Def Leppard Admit "If You Play New Songs, The Audience Walks Out"

For the first time in six years, Def Leppard are hitting the road armed with new tunes, and guitarist Phil Collen is pragmatic about how people treat new work from a veteran band. "You'd really like to go out there and play all your new shit off the new record, but you can't do that, because they'd walk out," he says. "It's like when you go and see the Stones and Keith Richards starts doing a couple of songs, and everyone goes and buys a T-shirt."

The tour, which kicks off this week, will serve to warm up audiences for the forthcoming Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, the band's tenth studio album. Collen acknowledges that the album's title – derived from the band's backstage rehearsal area, where the songs were hashed out – doesn't quite have the pop of Pyromania or Hysteria, but it gets the job done. "[The title is] not very rock & roll, but for some reason, we don't really care anymore about that. 'Oh, it has to be cool, this has to be a strong title.' Fuck it. This is very relevant for what it is, and that's why we've done it."

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