Def Leppard Frontman Addresses Criticism Over Live Focus

William Lee | 01-02-2020

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Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott says that the old "blueprint" for bands has changed and that his group is more focused on performing live for fans than making new music.

Elliott addressed the criticism the band has faced over not following the old pattern of releasing new music and then touring in support of the new music. Veterans bands like his are following a new game plan of focusing mostly on performing live and not recording new music.

Joe spoke about it during an appearance on SiriusXM to promote their upcoming stadium tour with Motley Crue and Poison. He said, "See, there's still too many people in the industry that believe in the original blueprint of what we do, and it's moved on, and they don't seem to wanna accept that.

"So we get a lot of criticism from all quarters- fans, media, saying that we're not concentrating on getting new music out there. It's not that important at this time in our career.

"What's important right now, you look at The Eagles, you look at Fleetwood Mac, you look at, say, KISS or Aerosmith, people want to see them live. Ticket sales prove that. They can all put new records out and they don't sell anything like their original albums did. It just is the way that it is.

"We still wanna make new music, don't get me wrong; we absolutely do. We were one of the first bands to not put an album out every year. Back in the day, you think about [Thin] Lizzy, Rush, UFO, you can date their albums to a year, literally, if you're a fan.

"And then towards the '80s, it started to break out into maybe an album every two years. We were the band that went from 1980 to '81 to '83 to '87 to '92 to '96 to '99 to 2002. We went into a three-year cycle, because the touring thing was so much more important.

"And right now, looking at the ticket sales. that first weekend the tickets were on sale, we shifted seven hundred thousand tickets. There's no way on earth that any of the bands on that tour would shift seven hundred thousand albums in the same period of time.

"So it's not a massive priority to make new music. But what you've got is whether it be The Stones or whether it be The Who, who just released only their second album since 1982. The Who have been touring all this time, because it's what people want, and it's what they want."

Elliott explained how things have switched around, "We make records so we can go out on the road. We used to tour to promote albums. Now you will put an album out to promote the tour, and now you don't even have to put an album out anymore."
But that does not mean that the band does not plan to record any new music. Joe said, "Now, don't get me wrong, we absolutely are writing; we do wanna make a record; but we're gonna make it in our own sweet time, so it's a good album, not a rushed album with some A&R man going, 'I don't hear any singles' or record companies tapping their watchface, going, 'We need it by the third quarter.'

"We are gonna make a record when we have the time to do it, but the priority, as these ticket sales prove, is us playing in front of our fans. That's what they want; otherwise, they wouldn't be buying the tickets."

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