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DEF LEPPARD's JOE ELLIOTT reacts to being accused of using backing tracks during live shows

"There's not one word on tape"


DEF LEPPARD‘s Joe Elliott has once again dismissed accusations that his band is using backing tracks during live performances, saying “we don’t cheat.”

The 64-year-old singer and founding member of the iconic British band made the comment while discussing DEF LEPPARD‘s reputation as a formidable live act in an interview with the “Life In The Stocks” podcast. He said: “Yeah, the beginning bit of ‘Love Bites’Sav (DEF LEPPARD bassist Rick Savage) just plays it on a keyboard, the way (RUSH‘s) Geddy Lee plays bass pedals. Rick (AllenDEF LEPPARD drummer) uses a drum loop on ‘Rocket’. I mean, Christ, a two-armed drummer couldn’t play that. But every word is sung. Every guitar chord is played. We don’t cheat. There’s not one word on tape. There’s nothing. We’ve got some keyboard sounds, but they’re just keyboards that Sav plays with his foot. If we’re doing ‘Excitable’, we use the ‘Are you excitable?’ thing, ’cause it’s an intro tape. If we’re doing — well, the beginning of the show, ‘Take What You Want’. We play the beginning bit off the record and come in, because it’s an intro tape intro, so, of course, we’re gonna do that. But we’ve worked really to be able to sing live as well as we can. It’s not perfect. It’s not supposed to be. If we’re running at 90 percent, we’re doing good.”

Joe continued: “Long may they keep accusing us of using backing tracks. I really don’t care. Maybe everybody else’s standards are less than ours. I don’t know. Listen, when I’ve got a sore throat, I sound like shit. If somebody cuts their finger open slicing an orange, they’re gonna play a bit bad if it’s that hand that they’ve cut. It happens. Sometimes Phil (CollenDEF LEPPARD guitarist) will come off stage, he goes, ‘Bloody hell. I sound like I had boxing gloves on.’ But it’s like nobody else except him would notice that. Everybody has a bad day, but if the other four are on fire, one of us can be a bit under par, and it still works. The criticism is normally focused on the singer — ‘He was terrible. The band were great.’ But I’ve been good this last couple of years. I might’ve had the odd gig where just scheduling just wipes you out or you catch a cold. You can play the drums with COVID. You can’t sing with it. So you have to do something to get yourself into that position you have to be in by nine o’clock, even if it means warming up for 10 hours to get on stage to do it. That’s what I’m prepared to do. Maybe other people aren’t prepared to do that.”

DEF LEPPARD and JOURNEY will join forces for a summer 2024 North American tour. The 23-date trek will begin on July 6 in St. Louis, Missouri and hit cities including Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and more before wrapping in Denver on September 8. Openers include STEVE MILLER BANDHEART and CHEAP TRICK, which will vary by city.

DEF LEPPARD and MÖTLEY CRÜE have completed several legs of “The World Tour”, which included U.S. dates with Alice Cooper.

DEF LEPPARD‘s latest album, “Diamond Star Halos”, sold 34,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release in May 2022 to land at position No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked the band’s eighth top 10 LP.

Of “Diamond Star Halos”‘ 34,000 units earned for the week, album sales comprised 32,000, SEA units comprised 2,000 (equaling 2.7 million on-demand official streams of the album’s songs) and TEA units comprised less than 500 units.

DEF LEPPARD‘s previous Top 10 albums included “Pyromania” (which peaked at No. 2 in 1983),“Hysteria” (No. 1 for six weeks in 1988), “Adrenalize” (No. 1 for five weeks in 1992), “Retro Active” (No. 9; 1983), “Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection” (No. 10; 2005), “Songs From The Sparkle Lounge” (No. 5; 2008) and “Def Leppard” (No. 10; 2015).

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