As Vivian Campbell notes, Def Leppard have now reached the point where they could go year after year after year just playing their hits (they have a couple). “A record for us is kind of a loss leader. A new record is something we do for us,” he says.
With that in mind — and having no expectations at all regarding sales figures for their new self-titled album — the band began this time by playing live in the studio. That’s not exactly an out there, wacky new idea; plenty of bands do it all the time — but “we haven’t done that since 1996.” And that was the beginning of a slightly new approach for Def Leppard.
“There’s a lot of talk before we make an album,” says Campbell. “With this album, there wasn’t as much talking, but there is an awful lot of experimentalism that goes on with a Leppard record. Once we find our direction, we’re very quick. Everybody brings something to the table.”
That’s certainly the case with this project: for one thing, it features lead vocals from every member of the band. “We’ve never done that before,” Campbell notes. “It’s diverse, but it all sounds like Def Leppard. It’s the best album we’ve made in 23 years.”
“Sounds like Def Leppard”, incidentally, is where the new album title originated. Joe Elliott says that when they were playing it for their friends during the development phase, and asking them what they thought, they kept hearing that phrase. Eventually, Elliott decided, “I think we’ve got our new album title right there.”
The band are about to embark on a UK tour and will then head to North America in January.