Vivian Campbell Says ‘Good Is Never Good Enough’ for Def Leppard
Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell recalled noticing the band’s attention to detail was like no other project he’d ever worked on when he joined in 1992, and said that approach remains the secret to their success.
He became part of the lineup after having worked with Dio and Whitesnake, among others, and he was immediately struck by his new colleagues’ approach. He said the same approach continued today, which was why they continually reinvented their stage show.
Canadian fans will see the latest iteration during tour dates from June to July, ahead of a Las Vegas residency that begins in August.
“Def Leppard is a thoroughly unique band,” Campbell told 92.1 CITI. “I've worked with a lot of artists, but I've been with Def Leppard now for 27 years as the 'new guy.' And everything about Leppard, every aspect about the band, is thoroughly unique to Def Leppard. There's a very, very serious work ethic within the band. That was the first thing I noticed 27 years ago when I first met all the guys.”
He noted that he's known singer Joe Elliott "socially as a friend for a few years, but we'd never played music together until I joined the band. And then meeting the other guys. … Coming in compared to other acts, I really, really noticed that every aspect of Def Leppard’s career is just taken very, very seriously. All the T's are crossed, all the I's are dotted. [It] doesn't matter if it's a live performance or choosing the set list or songwriting or the recording process, everything about it is just meticulous and done to the highest degree and as good as it can possibly be. Good is never good enough for Leppard. We're always trying to reinvent the wheel.”
You can listen to the interview below.
Campbell argued that, as a result, people who hadn’t seen them perform for some time would be surprised at the changes they’d made.
“Over the years – year after year after year – we finesse and nuance our performance, be it the vocals, the vocals especially, or the guitar parts or whatever, or just the actual energy and the cohesiveness of the show,” he said. “I think you'll be very, very, very surprised at how the band is performing recently. … There's been a phenomenal resurgence in interest in the band, and that hasn't gone unnoticed with us.
“And I keep going back to this – we absolutely do not take it for granted," he continued. "It lifts us, the energy of the audience, it elevates us. We wanna be the best concert experience that anyone has ever seen, and we're still striving to that. And year after year, we try and just finesse it and then nuance the show and make it better and better and better. So anyone who hasn't seen Leppard in a few years I think will be very, very pleasantly surprised.”
Def Leppard will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 29.