Rock of ages at RAC Arena

Joondalup Times - - NEWS - Tyler Brown

British rock icons Def Lep­pard say they are play­ing bet­ter than ever and they still love per­form­ing four decades on.

THEY may be 41 years into Def Lep­pard but the British rock icons say they are play­ing bet­ter than ever – and they still love it.

Call­ing from a tour bus in the US, in the mid­dle of a 60-plus-show tour where they are play­ing “ei­ther sports are­nas or sta­di­ums” al­most ev­ery night, gui­tarist Phil Collen told Com­mu­nity News he was still “in heaven”.

“The rea­son we got into a band in the first place was to play live, so it’s like a dream come true,” he said. “Plus we’re bet­ter than we used to be. We keep get­ting bet­ter be­cause we’re con­stantly play­ing and get­ting in­spired and just rais­ing our own bar.

“I get on stage with my favourite band – my broth­ers – and it’s re­ally cool.

“So this 60 year old is re­ally en­joy­ing it.”

The tour­ing does not stop, with the lads pre­par­ing to run riot Down Un­der to play their 1987 land­mark al­bum Hys­te­ria in full. Four years in the mak­ing, it was the 12-track record­ing that saw Def Lep­pard over­come the ad­ver­sity of drum­mer Rick Allen los­ing his arm in a car crash and go on to con­quer the world.

Collen ad­mit­ted it “tanked ini­tially”.

“We were so far in debt and it came out and we didn’t make our money back… un­til the fourth sin­gle Pour Some Sugar On Me was re­leased and it just blew up,” he said.

“It ac­tu­ally started get­ting pop­u­lar in strip clubs in Florida. The girls danc­ing to it would start re­quest­ing it on the ra­dio sta­tions and that’s re­ally how it be­came a hit.”

Hys­te­ria con­tin­ues to make its mark, this year reach­ing num­ber three on the US iTunes chart and num­ber five in the UK after in Jan­uary the band be­came one of the last multi-plat­inum sell­ing acts to make its cat­a­logue avail­able on stream­ing and down­load plat­forms.

“We felt our mu­sic was worth more than just giv­ing it away,” Collen said.

“All these other bands were giv­ing it away and the deal was the same as a record deal but there was no prod­uct. We thought that wasn’t fair and we thought after putting all the ef­fort, all the money, one of us dy­ing, one of us los­ing an arm, it had way more value than that.

“Then our la­bel and man­ager fi­nalised a deal we could work with...

“I’m glad we held out, but I’m glad we did it when we did it.”

■ Com­mu­nity News has 12 Def Lep­pard dou­ble passes to give away.

En­ter at www.com­mu­ni­tynews.com.au by 10am on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 19.

Pic­ture: Kazuyo Horie

Win tick­ets to see Def Lep­pard on Novem­ber 2.

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