Phil Collen reveals five guitarists including Adrian Smith auditioned to replace Steve Clark in Def Leppard
Def Leppard founding member and guitarist Steve Clark passed away at the age of 30 back on January 8, 1991. Clark was eventually replaced by guitarist Vivian Campbell (Dio, Whitesnake) who still remains in the band more than 30 years later. Campbell is still the newest Def Leppard member whose line-up also includes frontman Joe Elliott, guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen.
Collen was asked by UK’s eonmusic about the audition process during the recent Hellfest festival in France to which he indicated:
“We invited five people we knew, five friends, and Vivian [Campbell, the player who eventially got the job] just fitted in straight away. It was like it was meant to be. Adrian‘s great, [and] he’s a great singer, and that was one of the other things [we were looking for]; if you can sing.”
“There was some other people. We played with John Sykes, also an amazing player, amazing singer, but Vivian‘s voice was just unbelievable, but more than that, he just fit in the style of what we do.”
“With Adrian, he played in context with what we were doing when we were rehearsing, I mean, we were doing Def Leppard songs, we weren’t doing Iron Maiden songs, we weren’t doing Dio songs. So, whoever comes into our house has to play by the same rules.”