Def Leppard Gets Busy On 'Menacing' New Album

Veteran British rock outfit Def Leppard will begin recording its next studio album in January at frontman Joe Elliott's house in Dublin. Basic ideas were hashed out on the road during the band's exten

Veteran British rock outfit Def Leppard will begin recording its next studio album in January at frontman Joe Elliott's house in Dublin. Basic ideas were hashed out on the road during the band's extensive tour in support of this year's covers album "Yeah!," a first for Def Leppard.

"We've got about five or six songs on the go, and there'll be 11 or 12 on the final version," guitarist Phil Collen tells Billboard.com. "We're trying to get it out for next summer, which for us would be amazing. But we've never been this far along. We come off tour, wait six months, then we start writing. We've already got that sorted out.

Collen says the songs thus far have "absolutely" been influenced by the process of making "Yeah!," which featured Def Leppard's spin on songs popularized by Thin Lizzy, the Faces and Mott The Hoople. "We did that so quick," he says. "It was raw, and it didn't demand we sit around for months or years. That really inspired us."

"A lot of the songs are anthemic sounding," Elliott adds. "I wouldn't say they could have been on 'Pyromania' or 'Hysteria' but they're in the vein. Sonically, it's a little more like 'Back in Black' than, say, 'Hysteria.' It's more driving. The songs we've got so far are leaning that way."

Says Collen, "It's a rawer kind of vibe -- more menacing. More of a live sound. Not too glossy."

While on tour with Journey this year, Def Leppard found themselves in the unlikely role of mentor to singer/songwriter Stoll Vaughan, the opening act for the shows.

"He actually ended up traveling on our bus because he had something terrible happen to him," Collen recalls. "While we were on tour, he was driving himself in a Winnebago. It got a flat tire, they towed it and it burst into flames. The only thing that survived was the flat tire."