. Read the full article for all the questions and answers.
- How did you get your slashed-up jeans to look so good? When I tried to make my own they looked horrible — and landed me in trouble with my mother.
- I saw the band once in Dayton with the round stage. How did that work out? Did it make performing difficult?
- How did the idea for your latest album of cover tunes from the '60s and '70s develop?
- Does the band have plans for another album and, if so, when and what will the theme be?