Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot, “We’re Infiltrating The Top Five”


May 11, 2008

Jade Wright of the Liverpool Echo recently conducted an interview with Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliot.

After more than three decades in the music business, you might expect Def Leppard to rest on their laurels.

The Sheffield super group has sold more than 65m records, making them one of the biggest acts in the history of British rock.

But they’re just about to go back out on the road, and in this week’s midweek charts – both for the UK and America – their new album, The Sparkle Lounge, is No. 5.

“Thirty-one years in the business and we’re infiltrating the top five,” laughs singer Joe Elliot.

“I’m not complaining. It’s just a strange place to be after so long. We must be in the right place at the right time.”

I caught up with Joe this week to find out more about his taste in music, and what – if anything – is on his iPod.

“Of course I’ve got an iPod,” grins Joe. “I’ve got an iPhone too.” He gets it out of his pocket to prove the point. “I’m a bit of a technophile when it comes to music.

“I listen to lots of different things. Eclectic, I suppose you’d have to call my tastes.”

He scrolls through some of his favourite choices.

“Black Parade by My Chemical Romance is a great record,” he chuckles. “I love the lyrics, the way they play with words.

“Muse always surprise me. I don’t know the names of any of the songs, but I’m always amazed that just the three of them can make all that noise, all those different sounds.”

Joe begins a spookily accurate impression of a Muse song, although exactly which one it’s difficult to tell. “It sounds like a spaceship taking off,” he laughs.

“Phil’s (guitarist Phil Collen) guitar tech gave me a great CD by this new band called Fuzz Bubble. I don’t know where they’re from, but they sound good. I’ve got that on my iPod and it’s something I keep listening to.

“You know Orphans by Tom Waits, the album that came out last year? Well, that’s taken over from Lou Reid’s Berlin as my favourite record to listen to in the bath. I can’t listen to it anywhere else.

“But Lou Reid in the bath? That was just getting too much. I found myself searching for the razor blades, so I knew I’d had enough of Lou.”

Def Leppard play the Summer Pops at the ECHO Arena alongside Whitesnake and Thunder on July 15. Their album, The Sparkle Lounge, is out this week. For more information, see

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