31 years on from it’s release, Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’ album remains one of British rock’s biggest selling albums of all time and a master template for upbeat, experimental, pop/rock. Having toured the album for the best part of a year, Damian Robinson caught up with lead guitarist Phil Collen to find out more about how the tour has been so far and the bands thoughts about bringing it across to a UK audience.
Hi Phil, you’re about to bring the Hysteria tour across to the UK. How are you feeling about it?
We’re over in New Zealand at the moment, and it’s really warm, so the first thing we’re feeling is the importance of digging out our big coats. The tour so far has been amazing and we couldn’t be more excited to bring it to the UK.
Did an album tour feel strange for you at first?
It did, yes, as we’d always said we’d never tour an album, but we got offered a residency in Vegas with the album and the shows went so well that we wanted to take it further. We’ve just taken the tour through Japan and it went down a storm, not just the singles from the album, but every song. And when you see an audience respond like that it sort of justifies your decision to tour an album. I think we’ve all realised that sometimes it’s not about what you think, it’s about responding to what other people are asking for.
How’s the live show set up?
It’s very theatrical which is, I think, interesting to watch and then on top of that we play everything live and do all of the vocals live. We always did that but back in the day people didn’t believe that we were singing live, they thought it was some backing track. It’s nice to play it all live and sing it live, sometimes I don’t think people outside of our fans realise how difficult some of the vocals can be to replicate live.
Any ones in particular?
Don’t shoot shotgun is probably the toughest. (Laughing) luckily we’ve been nailing that every night.
Where’s the strongest reception to the tour been so far?
We just played Auckland which was incredible, and Mexico city is always a real highlight for us. What you tend to find is that each country, and each city, has a different culture with live music. In the UK we tend to get people enjoying the show and standing back wacthing what we’re doing on stage, checking out which effects I’m using or how Joe is interacting with the crowd. Mexico City by contrast tends to be less about watching and more about moshing.
Def Leppard bring their Hystertia tour to Newcastle on 1st December. Tickets from https://www.metroradioarena.co.uk/events/