Friday, 15th March 2024
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DEF LEPPARD's JOE ELLIOTT On Origin Of Joe's Garage Studio (Video/Transcript)

Def Leppard 2024. Screenshot

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott has been interviewed about his home studio with video footage is available.

Joe's studio is located at his home near Dublin and was built in late 1988.

Nicknamed 'Joe's Garage' after a Frank Zappa song and first used for the 'Adrenalize' album.

Neve Home Studio Tour

Joe let Neve music into his home to view the studio with a 12 minute video posted to their YouTube channel.

The name Neve is famous for their recording consoles.

In the video Joe speaks about the studios history and working there on most of the Def Leppard releases since 1992.

Also featured is Def Leppard's long time co-producer, engineer, mixer and live sound man Ronan McHugh.

Studio Origin

Joe told the story of how and why he had his studio built into his home.

He also recalled how the expensive recording sessions in traditional studios for both 'Pyromania' and 'Hysteria' influenced the decision.

BTW The Neve 8424 consoles mentioned cost - £21,000+ each...

New Songs/Box Sets/Live Releases

Joe also went on to talk about upcoming studio projects including new music, box sets and live releases.

Read a transcript below and view the full video.

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

Visit the Album News section for more news on new music (based on band member quotes).

Def Leppard 2024.

Joe Elliott/Ronan McHugh - 14th March 2024 Interview Quotes - (Transcribed by dltourhistory)


Joe Elliott

"Welcome to Joe's Garage, or Joe's Garage, depending on where you're from. Built in 1988, started operating it in 1989 on the Adrenalize album."

"When this house was built, this was three bedrooms. So what I did was knock the wall down between bedroom one and two, and then knock a hole through bedroom two into bedroom three which became, that's the singing room, and this is a control room. And bit by bit, it just became what it is now."

"This is the fun room. It's not here to be perfect for a Dire Straits album or something like that."

"This is a fun room. We get work done, but we have a laugh as well. A gift from Ronnie Wood, painting a Bob Dylan, because Ronnie was moving to Ireland and wanted to build his own studio."

"So he wanted to pick my brains about who built mine and could they build his. And I ended up singing on a song with him in his studio about a year and a half later."

"This was a gift from Gene Simmons. He normally sells these, but he gave me one because Gene Simmons likes me, and I like Gene Simmons."

"This is an original hysteria guitar from 1987, I think."

"And this was made in Burnley, actually, and is a replica of Ian Hunter's 1973 Maltese Cross."

"And I had one made for him for his 70th birthday. And then, of course, I wanted one as well."

"That's why these are hanging here. These are like pride of place guitars."

"I bought this scarf on the steps of the City Hall for probably 10p, 1971, when Def Leppard played there nine years later."

"The same guy was selling Def Leppard ones on the steps, and I bought one."

Vocal Room

Joe Elliott

"This is it, Joe's Garage. I'll take you to the singing room where I yodel. Follow me."

"So this is the vocal booth, the vocal room, guitars hanging on the walls, just because quite frankly, I can't find the cases for them."

"And then it's good because we normally say, just grab an acoustic, let's work a song out."

"If the band are here, we just pull four acoustics down and we jam around."

"And this is the microphone that I've sung into for decades. It's dented and bent where it's probably fell off and landed on the floor. But it's all I need. We've tried various different mics, and we always end up coming back to this one."

"But it works for me, and this is what I sing into. Job done."

Joe's Garage Backstory

Joe Elliott

"Studios for me are an extension of your brain, not, oh, it's just a room where you set up and like in the movies, you have the band and somebody goes, okay, glad, off you go."

"That's, you know, yeah, that's what they did in Abbey Road in 62 to 66. But come, you know, the Blue Beatles album, 67 to 70, they were probably recording some of it live, then doing loads of overdubs and turning the tapes backwards and inside out and upside down."

"We like to do a lot of that kind of stuff. So we're not precious about, it's got to be live. It's like, no, it's got to be good."


"Pyromania, we were coming off the back of the High 'n' Dry album, which was recorded very standardly, Analog Gear, Battery Studios in London, same studio that AC/DC did Back In Black and Highway To Hell."

"Recorded by the same producer, same engineer, same methods. When we came to do Pyromania, Mutt said, do we want to make High 'n' Dry II, or do we make a record that nobody's ever made?."

"And that, as young kids, that just blew our minds, like going, we want to make that record that nobody's ever done."

"What has happened between 81 and 82 was just drum machines and synthesizers and how bands like Joy Division or New Order or the Human League had used all this technology."

"And it just became a talking point, it's like, what do you sound like if a rock band incorporated some of that into the standard rock sound?"

"When we made Pyromania, none of us knew what we were doing."

"We did everything backwards, we did the drums last, we played all the guitars, all the bass and a lot of the vocals to a drum machine just going bump, click, bump, click."

"And so we had no idea what the dynamics were going to be like when it was done. But then when it was finished, it's like, wow, this sounds like nothing I've ever heard."

Def Leppard 2024.


"So Hysteria was what it was."

"It was recorded in Dublin, it was recorded in Holland, a little bit in France. We went through all sorts of emotional trauma during that record. Rick lost his arm, Mutt had a car crash, everybody got sick."

"We started with Jim Steinman, it didn't work out, Mutt wasn't going to do it, then he came back and he was."

"We wasted an entire year, if not more, and scrapped it and started again. But then it was a raging success that it was, it's one of the biggest selling albums of all time."

"But then when we saw the bill afterwards, that's why we're in this room now. Because that was another learning curve, it's like if we're going to make another record of that standard, we're not paying that amount of money for it."

Building Joe's Garage

"So I decided I was going to build my own studio and then we could turn the clock off. We weren't watching the Red Bull come on and thinking, this is $5,000 a week."

"I invested, I bought all the gear and I was happy to do that because it was my studio and I was going to have it forever, and here we are 35 years later and we're still using it. I've pretty much recorded something on every album since Adrenalize in the studio."

Remixing Thin Lizzy

Joe Elliott

"We've had a lot of fun in this room. A big favourite was remixing some of the old thin Lizzy stuff with Scott Gorham and Brian Downey."

"I mean, that was a kid in a candy store for me and Ronan, I mean, he's Irish and I was a big Lizzy fan."

"So the connection was like, I said, do you want to remix some Lizzy stuff? He's like, kidding. So Scott came over and we didn't just remix, we replayed, we re-recorded."

"Recorded in 75, released in 76 in 2010, coming out live into my room there. It was a back to the future moment."

8424 Introduction

Joe Elliott

"This baby here is a Ronan suggestion. He says, can we get a Neve? Because he says, I've used one and I really like them and I went, all right, fine. So here we are with the 8424."

"This is my first analog console since 1988."

Ronan McHugh

"When this thing got announced, I immediately thought to myself, that's exactly the console we're looking for for the studio."

"We had a controller before and trying to do everything in the box like multi-input guitar tracking and that kind of thing in the box is quite fiddly."

"And I originally came from studios, so getting back to that workflow was great because it's just more natural, it's easier, it's faster. We had a bunch of stuff and it was all in racks and now it's all here in front of me, makes life easier."

Def Leppard 2024.

8424 Workflow

Ronan McHugh

"Yeah, we didn't just buy one, we bought two. Here basically is a tracking studio, that's mostly what we do here. And then down to my place, I do everything else there, so all editing, all arrangements, all that kind of stuff."

Joe Elliott

"We recorded Diamond Star Halos here, the East Coast of America, the West Coast of America and in Sheffield and mixed eight minutes down the road in Roland's literally garden shed studio."

"And it sounds like it could have been recorded in Abbey Road, because again, this is the use of technology and BounceBoss was this incredible filing system that we used to send stems to each other and you could work at your own leisure."

"It wasn't like, oh, are you still doing that?."

Ronan McHugh

" I'm literally 10 minutes away, so if he comes up with something, I can be here and we can have something set up and ready to go really quickly."

Joe Elliott

"And that's how I will work in here, be like, Ronan, I've got an idea for a new song, are you free?."

Ronan McHugh

" Ideas get thrown down, I'll go home, pull the exact same session up in my studio, exactly as it is here."

"Then when I'm done down there, I might come up here just to kind of finish the mix off in a bigger room."

"You just send a file up here. It's all here when I get here, recall the desk in two minutes, maybe that's if it even takes that long and it's ready to go."

Def Leppard 2024.

8424 Mixing

Ronan McHugh

"Generally, I wouldn't have much more than 12 stereo stems."

"A lot of the work is done in the box, but then the summing happens here and I find we need to just tweak something."

"We have the automation too, and I can just put a little right in here and it just feels more like the way it used to be before we went in the box, you know, we're still in the box, but it's got that analog feel and we are using the summing and we're going through the master bus here."

"So it's great to be listening rather than looking and actually, you know, letting your ears make the decision."

"This width thing is amazing. So sometimes I'll have a guitar stems and I want to wide guitars and I'll have my regular guitars, my wide guitars, then I'll route to the master, stick a bit of width on it."

"You only need a tiny bit that goes back in into the computer and then the narrow ones just go straight at the directs back into the computer."

"Parallel processing in the box can be a bit of a nightmare."

"So now let's say I have a guitar, right? I want to do some parallel processing and I bring it up on a fader here. I bring up this exact same thing on the next channel and now I've smashed that through a DBX 160 or Distressor or something and it's, you know, cranked and I'm summing them here and I know it's I know it's it's doing what it's supposed to do."

"Then I put both them together through a group and back in the box and I've got parallel processing proper."

Favourite Feature

Ronan McHugh

"So probably my favorite thing about the 8424 is the summing end of it. Like, you know, you're you're you're getting a sound of a Neve."

"It's going through that 80 series mix bus and that's kind of part of the reason why you buy it, you know, in the first place."

"How would I describe the Neve sound? Well, it's the old cliches, isn't it? It's warm. I mean, that's kind of it."

"Warm and fuzzy, I suppose, you know, for want of a better way of describing it."

"I know you've heard that millions of times, but that's kind of it gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling that you just know what you're getting with it, you know."

Joe Elliott

"I've had this studio for 35 years and we lived with it as nearly a good studio."

"And then during the pandemic I went, you know what, I'm going to actually make it into a fantastic studio."

Def Leppard 2024.

Def Leppard x Journey The Summer Stadium Tour 2024


6th July 2024 - St. Louis, MO @ Busch Stadium - w/ Cheap Trick

10th July 2024 - Orlando, FL @ Camping World Stadium - w/ Cheap Trick

13th July 2024 - Atlanta, GA @ Truist Park - w/ Steve Miller Band

15th July 2024 - Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field - w/ Steve Miller Band

18th July 2024 - Detroit, MI @ Comerica Park - w/ Steve Miller Band

20th July 2024 - Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium - w/ Steve Miller Band

23rd July 2024 - Philadelphia, PA @ Citizens Bank Park - w/ Steve Miller Band

25th July 2024 - Hershey, PA @ HersheyPark Stadium - w/ Steve Miller Band

27th July 2024 - Pittsburgh, PA @ PNC Park - w/ Steve Miller Band

30th July 2024 - Cleveland, OH @ Progressive Field - w/ Steve Miller Band - (First time at this venue)


2nd August 2024 - Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre - w/ Heart

5th August 2024 - Boston, MA @ Fenway Park - w/ Heart

7th August 2024 - Flushing/New York, NY @ Citi Field - w/ Heart

9th August 2024 - Hollywood, FL @ Hard Rock Live - (Solo)

12th August 2024 - Arlington, TX @ Globe Life Field - w/ Steve Miller Band

14th August 2024 - Houston, TX @ Minute Maid Park - w/ Steve Miller Band

16th August 2024 - San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome - w/ Steve Miller Band

19th August 2024 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Field - w/ Steve Miller Band

23rd August 2024 - Phoenix, AZ @ Chase Field - w/ Steve Miller Band - (First time at this venue)

25th August 2024 - Los Angeles/Inglewood, CA @ SoFi Stadium - w/ Steve Miller Band

28th August 2024 - San Francisco, CA @ Oracle Park - w/ Steve Miller Band

30th August 2024 - San Diego, CA @ Petco Park - w/ Steve Miller Band


2nd September 2024 - Portland, OR @ Moda Center - DL/Journey - NEW

4th September 2024 - Seattle, WA @ T-Mobile Park - w/ Cheap Trick

6th September 2024 - Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena - w/ Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience

8th September 2024 - Denver, CO @ Coors Field - w/ Cheap Trick

10th September 2024 - Salt Lake City/West Valley City, UT @ Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre - w/ Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience

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Def Leppard The Summer Stadium Tour 2024

Def Leppard 2024.

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Def Leppard 2024.

Def Leppard / Latest Release

Def Leppard / Latest Tour

Def Leppard The Summer Stadium Tour 2024

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