and you think it’s, like, a masterpiece—but
then it totally gets torn apart and something like five percent of it remains! [Both
laugh.] We have a healthy respect for each
of our abilities, and we don’t take it personally. [ Turns to Collen ] You wrote the new
studio track “It’s All About Believin’.” Did
you have that song around for a while?
Collen: Only [since] last year. Me and my
buddy C.J. Vanston, who I write with all the
time, have written tons of songs together.
We came up with this song, and it sounded
so obviously like a Def Leppard song, so we
played it to the guys and they loved it.
Campbell: When we were in New York last
November doing the Celebrity Apprentice
thing, Joe first played me his idea for the
song “Undefeated,” which is the third song.
That’s a great song, and we’re going to be
playing it live this summer. It’s a very Def
Leppard song, as well.
Although Def Leppard is a hard-rock
band, it sounds like there are modern
country influences in your music. Did
that come from Mutt Lange?
Collen: Yeah, Mutt invented that stuff
when he got with Shania Twain. He made
that crossover possible because, before that,
everyone was struggling with pure country
and western. A lot of the rock guys who
lived in L.A. after the ’80s metal thing kind
of went away all moved to Nashville. They
cut their hair and started playing other
stuff—playing sessions. Mutt actually fused
the two together. I’m not a huge country
fan, but I remember while we were doing
Pyromania and Hysteria, I’d go to his car
and he’d have a George Jones cassette lying
on the floor.
What are your main guitars now?
Collen: Mutt Lange introduced me to
Grover Jackson back in the day, and that’s
what I’ve been using since then. I have some
great, customized guitars, and Jackson got
them right. Some of the guys who do my
stuff now worked there back then, 20-some-
thing years ago. They know what I like—the
size of the neck, everything. We just keep
improving on them. My main guitar is a
Jackson PC1. I have two models: One’s a
natural—and it’s an old workhorse—and I
just got another one called the PC Supreme,
which is a neck-through. It’s got a big, fat
neck. In fact, it’s the biggest neck I think
Jackson has ever made. When I pick up other
Collen’s Jackson PC1 features a mahogany body with a highly figured maple top, a quartersawn hard rock
maple neck, a DiMarzio Super 3 bridge humbucker, and a Jackson Sustainer/Driver in the neck position.