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Def Leppard’s Phil Collen Staying Busy — and Fit — in 2011

David Livingston, Getty Images for NAMM

Def Leppard guitarist extraordinaire Phil Collen decided about two decades ago to devote himself to a healthier lifestyle after years of rock ‘n’ roll excess. Modifying his diet and dedicating himself to a rigorous exercise program featuring the martial art of Muay Thai, the vaunted fretman is a solid example of how to rock out and live to tell about it these days.

So much so that at the Los Angeles Fitness Expo on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, Collen will appear as a special guest presenter (joined by his longtime trainer, international Muay Thai kick boxing championship trainer Jean Carrillo).

The popular expo — which features over 300 health-focused exhibits and services — is just one project that Collen is working on as he gears up for another high-flying year alongside his Def Leppard bandmates.

Collen spoke with Noisecreep at the recent NAMM Convention in Anaheim, Calif., discussing his busy schedule, among other things. “It’s already been a crazy year, even though it’s just January,” laughed Collen. “My partner [music producer/composer] CJ Vanston and I announced our new joint venture, moodahmusic, which is a digital download record company. Then there’s my side band project, Man Raze, keeping me busy as well.”

Man Raze — the three-piece alternative rock band featuring Collen, Simon Laffy and former Sex Pistol Paul Cook — perform the song ‘I Superbiker’ in the soon-to-be-released film of the same name that’s based on the lives of British superbike men Josh Brookes, Tommy Hill, Gary Mason and James Ellison.

“Then,” Collen added, “it’s time for a little Def Leppard.” What Collen slyly referred to is the release of a live album/DVD set from the legendary group that will include three new studio songs.

“We originally thought we could get five on there, but we settled on the three strongest ones, which I would describe like this: One is really anthemic, one is kind of like a classic Queen song and then the third is you typical Def Leppard tune, sort of along the lines of a ‘Photograph,’” he revealed. “That set comes out in May, then we’ll tour the United States and Europe until the end of the year. I was just talking to [lead singer Joe Elliot] about the new songs, and we think the fans will be very happy.”

Collen (who married Helen Simmons last July) remains an anomaly — a rock ‘n’ roll star and fitness guru whose six-pack abs go along quiet well with his six-string axes.

Watch Def Leppard’s ‘Now’ Video%VIRTUAL-globalVideoEmbed-{“videoIds”:”517603949″,”width”:”456″,”height”:”357″}%

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