PHIL COLLEN Talks TOM CRUISE, New DEF LEPPARD Music

Joe Bosso of MusicRadar.com recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MusicRadar.com: You were on the ["Rock Of Ages"] movie set when Tom Cruise sang "Pour Some Sugar On Me". What was that like?

Phil: It was surreal. What happened was, we were in Florida on tour, and we got a phone call telling us that they were filming just up the road. They were literally shooting that sequence that day. We went to the set and met Tom Cruise, who was absolutely great. Brilliant! I really appreciate when other people do such hard work - it's inspiring. We were just knocked out by his singing, which he was doing for real. We said, "We didn't know you could sing." He smiled and said, "I couldn't — I just learned five months ago." He was having lessons and practicing five hours a day — crazy stuff. Extremely impressive. But you know, that's the kind of guy he is, swinging from cables and jumping off buildings. It's pretty nuts!

MusicRadar.com: OK, now you've seen people cover DEF LEPPARD songs on YouTube clips and on "American Idol" and the like. But what's it like when the biggest star in the world is singing your song?

Phil: You think about it in a totally different way. You get over the song and the subject matter, and all you can focus on is that somebody so iconic doing it. With a lot of people, their 'iconic-ness' gets in the way. Take Beyonce, for example: She's a really good singer, an amazing singer, but nobody even notices how good she is because they're so focused on her being Beyonce. Her whole aura gets in the way. It was a little bit like that with Tom Cruise. You're like, "Oh my God, it's Tom Cruise!" But he's got it down. He looked a little bit like Iggy Pop and some…I don't know, some cool rock star! [laughs] It was trippy. But what's great is that he can really sing. On his track, he sings the backgrounds, so he's doing my parts, as well.

MusicRadar.com: Any plans for the next DEF LEPPARD record?

Phil: Recording, yes, but it'll probably be a DEF LEPPARD song or two. We're going to go on tour this summer, so we're going to try to have a new song together. Coming up with material shouldn't be a problem — I wrote two new songs this week. A whole album won't happen this year, I can be pretty sure on that. There's so much involved with putting a record together, and the demographics for the people who buy albums is shrinking. We'll do a record next year, but it would be cool if we could do it differently. I'd love to do what we did with the MANRAZE album, recording the entire thing in two weeks.

MusicRadar.com: Why couldn't you? Everybody in DEF LEPPARD must have laptops.

Phil: Yes, but not everybody in the band records that way. I'm the only one who does that. If they could do that, it would be killer. It'd be really good.

Read the entire interview from MusicRadar.com.

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