Leslie Gray Streeter of the Palm Beach Post recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On still being considered the "new guy" in DEF LEPPARD 14 years after he joined the band:
"I'll always be the new guy. Ronnie Wood will always be the new guy in the ROLLING STONES, and it's been, like, 31 years."
On the fact that DEF LEPPARD's material, both original and borrowed, has always been about lifting listeners — and themselves — out of their day-to-day misery and having a little fun:
"People are depressed enough. Just turn on the TV. The world is not always a happy place. We want to accentuate the happy part of it. What we do is fun. We're not writing politically motivated songs. God forbid, there's nothing worse than us standing on a soapbox."
On the relatively short shelf life of grunge, the early 1990s brand of moody rock that hard-rock musicians blame for their downward turn in fortunes;
"Grunge took itself too seriously. All those bands stood on stage and moped around, looking at their shoes, and played depressing music. A lot of great stuff came out of (that era), but it doesn't resonate long-term. It doesn't endure. Other than PEARL JAM, I can't think of one other of those bands that endured. The great thing about DEF LEPPARD is that it never went away... they never packed it in. We met some resistance, but we said '(Forget) it, we're gonna do what we're gonna do.
"We've come full circle in this genre. Not that we've changed. The climate has changed. We do have fun, and as long as we have fun, it's reflected in our music. It's an interactive experience. We rely on our audience."
On being "professional":
"We take what we do seriously but not ourselves. [We have] an incredible work ethic. We show up when we're supposed to and get the job done. We're not dangerous like Axl Rose. It's not, 'Is he gonna show up? Is he arrested?' We're not that kind of band. We just have fun doing this, more than anything else."