David Schmeichel of the Winnipeg Sun recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivan Campbell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.
On choosing their setlist:
"It's a tough thing for us, and we're kind of between a rock and a hard place. As artists, you keep wanting to move forward and play your new material, but you're kind of beholden to your success of the past. We're fortunate, in that we have a truckload of bona fide Top 20 hits, but the other side of the equation is that's all our audience wants to hear. . . We try to sneak in a couple new songs as we go, but you can really tell the majority of the audience doesn't know them, because there's a collective, 'Uhh,' You can put a new song in the first two or three — or even start with it — because while the audience is there and you have everyone's attention, they'll indulge you. But from then on, it gets difficult. You've got to pick the right (new) song to play, and even then, assume maybe 10 people in the audience are going to know it out of 10,000. Running order is very important, especially for a band like us, because our show is very physical, and it's very up, and we don't like to bring it down."
"We started off the tour playing six songs from the new album, and that very quickly became five songs, and then four, and then one — the single. That can even happen with what you'd hope would be familiar material, like this one tour where we started the show by playing the entire Side 1 of the 'High and Dry' album. About 30% of the audience went mad for it, but the rest of them were like, 'This isn't 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'.' Then we realized that wasn't the biggest album for fans, and it would've been different if we'd opened with 'Hysteria'. So you can't be too clever."
On frontman Joe Elliott's illness which forced several show cancellations in April:
"It was actually an upper respiratory tract infection, which was very unpleasant. We've all been on tour and gotten ill and managed to pull through, but with this, it got to the point where Joe would open his mouth and nothing would come out. Which for Joe Elliott is very strange. That man is in love with the sound of his own voice."
On the recent mini-controversy Elliott stirred up by daring to suggest that glam bands like POISON and MÖTLEY CRÜE "totally missed the point":
"You know, we live in a time where you can't say or do anything. And where do people find the time? I have two small children and three dogs, and I don't even have the time to go to the dentist, let alone sit on the Internet chatting about this shit for hours. It's much ado about nothing."