Doug Podell of the 94.7 WCSX radio station recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Speaking about DEF LEPPARD's latest, self-titled album, which came out last year, Collen said: "I was so inspired with the result and how it came about and everything about it. 'Cause in this day and age, a lot of bands, especially of the stature of, say, DEF LEPPARD, don't really make albums anymore. We actually went in to record a single, and we got all these greats ideas, and within a week, me and Joe [Elliott, DEF LEPPARD singer] went, 'You know what? We've got an album here. These songs are killer.' For the right reasons. it wasn't because we broke up and reformed and done the comeback album and that."
Collen also addressed the fact that downloading and music streaming has meant that albums sell only a fraction of the copies they did back in the heyday of veteran groups like DEF LEPPARD. In addition, radio hasn't been receptive to playing new songs from classic rock bands.
"[Everyone said] 'Well, it's gonna cost you more [to make this album] than you're gonna make [from record sales],'" Collen recalled. "We said, 'We don't care. These songs are great, and we need a new DEF LEPPARD album and we wanna make music.' And that's the reason we got into it in the first place. So I think there was a purity about it, this album, more than anything we've ever done. The fact that we didn't have to make an album. It wasn't like we were gonna do it for the money and that, because, like I said, unless you're Beyoncé or Taylor Swift or something like that, you can't really make money on albums. So we've done it for all the right reasons, and I think the fans notice that integrity. And plus, it was great; it turned out amazing. I actually think it's the best thing we've done since 'Hysteria'. So I was really thrilled with it. And, like I said, the way it came about, it was very pure. There was an artistic approach to it as opposed to some business agenda or some record company executive's idea. And I think because of that, that's why the songs are so great.'
According to Collen, the reaction from DEF LEPPARD fans to the new album has been overwhelmingly positive. "People just love it, you know," he said. "It went Top 10 all over the world — you know, like [in] Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and the States; we were in Top 5 on Billboard. So we're thrilled. And because of that, I think we're getting all this attention."
He added: "I think if you have a really good album, and everyone knows that you've done it with integrity, for the right reasons, I think that it's a great idea [to still release new music]. So, yeah, I'm so thrilled how it turned out, and I'm inspired by what we've done, actually. Without a big head or anything, I'm actually really thrilled about it."
"Def Leppard" was recorded in early 2015 at Elliott's studio in Dublin, Ireland. The disc marked the group's first new collection of material in seven years and eleventh official studio release.