Joe Elliott (Def Leppard): Telecommuting

Adam Drigalsky, Interia: We have two important issues to discuss. Your new album and pull the World Cup in Qatar. The group with Iran and the United States does not seem difficult.

Joe Elliott (Def Leppard): – This is not the most difficult combination possible. It’s good that we missed out on, say, Brazil or Denmark, but we’ve played in the World Cup with the USA before. It’s been a long time, because in 1950, and then we lost 0-1 with them, although no one expected that.

I can’t believe you won’t get out of the group. And when you leave, you may find your hosts. England – Qatar! Such a match can be remembered for a long time!

Sure, but I still have a problem with the tournament that starts in November. It’s silly. Of course from a weather point of view, it’s a good decision, because nobody wants something bad to happen to a player. But this is not a normal time to play this kind of event, because that way all the league matches will stop. Tournaments will have two extended periods. It’s crazy, but the championship is still a long way off. Now there will be a lot of friendlies which I honestly hate. Do you watch sparring?

It happens, yes.

I’m just checking the results. It’s a waste of time for me. I only watch the goals in the sports news. But seriously, it doesn’t make sense to follow the friendlies. Anyway, now the most important is the end of the tournament. My Sheffield United stands in the top half of the table with very few queues.

Well, we’ve got football covered, so let’s talk music. You are a band that loves to play live and go on very long rides. However, I would like to ask – because the coronavirus pandemic seems to be fortunately receding – what is most valuable to you in times of extreme lockdown?

There may be only one correct answer to this question. The most important thing was health and taking care of your safety. So the priority was to avoid contracting this terrible virus. We isolated ourselves with the whole family, but thanks to that we also had a lot of time to ourselves. We even managed to renovate the house together! As you know, we are not doctors or scientists who can eradicate this epidemic. The basis was to take care of yourself, and it is also important to organize your life so as not to waste time.

He started making a new album.

– I remember that on the day when most restrictions were imposed, we were supposed to meet in my studio. Soon it turned out that there was no chance for this. It was a time when you could just go for a walk with your dog, not get on a plane and travel to the other side of the world. However, we came up with Plan B so quickly that we organized a conference call.

The first question we had to answer was: “Now what?” We decided to record the album remotely. It’s happened to us before, but not to this extent. We used to play a few games remotely, but now we’ve managed it from cover to cover. We communicated with each other via email and instant messages. We didn’t see each other during the recording session! And you know what? I’m so glad we went this way!

Don’t say it’s easier to record an album than by traditional methods, let’s call it that!

– That’s what I want to say! It is so much better! Moreover, I don’t think any of us want to go back to these “traditional” methods. It always seemed like the whole band would come to my studio: “Gentlemen, we’re making an album! Come on!”. And that has been the case for the past thirty years. It had its advantages, of course, because I love these guys, but there was also a worse side to this type of story. The first week was always canceled due to jet lag. Everything continued over time.

While one person was recording his parts, the others were wandering around without meaning or purpose, watching the news and staring at their phones. Remote work is a great time saver. It is more productive because you can follow and comment on the latest song releases in real time. It also gives me more freedom, because when my laptop gets a new number, I can go out and have coffee on the balcony, and think about what I like and don’t like. I wrote these songs at home, in the bedroom, in the car. I was able to record four different versions of songs for “My guitar” and then take a day off to distance myself from it. That’s a hundred times more productive than hanging out with everyone in the studio.

But after the work is done, it’s hard to have a drink together!

– Well, it is very difficult to be on the other side of the world. Besides, some of us abstained from sex for forty years. The thing I see is that while working on the album I give my best, and when it’s over, I often sit in an armchair and think to myself: It’s impossible, but I did it again. This is our first album in seven years. Of course, we planned it, but life added a very original script to the production. So the joy of releasing this album is huge. We talk about it a lot all the time. We can’t wait for the premiere on May 27th. It’s not that we don’t want to experience this moment together, but instead of drinking champagne, we’d probably go to Starbucks.

I will return to Alison Krauss and Mike Garson. How did they end up on the album?

– We have been cooperating with Mike for four years. Together we have participated in several honors projects commemorating David Bowie. A few of them were made remotely, but we managed to play together on stage in Los Angeles and London. We know each other very well and when I wrote the piano pieces, I wanted someone really good to play them. And the ambiance he added to these songs is great.

As for Alison, we’ve been friends since 1996. We bumped into each other a lot. For example, when she was not on tour, she was able to come to our concert. She’s our fan and all this collaboration came from…text messages with Robert Plant about football.

Another proof that football and music go hand in hand.

Yes, but you know there is no way out. Sheffield United faced Wolverhampton. And so I told him from word to word that we were going to make a new album. I just warned him, “Robert, don’t tell anyone!” And you know what he told me?

Come here!

– I don’t tell anyone but Alison! This was also the beginning of the correspondence with her, because together we decided that this was the moment for her to finally sing with us. I sent her two suggestions to choose the one that suits her best. But in response, I heard that all this picking made no sense, because she would willingly sing in both. And just like with Mike! Miraculously changed them.

The album precedes a new tour. This time in the US she will play Motley Crue, Poisson and Joan Jett. I wonder how many new songs will be in the given list. You probably won’t answer directly, but I’d bet you ‘kick’ and ‘move it’ and ‘give me a kiss’!

– These are definitely our trademark songs very clearly. Typical sound for us. I can say that “Kick” will be one hundred percent on our concert list. It was the song we released first. For the rest, we’ll see how they lie before we go on tour. As you know, there is one problem with adding new songs to the program. First you have to get rid of the ones that already exist! We don’t have a ready plan yet. We’d like to play at least three songs live, but we have to think about how to do it. Contrary to appearances, this is quite a challenge.

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