Peter Hodgson of SeymourDuncan.com recently conducted an interview with former DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
SeymourDuncan.com: So DEF LEPPARD is re-recording more old material. Why?
Vivian: It’s a long and complicated story as to why we’ve decided to re-record, but basically it involves our not being able to come to a financial agreement with our former record company as regards digital releases. We are continuing to re-record the biggest hits of the band’s catalogue as, frankly, we see no signs that the label will come to an acceptable arrangement with us anytime soon and in the meantime we wish our music to be available to those who want to buy it in a digital format. Personally, I think they’re pretty impressive versions! As we now live in an à la carte world when it comes to music purchases, we’re concentrating on the most popular songs first. We have no plans to re-record entire albums at this stage.
SeymourDuncan.com: What’s it like for you to revisit the DIO material [with your new band featuring original DIO members Vinny Appice (drums), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Claude Schnell (keyboards) along with singer Andy Freeman]? The crowd seemed to go insane when you played “Rainbow In The Dark” with STEEL PANTHER recently!
Vivian: I’m very excited about revisiting the DIO songs again, as are the other guys from the original band. It’s been a long time since I was able to address that time in my life as there were a lot of bad memories that went along with all the great music. However, now I can focus on the positive again and I feel it’s time to revisit the songs I wrote and the way that I played guitar back then. They were great records and we were all very much a part of making them.
SeymourDuncan.com: What do you think of the [DEF LEPPARD] album “Slang” these days? It seems to have held up very well and not dated like a lot of other bands’ albums from that time have.
Vivian: I always had mixed feelings about “Slang”, even while we were recording it. I do very, very much like the sonics of it, as we used real drums for the first time in many years and the guitar sounds are also much less processed and more direct. However, the issue I always had with the record was that I personally don’t believe that we did ourselves justice in terms of the songwriting — I feel we could’ve fine-tuned them a lot more and that we were pandering too much to the then current trends in music. To me, DEF LEPPARD was always synonymous with well-crafted songs and big choruses and harmonies, and whilst there was an obvious shift in musical tastes going on at the time, I still felt that we could have remained more true to the principles that had shaped the band’s success.
Read the entire interview from SeymourDuncan.com.