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DEF LEPPARD Guitarist PHIL COLLEN Says 'It's Unbelievable' He Can Still Do It 'At This Level'

Posted October 15, 2016 by Josh Drespling in Empire Extreme News Feed

Stephanie Webb of WTSP in Tampa Bay/Sarasota conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen prior to the band’s August 15 show at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida with TESLA and REO SPEEDWAGON. You can watch the full chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the band’s longevity:

Phil: “You see 20,000 people singing the songs you’ve written or recorded and women — and guys — going crazy, how is that not great? You’ve wanted that ever since you were a little kid. I’ll be 60 next year. The fact I can still do it at this level is unbelievable. Are you kidding? When people ask me, I go, “Really? You ask me that?’ I get the artistic fulfillment. That’s the best bit about it. You write songs and create it and people actually dig it. I guess it would be different if people didn’t like it, but instead they’re going nuts.”

On knowing that DEF LEPPARD‘s songs have meaning for so many people.

Phil: “Going back to when we recorded them with our producer [Robert John] ‘Mutt’ Lange, he said ‘Let’s make these songs like that.’ It takes a lot more hard work. Some people just write songs and they’re gifted that way and great for them, but us mortals have to work at it. You can work at it and we really did. Looking back, those songs are still relevant. ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ comes on, and everyone starts taking their clothes off. You go, ‘He was right.’ You can go ‘Eh,’ and blast it off, or go ‘We can make this better.’ If there’s a weak link, you can take it out and make it better.”

On Collen‘s physique.

Phil: “I don’t ingest poison. I do occasionally, but not any drinking or drugs. I haven’t had a drink in 29 years.”

On producing TESLA:

Phil: “It’s been amazing. Their new single [‘Save That Goodness’] which me, Helen [Collen; Phil‘s wife], and Debbie [Blackwell-Cook] wrote it and it was actually going to be a DELTA DEEP [Phil‘s blues side project] song. I played it to the TESLA guys and they said, ‘We’ve got to do that. It sounds like a TESLA song.’ I produced it and it came out so well that they said, ‘Look, can you do the album?’ We’re actually doing it on tour. We have a little room and we have done stuff in here [on the bus]; we find a room and record backstage. That works really well. The single is doing great. Today it’s No. 5 on the classic rock chart on the radio. It’s getting played and people are liking it.”

On advice to younger musicians:

Phil: “The easiest one is that I did all of this for free because I love doing it. The reward is the artistic expression. Whether you’re an artist, painter, whatever — a poet — it doesn’t have to be in the arts, it can be other things. That is the reward. I would have been happy with just that. The financial thing comes if you’re lucky. But don’t expect it. I see so many kids and I ask them, ‘Why do you want to be in a band?’ They say, ‘I want people to notice me.’ That’s the wrong answer. It’s because I want to express my stuff and I want people to hear what I’m doing. I’m so excited about what I’m doing and writing. You meet other people in a band. Before I met [DEF LEPPARD vocalist] Joe Elliott, before I was in the band, we were the same person. We had a very similar record collection and were just excited about stuff, and still are. Even with the lighting rig going, ‘Wow, what about this? We have an explosion!’ Joe‘s going ‘We have an explosion and the glass broke and that’s the front cover of the album and it looks like it’s going into the audience!’ That’s what we do and to be that excited about it, that’s the reward. My tip is, love what we’re you doing. If you do, don’t expect anything else. But if it comes, then great.”

Source: Blabbermouth NEW
DEF LEPPARD Guitarist PHIL COLLEN Says ‘It’s Unbelievable’ He Can Still Do It ‘At This Level’
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About the Author

Josh Drespling

Josh is the Publisher and creator of Empire Extreme and it's sister publication Kingdom Extreme Magazine. He is an accomplished writer, photographer and graphic designer. He is always conjuring up new ideas and has a amazing passion for the music industry and all the things that surround it.


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