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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Phil Collen Says Steve Clark Was Unique/Amazing - Audio

Friday, 13th June 2014

Steve Clark 1988.
Steve Clark 1988

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen was interviewed in April for the Talk Is Jericho and he talked about the late Steve Clark.

During the 50 minute interview Phil talks about boxing, playing with KISS in Girl, the co-headline status of the Summer Tour 2014, package tours with big bands, musical influences, playing Photograph/Love Bites live, Steve Clark's song/riff writing, the 2015 studio album, Delta Deep, Manraze, working with Mutt Lange, the VIVA Hysteria! residency, health/training on the road, his 2013 hand injury, juicing, the Rock Of Ages play/movie, the iTunes issue, Vivian's health, his favourite live song to play and future release plans.

Phil spoke about Steve Clark saying how unique his song writing and riffs were and that he was extremely underrated. He went on to talk about how he was persuaded by Joe not to leave after his death and how they recruited Vivian in 1992.

The interview was conducted by Chris Jericho in April. Phil guested on his band Liberty N' Justice's song 'Best Time You Never Had' in 2010.

Listen to the full interview via the link below. Phil's part starts at 18:56mins in until 1hr8mins57secs into the 1hr18min podcast.

Talk Is Jericho - Phil Collen Interview Quotes

Steve Clark

"The great thing about Steve he would come up with very unique stuff. I'd never met a guitar player that didn't do all the standard stuff like he'd come along and he'd play something that you'd never heard before. Really unique - you know stuff that was kind of completely out of the blue you'd go 'wow where'd you get that?'. You know he'd get Led Zeppelin riffs and turn them backwards and he'd do harmony chords and that. So he was amazing. Very you know insightful and kind of - and open and kind of - not just kind of linear. He would kind of go deeper. Very cool."

Steve Underrated?

"I do but you know but also I think Brian May is as well. I think Steve and Brian May. If you become the ultimate team player sometimes you get ignored a little bit as far as that stuff goes. Another one that's always surprised me. Jimmy Page is the most amazing arranger, producer and I think people got confused they said oh he's this great guitar player, which he is, but it was more the stuff he was doing. It was so unique and different you know and not just the same old, same old. And I think both Steve and Brian May fall into that category."

Vivian Joining In 1992

"We didn't have auditions per se but we saw about five different guys that we actually invited down that we thought were really cool and it was more to do with the personality. They had to be able to sing as well that was the other thing and be part of a machine exactly like you're saying. Anyone can do that - I know like a million guitar players who can just you know wipe the floor with everyone guitar playing wise and then you go OK I want you to sing and then I also want you to play within this song structure with this band and they can't do it. So that was the main thing that we really wanted and plus the personality. Initially when Steve died I actually didn't really want to be in the band any more. He was my best friend and you know it just sucked. It was like - it wasn't like the gang thing any more. You know my buddy had gone but also you know part of the team. It was like - so Joe had to pull me off the ledge basically. You know he said well we wrote all these songs with Steve so the least we could do is to honour him and that's really what we did."

Gap in songwriting after Steve?

"Just different. I think with a band or an artist per se you're always constantly evolving so that wasn't - you know I do miss his songwriting and the riffs and everything that he come up with but everyone was coming into their own anyway. Joe and Sav you know would be writing very different types of songs. So that didn't happen so much because we were all on this discovery journey if you know what I mean. That was the cool thing."