Rock of ages at RAC Arena
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.
Win tickets to see Def Leppard on November 2.