Phil Collen Talks Def Leppard’s Explosive New Concert Film, ‘Live from Detroit’

Photo by: Ross Halfin
Photo by: Ross Halfin

Def Leppard‘s new concert film, And There Will Be a Next Time: Live from Detroit, captures the power and raw energy of one of rock’s most dynamic and celebrated bands.

The disc, which was filmed at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan, includes a gaggle of hits from across the band’s 40-year career, including highlights from their monster albums—Pyromania and Hysteria—straight on through to their self-titled 2015 release.

I recently spoke with guitarist Phil Collen about Live from Detroit, the 30th anniversary of Hysteria, gear and more. You can check out the interview below.

And There Will Be a Next Time: Live from Detroit will be out February 10—and the band will be hitting the road again this spring.

What made the band decide to do a live project?

During this last tour, everyone—including the band—was saying this was the best they had ever heard Def Leppard. We knew we had to document it. We had also done Live: In the Round, In Your Face back in 1987 and knew we needed to update it. It was a no-brainer. But there was no real concept voyage behind it.

The first real sellout on the last tour was in Detroit, which has always been a brilliant market for the band. So we said, let’s record the most ravenous audience on that tour and the first sellout and update the whole thing, since it was all going so well. That was it.

Are there any extra nerves going into recording a live show, knowing there are no second chances?

Not so much nerves, but I do remember going over to the side and seeing a drone camera floating around by my head, filming me and taking photos. You get distracted and go, “This is not normal!” [laughs]. All of these kinds of things happen, but it’s all part of a live performance. There’s also going to be mistakes in live things, but it just shows that you’re human and it makes the record even more live.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Hysteria. What was your biggest challenge when making that album?

The biggest challenge was that we had been working with Mutt Lange and then he had to go off and finish a prior commitment, which was the Cars’ album [Heartbeat City]. So we fended for ourselves for a while and it just wasn’t happening. Then when he came back into the fold, he had a vision of what it was going to sound like, and that’s when it really started clicking. It was a joy to actually hear it come together because it had been frustrating working on something for two years.

When Mutt came back in, we saw what he was trying to accomplish. It was something unique that I had never heard before. Now you hear it for what it is, but at the time it was the absolute perfect hybrid of a rock album into the pop market.

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Phil Collen By Clicking Here!

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