Wednesday, 2nd May 2018
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VIVIAN CAMPBELL On His Incredible Ride With DEF LEPPARD Since 1992

Def Leppard 2017. By Sally J

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has been interviewed by the New Zealand press with the full audio available.

Vivian spoke to Riccardo of The Metal Bar. A website based in New Zealand.

The Australia/New Zealand tour was announced last week with support coming from the Scorpions.

Vivian talked about playing in New Zealand, Scorpions, the Hysteria album, Mutt Lange, Def Leppard's work ethic, 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Show, how the band stay friends, Metallica's Sweet Savage cover, proudest musical moment of his career, Riverdogs album and Hollywood United Football Team.

He described his thoughts on the Hysteria album and looked ahead to the band's first visit to Auckland since 2008 when they ended the Songs From the Sparkle Lounge tour there.

Listen to the full 9 minute interview below.

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

The Metal Bar - Vivian Campbell Interview Quotes

Playing New Zealand/Scorpions

"I love New Zealand. I'm from Ireland and it just reminds me of Ireland on the other side of the world. It's a great place. Lovely people and yeah it's been a few years since we were there. The last time that we were in Australia was two or three years ago. It was yeah three years ago. It was the end of 2015 I think. And we didn't get to go to New Zealand on that trip unfortunately, but couple of years before I believe we did and looking forward to going back. It's always a great audience for us. And it's the first time playing with the Scorpions so that'll be interesting."

Why is the Hysteria album so enduring?

"Well a lot of work went into that album basically. You know I've had the good fortune to work with Mutt Lange briefly over the years and it really is just an incredible combination of talent when you put Mutt Lange in the room with the rest of the guys from Def Leppard. Everyone brings something unique to the table. Everyone has a different sort of an input into it. And collectively it just adds up to something very very strong."

"I will say that within Def Leppard as a band there's a very strong work ethic that's missing from a lot of other bands.A lot of rock bands in particular you know just they go OK we've written a couple of songs, that'll do let's get them recorded. With Leppard there's really a there's a strong sense of being introspective and being...paying very very close attention to detail you know. And I think that Hysteria was sort of conceptualised as an album and that process more than likely started in Mutt's mind at least with Pyromania. The album before it. You know in terms of not just the quality of the songs and the style of the songs, but the style of the record and the recording techniques and the transition to electronic drums. And the way that the guitars were featured was very very different from any other hard rock record that was being made at that time. And the vocals of course goes without saying is far and away Def Leppard's strongest suit you know. In many ways it's kind of like a hard rock version of the Beach Boys you know."

"So it really is an incredible band and that record. Yeah you're right, I wasn't in the band when that record was made, but I was a consumer. I bought it twice actually. I bought it on cassette and I played it so much I wore it out. And then hysteria was actually one of the very first CDs that I actually bought."

1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Show

"Yeah it was a big day alright. You know I was also very conscious of the fact that it was the first time the other four guys in Def Leppard had stepped onto a stage without Steve Clark you know. So it was a strange day for all of us. For different reasons. But certainly it was a very successful day. And the band has gone on to reach a whole new audience in the 26 years since you know. And we're seeing more and more young people coming to see our shows which I guess is a result of music piracy. The upside of it. But that's a good thing, we'll take it."

"You know it's been an incredible ride with this band I gotta say. I've learnt a lot about myself and about my talents in different aspects about being a musician. I think it may be fair to say that prior to joining Def Leppard I was solely focused maybe on my guitar playing skills. The vocals in the band are very very very challenging and you know we've all grown as singers in the ensuing years and as writers to you know. We continue to push ourselves and we take a lot of pride in what we do. We have a very strong work ethic as I said."

How do Def Leppard remain friends?

"Well I think we all know that the band is more important than any individual. You know that's a given. There's very much a collective ego in this band. If you witnessed the way that we worked creatively you'd realise that you can't really have an ego. I mean if you walk into Def Leppard and you think you've written the world's greatest ever song. You know it's very quickly pointed out to you that it's not. I mean the song is basically pulled apart. But that kinda of stems from the band's work ethic again. That good isn't always necessarily good enough. It can always be made better."

"You know I think we're probably constantly trying to reinvent the wheel creatively. We kind of do all keep each other in check. It's been very much a blue collar band, always has been. We all kind of grew up in similar circumstances you know. And we all feel just incredibly thankful to be able to do this and that we've been able to do this for so so many years. And you know we don't take it for granted. So we put a lot into our work and we try not to take too much out of it at the end of the day if you know what I mean."

Proudest Musical Achievement Of His Career?

"No, I wouldn't say so. I mean know for me it keeps getting better. I honestly genuinely believe that you know we're very fortunate as musicians that we get to grow further and further into our own skin. Whereas if you're a professional athlete. You have a very finite window of when you're actually really good you know. And then you start sort of slipping downhill. You know I do believe that I get better as a musician. I believe that we in Def Leppard get better as a band. I feel much more comfortable as a guitar player than I did 15, 20, 30 years ago.."

Riverdogs California Album

"I did a record last summer with a band called Riverdogs and you know maybe about five hundred people have bought it but I think it's an incredible record and I'm incredibly proud of it. But I wouldn't say that I'm any more pleased or proud of anything over anything else. I'm always trying to make something better. I guess that's part of the whole Def Leppard ethos like the best is yet to come."

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