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Def Leppard’s Elliott Clarifies Poison Potshots: ‘My Belief Is That We’re Better Than Them’

Joe Elliott. He’s a behemoth of a frontman. Tall, blonde – almost like a Norse deity. And this summer, he’ll be bringing his massive presence to amphitheaters from around the country with the rest of Def Leppard, as well as openers Cheap Trick and Poison. During a recent visit to Noisecreep’s office, we asked Elliot about the trek, and Poison’s inclusion.

We wondered why he’d tour with a band that, just last year, he trashed in the media. Joe clarified his statements, and the long and short of it is: he didn’t mean any slight against Poison.

“I didn’t say that their music had no substance, I said that ours had more,” he explains. “That’s a totally different thing. Yes, it was taken out of proportion. Truth be known, it was a dumb question from a foreign journalist in a press conference where I could barely hear what was going on and I was getting really agitated with being in the room in the first place, so I couldn’t hear the questions. It was a dumb question from a dumb journalist, to a dumb singer about a dumb subject.”

Elliott explained further that, if he’s going to be honest, he does think that Def Lep’s a better band.

“My belief is that we’re better than them … but I would say that if they just said it about any band whether it be The Who or [The Rolling Stones] or the Beatles – not because I’m an arrogant idiot, but because when you’re in a band, you are absolutely 100 percent allowed to believe that you’re the best band in the world.

“So if that question had been asked of Bret Michaels, I would have expected him to have answered it in a very similar way. He’s entitled to think that they’re a better band than us, because he’s in the band, you know what I mean? So that certainly wasn’t … it’s not that I thought they had no substance, I just thought that we had more.”

He had nothing but glowing things to say about Cheap Trick. “We’ve worked with them before, we love them,” Elliott says. “We’ve been buying their records since we were in school. We’re friends with these guys. We talk to them when we’re not on the road. We email each other, we have a good relationship with them, and we absolutely adore their music, so that’s a no-brainer.”

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