In a new interview with uDiscover Music, Joe Elliott addressed the fact that DEF LEPPARD's debut single, "Getcha Rocks Off", on the band's own label, Bludgeon Riffola, helped kickstart the whole New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement.
While a handful of NWOBHM bands, most notably IRON MAIDEN and DEF LEPPARD, achieved global success, most of the genre has been consigned to relative obscurity. Ironically, thrash — the more extreme metal subgenre that was directly influenced by NWOBHM — wound up having more commercial appeal and staying power.
"Even after all these years, the British media still try to lump us in with the NWOBHM, whereas the American media still try to pigeonhole us as a 'hair metal' band, but none of that has ever stuck because we became established as a standalone band," Elliott said. "The fact of the matter is, only two bands of note survived the NWOBHM tag — that's us and IRON MAIDEN, and we're vastly different bands. DEF LEPPARD are where we are now — playing stadiums and beyond, and inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame — because of who we are rather than because we were part of a movement."
Elliott has consistently dismissed suggestions that DEF LEPPARD was once a heavy metal band, telling VH1 in a 2005 interview: "We've had this argument many times. If you put Lemmy, Scott Ian and [Ronnie James] Dio in a room and say 'Heavy metal — DEF LEPPARD, discuss,' they'd all burst out laughing. But at the same time, you could take Pink and Christina Aguilera and say 'DEF LEPPARD — pop music' and they'd do the same thing. I don't know where we stand. I don't think we ever believed we were a metal band. I think MAIDEN were a metal band and a very good one. We're a rock band."
DEF LEPPARD released a new box set, "The Early Years 79-81", on March 20 via UMC/Virgin.
"The Early Years 79-81" box set represents the band's first two albums, "On Through The Night" (1980) and "High 'N' Dry" (1981), and has been prepared in conjunction with Elliott who has acted as executive producer on the set. The mastering has been done by the band's long serving sound engineer Ronan McHugh.
Eagle Rock Entertainment will release DEF LEPPARD's "London To Vegas" on April 24. This limited edition 2Blu-ray+4CD, 2DVD+4CD, DVD/Blu-ray+2CD and digital format release features two concert films: "Hysteria At The O2" and "Hits Vegas, Live At Planet Hollywood".
DEF LEPPARD is scheduled to hit the road this summer as part of "The Stadium Tour" with MÖTLEY CRÜE, POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS. The trek is slated kick off on June 18 in Jacksonville, Florida and will mark CRÜE's first live dates since wrapping its 2014/2015 farewell run.