Why Def Leppard Opted For Hysteria During Pyromania's Anniversary
Morley Seaver for antiMusic: Considering that it's also the 30th anniversary of Pyromania, why the decision to visit Hysteria front to back?
Phil: Well, it was our biggest album, without a doubt. Pyromania ended up doing 10x platinum. I think Hysteria is at 20x platinum so you know it was just a bigger deal. It had more of an effect. It crossed over into pop music and it was a more pop-sounding record as well. The thing with Pyromania was that we were still very much in the rock genre and with Hysteria, we crossed over to a bigger audience.
antiMusic: I'm sure you entered the studio kind of apprehensive since Pyromania was such a world-wide breakout. At what point did the band kind of look at yourselves and breathe a sigh of relief because you knew you were confident that you could follow it up in such a big way?
Phil: Honestly, I do think the thing about being an artist is that you want to push the boundaries a bit. After Pyromania, we wanted a different sounding record. We actually hadn't achieved the sound. It had a sound, obviously, but we knew there was still a bit further we could go with it. And I think that's what Hysteria was. That's why it was such an important record for us. It did cross over and it was a big world-wide hit and it didn't stay genre-specific. It moved in other areas. It had other influences and other stuff like that. We weren't scared to show an influence if it was waaayyy off what we would usually do.
I think that's what happens with a lot of genres, people get close-minded about something. With Hysteria, at the time everyone was listening to Prince, rap music…I mean Run DMC was popular at the time and we were definitely listening to some of that stuff. Frankie Goes to Hollywood and all of those kind of sounds. I mean, it wasn't just like it was the usual Sabbath and Hendrix and every kind of heavy thing out there. And I think in the end you could tell that there were a lot of other influences that went into it. Read the full interview here.