Def Leppard is back with a new album, and the band’s guitarist, Phil Collen, is promising that fans haven’t heard anything like it, since the 12-time platinum hits of 1987’s Hysteria. In fact, Collen says their new self-titled album, which is Def Leppard’s 11th such offering, is really unlike anything they’ve ever done, because, as the guitarist puts it, they have never before had the opportunity to be so free and liberated in their musical expression.
In the past, Def Leppard has had studio executives and managers controlling what was recorded, but not this time, reveals Collen. For their 11th album, Collen told Billboard that Def Leppard was free to just go into the studio and follow the moment, wherever it led them.
“When the Stones did ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Brown Sugar,’ they just had some great ideas and were like, ‘Oh s**t, we want to go record this,’ so they did,” the Def Leppard guitarist said, reports Rock Cellar Magazine. “That’s really refreshing. So we pretty much did that and just followed the muse.”
That artistic freedom led to just one of many new songs on Def Leppard, entitled “Dangerous,” which can be heard below.
Why Call The Album Def Leppard? Why Not?
Those unregulated recording sessions led to the very first self-titled album in Def Leppard’s entire discography, which spans an impressive 38 years, and the idea to name the album after the band was settled upon for a number of reasons. Collen admitted that the one reason that stared them in the face, as they ran down a long list of possible album titles, was the uncertainty that there would be any future Def Leppard albums. Also, this new album represents Def Leppard, the band, more than any other album.
“Why don’t we call it Def Leppard? Cause who knows if there will BE another Def Leppard album, per se, the way the industry is, and the fact that this record actually represents us. It doesn’t represent someone else’s idea, a label or a business agenda or anyone else’s idea of what Def Leppard is,” Phil Collen said. “This is actually Def Leppard’s version of Def Leppard, and it was actually scary. This had never happened before in our career. this is the first time we’ve ever done an album for us, not to please anyone else, hence the title.”
A New Def Leppard Album That Came About By Accident
Phil Collen reveals that it was never really their intention to create a whole new album when the four band mates gathered together at singer Joe Elliott’s Dublin, Ireland, home. Def Leppard reunited in Elliott’s home studio to record a song here and a song there with each song becoming a project on its own, says Collen. In fact, some of the 14 songs on the album, such as “Let’s Go,” are updated versions of older demo songs, while “Dangerous ” is a much newer song, written specifically for the album.
Def Leppard has been touring extensively over the past two years and they had planned to take a break for awhile, but Phil Collen says that’s not possible now that they have a new album to promote. Def Leppard will be touring Japan and Australia in November, before joining Whitesnake on tour in the U.K. throughout December. Following that tour, Def Leppard is hosting a cruise, which is called Hysteria On The High Seas, and will depart from Miami, Florida, on January 21.
“This is, like, the never-ending tour, and it’s brilliant in this day and age when you’ve been around for 30-odd years to actually be experiencing something brand new,” the Def Leppard frontman told Billboard.
A partial list of the extended Def Leppard U.S. tour is provided below with future dates and locations to be added.
January 27, 2016 — Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Coliseum
January 29, 2016 — Ft. Lauderdale, FL, BB&T Center
January 30, 2016 — Orlando, FL, Amway Center
February 02, 2016 — San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center
February 03, 2016 — Lafayette, LA, Lafayette Cajundome
February 05, 2016 — Corpus Christi, TX, American Bank Center Arena
February 06, 2016 — Hidalgo, TX, State Farm Arena
February 09, 2016 — Little Rock, AR, Verizon Arena
February 10, 2016 — Bossier City, LA, CenturyLink Center
February 13, 2016 — Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
February 14, 2016 — Atlantic City, NJ, Boardwalk Hall
February 16, 2016 — Brooklyn, NY, Barclays Center
February 17, 2016 — Allentown, PA, PPL Center
[Featured image courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images]