solo in “Armageddon It,” I don’t play it
100 percent, but I definitely play it in my
style—which is much, much heavier.
Is this record intended to serve as a book-end to a certain era, so you can begin
another chapter for the band?
Collen: Not necessarily. I know we’re going
to tour next year, so I don’t think we’re going
to take time off to do a record. It takes a
year to do that. We may do a few songs. I
like the idea of doing three songs, because
“. . . everyone thinks [Mutt Lange] is
such a perfectionist, but it’s actu-
ally the vibe he goes for. That’s more
important than getting all nitpicky. If
it’s got character, it deserves to be on
the record.” —Phil Collen
The Rick Vito Signature
• Dual-Pro bridge pickup.
• Korina body and neck.
• Ebony fretboard.
• Pickup pan knob.
• Locking "Stairstep" tuners.
• Two-tone tapered case.
The Reeves Gabrels Signature
• Korina body, flame maple top.
• Custom uncovered bridge humbucker.
• Dimarzio Fast Track 1 neck pickup.
• Bass Contour control.
• Push-Pull phase switch.
• Rotatable toggle style pickup selector.
• Wilkinson Tremolo.
it goes back to the days of the Beatles, the
Stones, Zeppelin, and Bowie. They would
record one or two songs at a time. You can
put more energy and effort into it.
So you feel like you can get better
results and focus all your energy on
three songs rather than, say, 12?
Collen: Absolutely. [With more], you
end up watering some songs down and
the main songs don’t get as much attention. That’s why those old songs sounded
great—they got a lot of time. They just
thought about that and didn’t have to
spread themselves out and go crazy thinking about 12 songs.
How did you collaborate on the new
songs, and how did you decide which
ones would make it on Mirror Ball?
Collen: On these three songs, we didn’t
collaborate at all [during the writing
phase]. But everybody played and sang
on each other’s songs. It was really easy
and a great way of doing it. We had fully
produced demos and they got the Def
Campbell: I wrote a song for the record,
but the fourth song didn’t make it. Mine
was the fourth song. It was decided that
three was enough. Mine was the last to
arrive and I was late to the party. “Kings
of the World” was a Rick Savage song,
which was something he had been working on for a long time. It just happened
to have come to fruition when we needed
it. That’s the thing about Def Leppard—
we’ve never been precious about our individual songs. We have a tendency to be
very critical of each other’s work, but not
all the time. Sometimes somebody writes
a song and we say, “Okay, that’s great.
Let’s record it.” There’ve been other times
when you bring a song to Def Leppard