Def Leppard's Las Vegas Stint Likely To Yield New Album
"This will be the first time in at least 10 years where we're all actually in one room banging out songs from scratch," Joe Elliot tells Billboard.
Def Leppard is taking the Sparkle Lounge to Sin City this spring with plans to put its next album into motion.
Frontman Joe Elliott tells Billboard that the group's nine-date "Viva Hysteria!" residency at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel will give the band members a chance to write together for a follow-up to 2008's "Songs From the Sparkle Lounge," which was named after the backstage writing room the group employed on tour. "This will be the first time in at least 10 years where we're all actually in one room banging out songs from scratch," Elliot explains. "We don't all live on the same continent, so it's increasingly more difficult for us to just do what people expect a band to do -- wander into a dusty old rehearsal room and go, 'What you got?' Getting together to write an album is an event. So the whole point of this Vegas thing when we're not on stage is to attack pieces of work we have that aren't finished songs -- 'I've got this riff.' 'Great, let's play around with it.' I'm sure everybody's got some individual ideas, and we'll go from there."
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That's not the only recording project Def Lep has going, of course. The group is in the midst of re-recording its older material, a project it started last year after coming to loggerheads with Universal Music Group over compensation for digital releases. The band has issued new versions of what Elliott jokingly calls "forgeries" of "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Rock of Ages," and he says there are another "four or five percolating" that will hopefully be finished in the near future. "It's just an ongoing process until the silly buggers at Universal pull their heads out of their ass and get back to the table," Elliott says. "It's about who blinks first. It's kind of like throwing (a fit), but I think any artist should be applauded for wrestling back the valor."
Elliott says the Las Vegas stand, which kicks off March 22, is "one of those things that was destined to happen one day." The focal point of each show will be 1987's "Hysteria" album performed front to back, while an opening set will feature "stuff we've never ever played, or haven't played in God knows how long." Elliott also promises "a bit of visual feast as well," including digital video screens and special content for the "Hysteria" portion of the show. "We haven't really had that meeting yet," Elliott says, "but we've got a good feel for how we want it to go."
Elliott also expects Def Lep to film and record the shows for some sort of future release. "We'd be fools not to," he notes.
The Vegas stand will likely be the only chance to see the band this year. Elliott -- who's also working on a third album with his Mott The Hoople tribute group Down 'n' Outz -- says that "unless something ridiculous gets offered our way, which hasn't happened yet," the quintet plans to stay off the road for the balance of the year. "We've toured eight of the last 10 years, so I think we need to spend a bit of time away," he explains.