DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell recently spoke with Andy Preston of the West Palm Beach, Florida radio station 98.7 The Gater. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On touring with JOURNEY:
Vivian: "It's been epic. It's been really, really great. Everything about the tour has just been a lot of fun for us. We only toured with JOURNEY one other time, and that was twelve years ago, and that was an epic tour as well. JOURNEY are just that kind of band, much like DEF LEPPARD, that [have] such a depth of catalog — so many hit songs, one after the other. It's one of those situations where one and one makes three."
On the tour's crowds:
Vivian: "One of the big things — one of the exciting things — about this tour more than anything else for us is that we've been seeing more and more younger people coming to our shows over the years. It's just grown exponentially over the last several years. Probably thirty or forty percent of our audience is young enough to be our kids, which is really exciting. That energy, we feed off of that. It kind of comes back to the band and it elevates our performance, so it's really a win-win."
On improving with age:
Vivian: "We've been very fortunate, bands of our generation, that the record industry of that time allowed us to develop as artists [and] to grow this catalog. You didn't just have this short window of time to develop your chops, so to speak. The great thing about being a musician is you grow into it. You can actually get better, unlike if you're an athlete [and] you have a very finite window of time when you're in your peak. With a rock band like LEPPARD, I'm the new guy, and I've been there almost 27 years. There's solidity and a history and a chemistry to this band, and I don't mean to be patting ourselves on the back, but we actually do get better and better each and every year. We're really elevated our performance and our production for this tour as well. The show is quite exceptional, so it's an exciting time for us."
On when to expect new music from the band:
Vivian: "Sav [bassist Rick Savage] has written a great song, and we've actually been recording it on days off in hotel room. We're working on a little something that's coming along. We'll be talking about getting back into the studio properly for a new album sometime, I hope, in the next two years. You never know with DEF LEPPARD. The technology has allowed us to work as we go, and we kind of live all over the planet as well, which makes it a little bit awkward. We have to utilize that technology, so it's a lot easier to make records now, but we're still DEF LEPPARD — it still takes us a while. [Laughs]"
On his other band LAST IN LINE:
Vivian: "It kind of started as a fun project. We were just going out and playing some of the early DIO stuff, just for fun. It was great to get back as a guitar player and to exercise that muscle, just playing intensely aggressive rock guitar again. It sort of grew, and off the back of that, we were asked if we wanted to start writing and recording some new, original music. We're actually mixing at the moment — we're mixing what will be the second album for us. It will be released early next year, because I want to wait until I'm done with this year's DEF LEPPARD touring so I can get out and perform a tour and play shows on the back of that. I'm excited about that. It's a chance to exercise a different muscle, because it's really, really guitar-focused."
DEF LEPPARD's 58-city tour with JOURNEY kicked off on May 21 in Hartford, Connecticut and will run through October 6 in Los Angeles.
According to the music industry trade magazine Pollstar, the tour grossed $21.2 million over the course of its first six weeks, making it the 19 th most successful North American tour of the first half of the year.