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Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell On The Legacy Of ‘Hysteria’, Celebrity Culture & The “Upside” Of Music Piracy
Dust off your platforms, squeeze into those leather pants and start growing out your feathered mullet: 80s rock legends Def Leppard are coming back down under!
It’s been more than 30 years since the English rockers released their iconic Hysteria record. So to celebrate, they’re playing all 12 tracks from front to back when they tour this November. A Def Leppard greatest hits compilation in its own right, Hysteria is home to killer hits like glam rock ballad ‘Love Bites’, the deliciously punny ‘Armageddon It’ and the ‘Coyote Ugly’ classic ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’. But this nostalgia tour means you’ll also get to hear a bunch of the lesser-known B-side tracks that are usually excluded from your typical Def Leppard set list. It’s safe to say that this is going to be one for the rock n roll history books.
With that being said, who better to recruit than fellow 80s icons Scorpions to join the Leppard lads on their five dates around the country? This will be the first time the German rock gods are touring multiple cities in Australia, so it’ll be a must for all Scorpions fans.
As they’re prepping to hit the road for the rest of 2018, we had a chat with Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell about three decades of Hysteria, hanging out with Scorpions and how music piracy has led to a legion of new fans.
Vivian Campbell: Australia is always a wonderful place to visit. It’s a great audience and a great country. We’re looking forward to playing with the Scorpions too. I’ve never shared a bill with the Scorpions. Early Def Leppard pre-dating my involvement with the band may have shared a bill with them but I’ve never played with them so I’m excited about that. I’m a long time fan.
And we’ll be performing the Hysteria album in its entirety which is always a bit of a challenge but one that we’ll gladly take.
MF: Why do you say it’s a challenge?
VC: It’s just the way it’s presented, it’s a bit different from our normal show. It’s a little outside our comfort zone. But you know, it’s like anything else and you get used to doing it. We’ve also got to figure out a way to present the show. The Hysteria album itself is only 40-something minutes of music, so that’s not long enough to support a whole show. So we’ll have to figure out how to present the show in two or three parts, with Hysteria being the main part of it.
Phil Collen, Rick Allen and I were just rehearsing in LA last week for a couple of days just to get a bit of a head start on some of the tricky bits on Hysteria. A lot of the Hysteria songs feature in any Def Leppard show but there are certain songs that we’ve only ever played as part of the Hysteria package like ‘Run Riot’, ‘Don’t Shoot Shotgun’, ‘Excitable’, ‘Love And Affection’. A couple of them are pretty tricky but it’s all good!
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