Phil Collen Previews New Def Leppard Album — Noisecreep Exclusive
Legendary Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen listens to the music and smiles while sitting at a table in his beautiful airy-but-cozy home in Orange County, California. The axe man is previewing selections from the new Def Leppard live CD and DVD, ‘Mirrorball,’ exclusively for Noisecreep.
Collen cues up the three new studio tracks that close out the double CD. “Just listen to it,” he laughs as the new single ‘Undefeated’ ends. “Classic Def Leppard.”
Collen seems ultra-proud of the band’s first official live album, a sprawling 21-live track release that includes all the hits along with a few surprises including the aforementioned three new studio tracks. Collen told Noisecreep that putting the record together was a fairly simple process.
“It’s purely live, I really didn’t have to do much of anything,” he said. “We’re pretty consistent as a band and so we had lots of great stuff to choose from that didn’t need any punching up. This is the band just as we perform. Just as it happened and I’m very proud of that. As far as the new single, when Joe [Elliot, Def Leppard's lead singer] played this for me and my wife Helen in New York last December, we both looked at each other and said, ‘This is it – this is a big Def Leppard song.’”
While his two rescued German Shepherds nudged him for attention, Collen played us the new Def Leppard tune that he wrote, ‘It’s All About Believin’.’ Just as catchy as the single, Collen hopes the band will be able to play it live this year as they tour the world once more. “We start rehearsals in Dublin next week, so we’ll see,” he said.
The live collection is sure to please fans. Culled from stages all over the planet, anthems such as ‘Photograph,’ ‘Rock of Ages,’ and ‘Foolin” take on a whole new life in the live setting. Does Collen ever get tired of playing the many hits? “Never,” he says adamantly. “Those songs feel fresh to the entire band every night. We all agree on that. They’re just such good songs that you feel a new pleasure whenever you play them.”
The tour kicks off later this month with Heart as openers, and will continue through most of the rest of the year.
Until then, Collen is enjoying his last few peaceful days at home with his wife and faithful pups that both seem to come to life when Def Leppard songs are pouring from the speakers.
In addition to his vaunted guitar playing, Collen has always made a name for himself as a health-conscious rocker. A dedicated body builder who is more ripped than many musicians half his age, Collen works out for at least 1-1/2 hours each day and maintains a steady workout regimen while on the road.
“The Def tours are amazing projects, and I stay as focused on my health and fitness as I do the music because they go hand in hand — the stronger they both are the better they both are. It’s totally related.”
Watch an exclusive video interview with Def Leppard’s Phil Collen