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Manraze ‘Take on the World’: Phil Collen on His Love for Dance Music, Lady Gaga

Helen Collen

He might be most famous for his guitar and songwriting work in Def Leppard, but Phil Collen isn’t the kind of musician that’s satisfied resting on his laurels. These days he’s juggling several projects, with Manraze — the power trio that also features his former Girl bandmate Simon Laffy on bass and Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook — taking up a bulk of his time.

“We’re actually re-releasing our ‘PunkFunkRootsRock’ album, because when Manraze originally released it last year, I was out on tour with Def Leppard, and everything was in transition. This time we’re trying to give the album the attention it deserves. I’m also excited about this new track called ‘Take on the World’ we recently recorded,” Collen tells Noisecreep.

‘Take on the World’ features a side of the guitarist we’ve never seen before. “It’s actually a dance track that has a techno, electronica kind of thing to it. Manraze recorded it for a documentary called ‘I, Superbiker — The Showdown,’ which is about British motocross. A guy named Tommy Hill is a legend in that sport, and he inspired the song. It’s got that winning spirit thing to it in the lyrics.” Early on his career Tommy suffered a near fatal motocross accident which caused him to lose a kidney and his spleen. Medical issues and a hard bout with food poisoning in 2006 have dogged his career and have caused him to take Penicilin every day, but that didn’t stop him from winning the MCE Insurance British Super Bike Championship in 2011.

Noisecreep asked the Def Leppard if he was even a fan of dance music before he took on the project. His answer surprised us: “I’ve been a fan of it for a long time. I remember when I was in the band Girl, in the early ’80s when the whole Ibiza thing was starting to happen in Europe, I was really intrigued. I found that stuff exciting. Actually, when I’m doing my workouts, or kickboxing, I love listening to a lot of high-energy dance music to get moving.”

Some of our readers might remember earlier this year when Gaga called Def Leppard one of her “biggest influences” in an interview with The Sun. Maybe a Def Lepp/Gaga collaboration wouldn’t be out of the question some day: “I remember when the first Lady Gaga single came out [2008's 'Just Dance'], I said, “This is it! This is the best song I’ve heard all year.” I’m a big fan.”

Our friends at ESPN just premiered the official video for Manraze’s ‘Take on the World,’ and they also posted in-depth conversation with Collen about his passion for fitness.

Manraze’s ‘Take on the World’ is available now via iTunes.

Watch Manraze’s ‘Take on the World’ Video

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