This week on All Access Pass with Billy Kidd, Billy talked to Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen. They touched on a number of topics including Def Leppard touring with KISS, how Phil came close to joining Iron Maden, A new Def Leppard album, and more. Listen to the entire interview in the audio below.
Def Leppard and KISS will be playing Gexa Energy Pavilion on July 13th, and Billy asked Phil whether the spotlight was big enough for both bands. “Well it (the spotlight) will have to . We’re Def Leppard. We are the best live band in the world…It’s going to be a show and a concert.”
Adding, “You got all the stuff with KISS you’ve seen that is pretty dramatic and over the top, and then you’ve got this concert…the whole package actually sounds great.”
Phil also touched on the upcoming Def Leppard album, “We’re doing a new Def Leppard album…It started out as a project. We thought we would do a couple of songs maybe an EP or something, and it turned into a 15 song marathon.” Phil added that the album would release sometime next year adding, “It’s very diverse. It’s the first album where we had no real interference from labels…It’s a record that we just wanted to do ourselves. We’re really psyched about it.”
The conversation turned to Collen’s opportunity to join either Iron Maden or Def Leppard, “They (Iron Maden) grew up in the same part of London as I did. So there has always been a connection…so yeah that nearly happened at one point.”
Why did Collen pick Def Leppard? “It’s (Iron Maden) not really exactly my cup of tea musically. I think they’re a great band. And I love what they do. And I love them as people. But It’s just a little different from what I do.”
Collen on why he lives his life alcohol free, “The Drinking thing for me was easy. I tried to limit it to social drinking, and that didn’t work. It would be glass of wine then by the end of the week it’d be Jack Daniels…you know it killed my best friend Steve Clark.”
“I was blacking out and waking up next to strange people, driving doing all this stuff and I thought you know what, that’s not cool,” Collen said.”(I) went cold turkey, I didn’t even do that AA thing. I just kind of said I’m not going to do this at all…I didn’t like what the alternative was going to be.”
On adjusting to a Def Leppard after Steve Clark, “Initially we we’re a gang we had this whole concept of how the band should sound…It was just really weird that your partner in crime isn’t their anymore.” Adding that they, “owed it to Steve” to find a way to keep the band going.
You can hear that and more in the interview above.