Def Lep were too tired to party in Hysteria era
Blockbuster album made them massive – but singer Elliott reveals they couldn’t live rock’n’roll lifestyle while taking tour seriously
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott says the band avoided the rock’n’roll lifestyle during their Hysteria world tour – because their show left them too tired to party.
And he doesn’t care if that means he’s a boring person.
The band were at the height of their fame following the release of blockbuster album Hysteria in 1987. But they decided to focus on the challenge of getting their performance right, rather than allowing themselves to indulge in distractions.
Elliott tells Maxim: “It was such an exhausting two-and-a-half hour show, we just wanted to go to bed.
“We knew it was going to be hard work to match an album like Hysteria live, because there were so many overdubs. It’s like Queen learning to play Bohemian Rhapsody live, without using tapes in the middle bit. So we were really focused on what we did.”
He adds: “All the other stuff was pretend, really. Everybody said, ‘What do we really want out of this? Do we want to be one of these idiot Sunset Boulevard bands, or do we want to coat-tail off the back of the Who, the Stones, the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Kinks and Queen?”
Elliott says of the Def Lep’s earlier wild days: “‘Hey do you wanna dance?’ ‘No, fuck off!’ is what happens before you’re in the band. Then when you’re in a band and you meet a girl at the bar, they go, ‘Okay, let’s go to bed.’ I mean, it made life a lot easier.
“But it wasn’t the focus. It wasn’t the girls, the drugs or the booze – it was the music. And 35 years into it, it still is.
“If I don’t drink, I don’t care. I don’t do drugs. I’m married. I don’t do groupies. It’s the music. I know I’m fucking boring, but I’m real. I’m human.”