Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, “Even at the lowest we were still playing arenas” – 2022 Interview – Stadium Tour

Def Leppard: New TIDAL Interview: Hard-rock heroes Joe Elliott and Phil Collen on glam, technology, mass appeal and how they made arena-ready new music from the comfort of their own homes. You can read the entire interview @ this location.


How will Def Leppard keep its mass appeal in an era without mass media? You managed to find the sweet spot on BBC Radio, then Hit Parader magazine, then MTV. But everything is so segmented now.

Joe Elliott:

Quite simply, the streaming thing has taken over. The information is right in your face. The magazines used to go to print months before they were in the shops, so they had to kind of speculate.

Great example: In my house I’ve got a framed picture of Mott the Hoople with Mick Ronson in the band, and it says it’s for the month of March 1975. Well, by the time March 1975 came along, Ronson and Ian Hunter were on tour promoting Ian’s first solo album.

You can’t cheat the future anymore. It’s real. Booking agents can ask my manager for streaming figures for today and he can deliver them. There’s a lot less speculation. We never really waned too badly, anyway. Even at the lowest we were still playing arenas; we never ended up in the bowling alleys. We were at worst putting maybe 15,000 people in a 20,000-seater. And a lot of that is down to the internet, and then to streaming, which we’ve only done since January 2018.

Within the wide range of music here, is it easy to identify which band member is responsible for which song?

Phil is always looking to start off the next stadium anthem. We’ve got a few already, like “Let’s Get Rocked,” “Rock of Ages” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

But songs like “We Will Rock You” and “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” are really difficult to write — they’ve all either already been done or you’ve got to go so far into left field. Look at the simplicity of “We Will Rock You.” You can’t replicate that ever, because it would just sound too close. Most rock bands would have said it’s too stupid in the first place.

Queen was so intelligent that they knew it wasn’t stupid. It was just simplistic beyond most levels of simplicity. It’s so crowd — can you imagine?

You can read the entire interview @ this location.