Zito calls Vivian Campbell, the legendary guitarist of Def Leppard, and starts chatting it up like they are old friends. Zito recalls the last time he saw Def Leppard, which was back in 2017 at the Fort Rock Festival in Fort Myers right before Chris Cornell of Sound Garden passed. The most significant part of the show he remembers is that Def Leppard didn’t slow down the entire time they played. It was non-stop Rock from the time they entered the stage until they got off. Vivan appreciates the chance to come to the States to perform that Def Leppard didn’t want to stop and take a break but is glad to be back out touring now. Zito is stoked about Def Leppard coming to Camping World Stadium on June 19th.
Zito and Vivian talk about what Vivian likes to do in his free time, and it turns out he’s actually a big gearhead. Vivian has a pretty heavy led foot. He loves to fix cars and drive them as fast as possible. He was a big track guy but is now really big into rally car racing. In fact, he recently was in a race where he happened to survive a roll-over crash. He would rather drive fast in an old car like his Porsche but would drive slowly along the countryside just to enjoy the ride. Zito wonders what the top speed Vivian has ever gone, and Vivan tells him he doesn’t know. He had gone so fast that he couldn’t take his eyes away from the road, or he would crash.
Getting back to the music, Zito asks Vivan about what it’s like to tour with some of the biggest names in Classic Rock like Joan Jett, Poison, and Mötley Crüe. These are some of the biggest bands of the ’80s selling out 17,000-seat stadiums. Vivian is actually ecstatic to sell out these shows because they are playing some of the most bombastic and joyous music of a generation. There is an unspoken challenge to play the best show against Joann Jett and Mötley Crüe. They want to recreate the feeling of playing some of the enormous shows as they did in 2018 when they were touring with Journey.
Zito is stoked to hear about Def Leppard’s newest album, Diamond Star Halo. Even after all these years, Def Leppard is still putting out albums that rock and people want to hear. Vivan is excited that it’s the first time they worked with a major record label in years, and everyone in the band and label was excited to come together. He assured Zito that they would be playing new songs from the album on the label. They did something with this album that was never attempted by the band before, and that was to record it remotely during the pandemic. It was a technical challenge, but when they managed to get over the hump, it was easier and more insightful to work this way. They managed to look back on what they recorded, reflect on it, and go back and make it better.
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