DEF LEPPARD Frontman: ‘We Don’t Play To The Internet Brigade’

Peter Hodgson of Tone Deaf recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Tone Deaf: The three new songs on “Mirror Ball” really stand up against all the classics.

Elliott: The thing I’m most happy about is how vastly different they are from each other. It’s not like, say — and all due respect, if you’re reading this please don’t take this as a criticism, but if AC/DC release three new songs, chances are there’d be a slight connection! They’d sound a bit more similar because that’s what they do. And I’m not knocking it, I think it’s brilliant. I’m a huge fan of AC/DC. But they’re never likely to do ballads, or a song like “Kings Of The World”, which is obviously a very QUEEN-influenced piece, or “Undefeated”, which is a very arena rock anthem-style song, if you like. So we’ve got the intensity of something like “Kings Of The World”, and then we’ve got the total pop sensibility of “It’s All About Believing”. And the thing that they all have in common is that lyrically there’s an enormous amount of positivity coming out of just the titles alone, this positive thumbs-up thing, which came out of taking a year off the road. I’m convinced of it. The pressure was off. We were all spending a bit of domestic time, which we hadn’t been able to do for five years. I’d forgotten what my house looked like! I had never seen my garden bloom in twenty years! And it energized us. By taking that time off, we came back a much better band for it.

Tone Deaf: I was glad to hear that you’re playing “Undefeated” on this tour.

Elliott: Yeah! We’re going to start working one of the other two new ones into the set as well. We’re also bringing some old new ones back, if you like. Stuff that’s old but that we’ve never played before or we haven’t played for many, many years. So we’re trying to expand it a little bit so that maybe we can play a totally different show if we have two nights in the same town. But we needed to get settled in on this tour. A lot of people get temped to change the set because somebody starts moaning on the internet. What they tend to forget, these people… and I had a big fight with one. We’ve named him Dorito Boy because he obviously lives in his mum’s basement and he can’t get out of the chair because he weighs 500 pounds. He’s the guy the FBI go to when they need somebody to hack into the Kremlin. He moans that we played the same set four nights running. He’s not taking into consideration that we don’t pack the crowd up and take them with us and play the same songs to the same people! If we do a gig in New York and we all come offstage and go, “That was the most perfectly paced set we’ve ever played,” why would we not want to play that in Kansas or L.A. or Chicago? It’s not the same crowd! We don’t play to the Internet brigade! But there’s always this temptation to keep changing the set to keep them happy. They don’t come to the gigs! So that’s always a tough call, really, but it’s just one of the things you have to deal with.

Read the entire interview from Tone Deaf.