DEF LEPPARD's PHIL COLLEN Talks About Turning Down IRON MAIDEN Audition

Cameron Edney of Inside Out webzine recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Inside Out: "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge" sounds like mixture of classic DEF LEPPARD as well as the bands most recent work, how did you push each other musically and creatively to get the best results possible for the new album?

Collen: We didn't, really. It was like doing four separate projects, and everybody came in with different songs. With this record we didn't do too much co-writing, I would come in with something; Joe [Elliott] came in with something, even Vivian [Campbell] and [Rick] Savage and we literally did three songs from each person, well four in my case! It really saved a lot of pressure and was a lot easier process.

Inside Out: When it came time to record "Songs from the Sparkle Lounge", did you approach it in a different way to some of the albums you have recorded in the past?

Collen: Vivian and I play very well together, the timing is just bang-on, and if you put a pair of head phones on and listen to us live we are really in synch. The only thing that we wanted to do for a while is work on some of the songs together. We have been trying to push for that for a few years now, it just hasn't happened; we normally work on pieces separately. With this record, me and Vivian done a lot of the rhythm guitar parts together in the same room and it really helps, it gives it that identity, if you like. I think it's something to look forward to for the future. I think we should work on it for a few songs to do live. That was certainly one of the main differences.

Inside Out: Tell us about your brush with IRON MAIDEN, I believe that if Adrian Smith never joined the band, you were next in line for the job!

Collen: They asked me to come down and I wasn't really interested. I have known them guys for years. I used to go to school with the original singer Paul Di'Anno, who I have known since I was six. All the guys grew up in the same area as me, they're lovely guys, I love 'em, but it's a different type of music. I was in a glam rock band and now I'm in DEF LEPPARD… which is more up my street."

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