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Phil Collen on Def Leppard’s Chances of Rock Hall Induction: ‘I Don’t Care’

Phil Collen
Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images

You can add Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen to the list of musicians who claim to have no interest in whether they’re ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The subject came up during a recent radio interview, and Collen didn’t mince words. “I don’t know and I don’t care, really. … Whatever. The way I look at it, I’ve got two diamond albums sitting on my mantlepiece — that’s ten times platinum; I’ve got two albums. That means the fans went out and bought it, so that means a lot more to me, I think.”

Collen’s hosts followed with the not-at-all-unreasonable question of what exactly motivates a band like Def Leppard at this stage in their career, and he again proved admirably frank. “It changes,” he admitted. “Back in the day, it was getting a gold album, then a platinum album, and they don’t really exist anymore, so that’s passed by. There’s all these other things.”

Those “other things,” continued Collen, include seeing one’s art travel the world. “You just want your music to translate, for everyone to hear it, which we’re doing — we’re succeeding there,” he argued. “And then with concerts, it’s always been, you wanna play a certain venue — you wanna be at Wembley, Madison Square Garden, the Marquee Club, the Budokan in Japan. … So they’re all goals and ambitions that we’ve actually succeeded already. But you keep adding more.”

In the short term, he concluded, “We’ve just written 15 songs for our new album. We’re actually blown away, ’cause it normally takes us about five years to write 10 songs, and we’ve got 15 songs already — not finished, but we’re gonna have an album out next year. So for us, that’s our big goal. Next year’s gonna be a really important year. We’ve got this great album. The recording has been really going fast and flowing, so we’re ultra-excited about that.”

Next: Top 10 Def Leppard Songs

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