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Def Leppard - 'We're Not A Heavy Metal Band'

Tom Lanham of recently conducted an interview with Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On developing a bad back as a teen, lifting boxes incorrectly in a steeltown factory:

"And once you've got one, as everybody who has a bad back knows, you've got it for life.

On once having to see 41 chiropractors in 43 days:

"Every single day except for two we had to get somebody in to fix me, because I was bent in half, I was crippled. And every time they'd fix me up, I'd get onstage and do a jump here, a twist or shimmy there, and pop! Out goes the back again. And that was when I got my first steroid injection."

"I was forever being injected with steroids, but I didn't realize what they did. They took the pain away, but they also make you balloon in weight."

"So now I'm officially getting back on track. I'm pain-and-steroid-free for the first time in several years, and it's good not to wake up crippled, or just forever wondering why your trousers don't fit anymore."

On the "Yeah!" 14-track set of covers:

"...I just thought it was a great idea, ever since I had David Bowie's 'Pinups' in my arsenal of albums. I thought 'What a great concept. He's showing me where he came from.' ...If you actually got to hear your favorite artist's version of — say, with Bowie it was the Pretty Things, The Who and The Easybeats — it just made sense. You could actually hear those original songs."

On being lumped in with New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands:

"Lumping us in with Iron Maiden was as ridiculous as lumping us in with Depeche Mode. And we've spent 20-odd years trying to tell the whole world that we're not a British heavy metal band. Now, if people finally hear the songs that influenced us, they might finally get the picture."

On unlocking a secret or two about rockdom in the three-decade process:

"It's all about maintenance. In this business, you have to fend off the aging years as best you can, and I now see that there are two ways of doing it: You can have all that steroid stuff pumped in and end up looking like a hot water bottle, or you can do what Mick Jagger did. Which is, be as wrinkly as he is — but when he goes onstage people still go 'Holy s— ! How can he do that at his age?' Because he's looked after himself — that's how.

"And now, for the first time in years, I feel able to get up there too without pretending. Smiling through the pain onstage? I can do it. I can do it better than anybody I know. But I don't really ever want to do it again."

Click here for the entire interview.

Band profile: Def Leppard
Posted: 27.08.2006 by lordz

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