Friday, 20th October 2017
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PHIL COLLEN On Recording DEF LEPPARD's HYSTERIA w/ Mutt Lange (Video)

Def Leppard 2017. Screenshot

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen has been interviewed about the Hysteria 30th anniversary with the full video available to view.

Phil spoke to Uncle Joe Benson of 100.3 The Sound for his Uncle Joe's Garage show.

Phil talked about the Hysteria album's 30th anniversary, recording the album, producer Mutt Lange, his first car, the Hysteria 30 box set, album production, Rick Allen's accident/comeback, Love Bites, backing vocal sound, PSSOM, Animal, the Hysteria song, Steve Clark's death, his favourite festival line-up and bands he'd like to play with/Jeff Beck.

Phil recalls the making of the album and how Joe was heavily involved in the new box set. And (once again) forgets when they actually debuted 'Love Bites' live (someone tell him...).

Watch the full 14 minute interview video below.

Visit the Tour News section. For more news on future tour plans.

Uncle Joe's Garage - Phil Collen Interview Quotes

Hysteria Album 30th Anniversary

"Well it was three years and it was kind of like four or five between albums. You know we'd kind of finished the Pyromania tour at the end of '83 - actually we didn't. We done a little bit in '84 and then went straight to Dublin to start writing the songs. And then from then on it didn't come out until '87."

Producer Mutt Lange/Recording Time

"Yeah I think it was more like a year. I think initially what happened. We wrote the songs with him and he had the whole concept. The idea for the album. What it was gonna sound like and everything. And he said but I've gotta do this Cars album. So he had a commitment. So we kinda struggled there. We got a few other people in and it didn't work out. Then Mutt finished The Cars album while we were still struggling away and it kind of went fairly smooth from that point on."

Hysteria 30th Anniversary Box Set

"Joe Elliott was great with this because he's the band archivist. He actually collects stuff anyway. So you know he'll go: 'What about this?. I've got this'. He'll show up and go: 'I've got this version of you singing something.'. And I go: 'I've never sung that before'. And he goes: 'Yeah it's you doing a vocal or a solo'. He even went up to David Bowie and said: 'I've got a version of you doing'... I forget what song - Prettiest Star?. And Bowie goes: 'Really?. Let me have that'. So he did. So Joe, these things land in his lap. So he was archiving like crazy and when this whole project came up you know he kinda took it under his wing and would say you know: 'I've got this, this would be great. Got this live version from so and so'. So yeah he really worked a lot on that."

Hysteria Sound/Production

"Mike Shipley, Nigel Green and Mutt. They're you know black magic. They were pulling stuff that didn't exist. Like these AMS machines which were delay units. What you'd normally do, you know, on a dance record or with Pro Tools or Logic or something. He was doing manually and they would transfer them from - these are samplers - Fairlight to Synclavier. They really got involved and they done just amazing stuff. So when we were doing it, we knew it was something different. But again you know Mutt Lange had said look, we can't do the standard. If we want it to be ordinary. Let's just carry on what we're doing, but if we want to make it really special. We've got to work a lot harder on it. So and we did."

Rick Allen's Accident/Comeback

"No, we always do the drums last. We always make a point of doing that. We've done it since. It's something we do so you can actually change the arrangement of the song or whatever and you're not stuck with this kind of rigid drum thing."

"So for Rick it was great because we had three years basically for him to kind of figure out you know what he was gonna do and how he was gonna play and all that stuff. So it worked out really well."

Love Bites/Mutt Lange's Vocals

"Well we'd never even played the song all the way through. Let alone anything else. You know it was like a real studio production thing. Me and Steve Clark had roughly done. We done some demo guitars on it that ended up being the master. We kinda just played through it. But then we added all this stuff. It was a Mutt Lange song, he actually came in and it was like a country song 'cause he sounds like Don Henley. His voice and everything. So he came in with that and we - it went from that to what it is there you know. The vocals - Mutt's always the best singer in the room and a lot of those vocals are him on the backing vocals on that song. So you know he sings on everything. AC/DC you hear him. Bryan Adams, Shania Twain. You hear his voice in there."

"So anyway we started building this thing and it kind of was great, You know it was awesome and then it went to Number One and we were out on tour and we had to take two days off to learn - 'cause we'd added all these major guitar parts. And singing them and playing them at the same time was the problem. So we took two days off and kind of struggled through this song and finally got it there. We nail it every night now, it's great."

Backing Vocal Sound

"And still work on it. We actually really put pride in that. You know we work really hard and over the years the chemistry of just singing together for 30 something years, something magical happens. Like seriously I'll be on stage and it actually sounds like I'm listening to a processed, produced vocal album or something. And it's just us singing live. So something really magical happens along the way."

"I met, I was fortunate enough to hang out with Phil Everly a few years ago. A few times actually and I would grill him. I'd go: 'You know you and your brother had that...'. He' said we just naturally kind of got into this thing and it almost sounded like the same voice. And it would like phase and I do that with Joe every night. You know we sing and it almost sounds like its phasing because it's so tight. So yeah we kind of try to attempt that."


"Not the riff. He was just going: 'Pour Some Sugar...'. Like in the corner and Mutt goes: 'What's that?'. And he said: 'I don't know'. And like ten days later it was a song."

Animal Taking Three Years

"It is. We'd got the hang of it though, we'd spent three years. Like the song Animal, you know, it literally took three years before it was finished. You know we had the original song and it was kinda cool. Joe done a lead vocal and then Mutt said: 'This vocal's great, but I don't like the backing track.' So we scrapped it and re-recorded and kept the lead vocal. So just the right feel."

Mutt Lange's Work Ethic/Wanted to hit him?

"No because it's so inspiring working with him. Like the great thing is you'd go well: 'We've already done this.' And he'd go: 'Yeah, but try this.' And it would always be something spectacular."

Hysteria Song

"Yeah we were in Dublin and Rick Savage goes to me: 'I've got this thing. It goes...' And I just went: 'Out of tough, out of reach yeah'. And we demoed it and I got this other section: 'Gotta know tonight.' And we just kind of started doing this thing and by the end of the day it as kind of almost a song. From that point you know Joe. Mutt and Steve heard it. And Mutt goes: 'Well, we need another section and we need a chorus.' And that's a great pre chorus and before you knew it it kind of turned into this other thing and it turned into Hysteria."

Steve Clark's Death/Did you consider quitting?

"I did yeah. I was like the gang - we'd done so much, especially on this album, you know, on the Hysteria album. And it was um, yeah I wasn't that thrilled about carrying on without the gang you know because we'd had that thing. We wrote all these songs for the next album, Adrenalize, with Steve. A lot of them and Joe's like well we owe it to Steve to finish these off. So I was like OK. So I got talked of the ledge there. Steve was my best friend and we were drinking buddies and then I stopped, he didn't. And it didn't end well for him you know. So like I said Joe talked me off the ledge and we continued on and before you know it we're. That album went to Number One and we're off on tour again."

The 'Hysteria 30th Anniversary Edition' was released around the world on 4th August.

Hysteria 2017.

Buy 'Hysteria 30th Anniversary Edition' Online

  • Amazon - (5CD/2DVD Super Deluxe Edition)
  • Amazon - (2CD Deluxe Edition)
  • Amazon - (1CD Edition)
  • Amazon - (2LP Vinyl-Black)

View all the Hysteria 30 Videos available so far on this YouTube playlist.

Hysteria 30 Videos 2017.

Related News - PHIL COLLEN/DEF LEPPARD HYSTERIA Album Videos (Watch All 6 Parts)

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Related News - PHIL COLLEN On DEF LEPPARD's HYSTERIA Album Songs (Video)

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Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar