Archive for the ‘Preview’ Category

Def Leppard having time of Nine Lives

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Say his name quickly and you understand how Def Leppard's Phil Collen is constantly being mistaken for that other Phil Collins who sings for Genesis.

The bigger mystery is how the individual members of one of Britain's biggest selling rock bands have managed to remain virtually invisible despite selling more than 65 million records over their 30-year career.

"It's strange," the 50-year-old guitarist admits, "We're stars when we play. But then we can be completely anonymous when we're on the street.

"But I think this is one of the reasons why the band has stayed together as long as we have. No one really feels like a star, so no one plays the rock star. We all want to work hard and have a good time. We have a real working class ethic. That's what keeps us together, and keeps our heads on our shoulders."

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Balancing Act

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Turns out staging a successful rock concert is a lot like making a killer mix-tape: It's all about the songs you choose and the order in which you choose to play 'em.

At least, so says arena-show veteran Vivian Campbell, who should know — after all, he's been slinging an axe for Def Leppard for the last 16 years.

But while you'd assume the hard rockers would have little trouble keeping their fans entertained — given the scores of album and radio hits they've racked up since the late '70s — Campbell says sequencing is still a tricky business.

"It's a tough thing for us, and we're kind of between a rock and a hard place," says Campbell, who also logged time with Dio and Whitesnake before signing on with Def Leppard.

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The Wait Is Over

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

That 'ol rock cliché, 'No rest for the wicked' could most definitely apply to rock legends Def Leppard.

While so many of their counterparts during the 80s rock movement are considered either washed up, planning reunion shows or six-feet under this British quintet is still going strong.

They join the ranks of a select bunch of rock royalty who have maintained three decades worth of life on stage and have managed to pull through the backlash of an ever-changing music scene.

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Nottingham preview

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Like armaments and James Blunt, which many people would like to see in the same room, Def Leppard are one of the UK's most successful exports.

And yet, while they've managed to match their chart success back in Britain, home tours have never really commanded the same ticket sales.

It was never their intention says Leppard bassist Rick Savage.

"If we have targeted the US more, it's been unintentional. I can understand how it may look that way, but it's just coincidence that the way we write is more conducive to the American market.

"When you're in a band, it's dangerous to consciously write for a certain market as that can stifle the creative process. The way it's worked out is that our music is more accessible to the American people.

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Leppards DO change spots

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Joe Elliot and Phil Collen saunter into a hotel room bigger than my entire house, looking every bit the conquering heroes.

The eternal rockers have just played the Islington Academy and their new album, Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, has gone into the charts at No. 5. They’re clearly on top of the world.

"Looks like we’ve still got it," chuckles singer Joe. He's 48 this year, his hair still golden-blond, lush and long.

He is dressed immaculately in freshly pressed jeans and a tailored black shirt with a diamante skull and crossbones on the back, every inch the rock star.

"What a gig!" he bellows to the cavernous room. "We were so nervous before we went out but that was awesome. I could do it all over again."

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Keeping cool is so rock 'n' roll for Def Leppard

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Def Leppard are set to have another moment. In truth, they've never stopped touring and grafting, but the last decade has, to all but the most obsessive 80s metaller, seen their bleached manes, spray-on jeans and white trainers look, and bombastic, effects-heavy brand of rock consigned to the hall of extinct 80s tales of excess.

But guitarist Phil Collen is feeling the winds of change.

Def Leppard are one of a slew of heavy metal acts to hit the 80s nostalgia trail this year, including Whitesnake, Kiss and Metallica. The Leps have got an arena tour under way and their first studio album of six years is in the pipeline.

It's easy to forget just how huge Def Leppard were. In 1987, thanks to the diamond-selling Hysteria, they were the biggest rock band on Earth.

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Def Leppard are looking for respect

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Can a Def Leppard ever change its spots? The old-school British metal band who shot to fame in the '80s are back with a new album called Songs From The Sparkle Lounge and arrive in Cardiff on tour this week with Whitesnake and Thunder.

But while contemporaries such as Iron Maiden have enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity and credibility, Def Leppard have remained a nostalgic side show in Britain, maligned for their ability to write slick US-friendly radio rock.

In recent years the band has enjoyed a change in management that has brought about a profile resurgence in America, but guitarist Phil Collen admits the band would like to be more respected in their home country.

"(We would like) to get more acceptance in Britain," says Collen, whose father is Welsh and has an auntie from Trehafod.

"We want to get to the next stage here."

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Leppards out of their natural environment

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Def Leppard bassist Rick 'Sav' Savage is not looking his best when I meet him the morning after the band's intimate performance at London's Carling Academy Islington.

There were just a few hundred invited guests and competition winners in attendance and Sav says: "It was like the club gigs we did before the debut album came out in 1980."

But Sav adds that he went on stage in some discomfort – and he's still suffering.

"I've been a little under the weather with a kidney infection which leaves me weak," he reveals. "When we came off stage I told the others that I wouldn't want to do that kind of show every night for a living!"

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Lounge Act

Monday, April 14th, 2008

When British rock legends Def Leppard take to the MTS Centre stage next Wednesday, they'll be less than two weeks away from the April 29 release of their ninth CD, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge.

Frontman Joe Elliott has described the disc as a return to form of earlier Def Leppard classics like High 'N Dry (1981) and Hysteria (1987).

But with the exception of lead single Nine Lives — a collaboration with country star Tim McGraw released to radio — the Sheffield sons have done a good job of keeping the album under wraps.

We realize you can't wait another six days for your Def Leppard fix, so we've scoured the web for every mention of the new disc we could find. Here's what we came up with:

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Rock Steady

Monday, April 14th, 2008

You would think a near-legendary band like Def Leppard would be certain of their rock-star status. After all, they're the ones behind such fist-pumping anthems as Rock of Ages, Photograph and Pour Some Sugar on Me, and have sold millions of albums around the world.

They've been at it for more than 30 years and have survived death (guitarist Steve Clark died in 1991) and dismemberment (drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident in 1984 and plays with a modified drum kit). And though their old songs endure on classic-rock radio stations, the band, which comprises singer Joe Elliott, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Allen, is still a creatively viable entity. In fact, a new disc is due for release later this month, and the first single, a collaboration with country superstar Tim McGraw, is already a hit.

Plus, the touring never stops. Def Leppard is headlining a major arena excursion with fellow 1980s survivors R.E.O. Speedwagon and Styx (featuring Canada's Lawrence Gowan) that's making its way across North America. Pulling into Ottawa on Saturday, it's the hottest ticket of the season — a sold-out show with more than 15,000 fans expected at Scotiabank Place. The buzz is deafening.

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This Leppard learns to update its spots

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The platinum-selling British pop-metal act Def Leppard is hitting the road for the fourth year in a row, and coming to Providence Wednesday with a new record and a new attitude. A couple of new attitudes, in fact.

Guitarist Viv Campbell says the new record, Songs From the Sparkle Lounge, is a return to the Def Leppard formula – "There's no mistaking any of the songs, because we have a very distinctive sound that's driven by our vocals," particularly lead singer Joe Elliott – but with a new method.

The new album was written largely in a backstage area (lit with little Christmas lights, hence the title) on the road, but Campbell says the most important new influence on the making of this record was Def Leppard's previous record, Yeah!, the 2006 collection of '60s and '70s rock covers that got the band members into playing music in the first place.

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Def Leppard plays to the crowd

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Many might consider the '80s glam rock quintet Def Leppard as a subdued Van Halen minus the peacocking arrogance of David Lee Roth, roaring politely and ready to rock your face off, but only if you're all right with that kind of thing.

It's been 25 years since the album "Pyromania" first made the band into a particularly well-groomed pop-rock force to be reckoned with, yet Def Leppard continues to be a band for everyone. Even now, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" ranks right up there with AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" on the list of most-played songs at a junior high school dance.

"Our audience is very diverse," says guitarist Vivian Campbell, speaking from Los Angeles days before setting out on Def Leppard's U.S. tour with fellow retro-rockers REO Speedwagon and Styx.

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Mass 'Hysteria': Def Leppard celebrates '80s success on current tour

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Twenty years ago this month, British rock band Def Leppard created a little mass hysteria across the world, especially in the United States.

In August of 1987, the band released its fourth studio album, "Hysteria." Def Leppard hoped the new album would ride the success of 1983's multi-platinum-selling "Pyromania." It did that, and more.

"Hysteria" charted six hits — "Love Bites," "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Armageddon It," "Rocket," "Animal" and the title track — and has gone on to sell more than 18 million albums worldwide. Its success, said guitarist Phil Collen, has been unbelievable.

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Def Leppard, Styx, Foreigner headed to the Amphitheatre

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Rock fans get ready. Def Leppard, Styx and Foreigner are coming to the Ford Amphitheatre on Friday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m.

With more than 65 million albums sold worldwide, not to mention two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, Def Leppard – Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums)-continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music.

The group's spectacular live shows are filled with hit after hit from their groundbreaking discography that set the sound for generations of music fans and artists. Def Leppard's powerful rock anthems have become synonymous with their name and it' easy to see why rock fans keep gravitating toward their electrifying live performances.

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Def Leppard promises all its hits

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Def Leppard started out like any other band.

Each member had an interest in music; each wanted to form a band.

Lead vocalist Joe Elliott said the first time the guys got together, they didn't even pick up instruments. Actually, they didn't pick up them up for about six weeks.

"It was really just us sitting around listening to records," he said in a phone interview on the road near Cleveland.

"We talked about our future … and what we wanted to be. Did we contemplate world domination? Absolutely. Nobody wants to consider it a race, but we wanted to be the biggest rock band out there."

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