Phil Collen Interview: Playing With G3 Tour At Rocksino
February 14, 2018
Def Leppard guitarist, Phil Collen has been very busy over the past year or so. Besides touring with his main band Def Leppard, he also spent time working on a blues based album with his other band Delta Deep, as well as serving as producer of Telsa's upcoming record. If that weren't enough, he has decided to take part of the G3 Tour this winter along with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci. That tour is making a stop at the Hard Rock Rocksino on February 22.
We were originally scheduled to have a phone interview with Phil but we couldn't coordinate our schedules. However, he graciously agreed to an email interview. Here is our correspondence.
Greg Drugan: Phil, thanks for taking some time with me today. How has the G3 tour been going so far?
Phil Collen: Phenomenal! We are all having a blast.
GD: How did you get hooked up with Joe Satriani and when did you decide to do this tour?
PC: Well, I did the G4 camp in Monterey, California and that really set things off.
GD: What kind of songs are you playing in your set? Are you singing or playing instrumentals?
PC: All of the above.
GD: I’ve heard the new Delta Deep record and it’s great! Is this band opening for the G3 tour?
PC: The Delta Deep set is part of my show.
GD: You have a couple of special guests on the Delta Deep record. Did Vivian Campbell help you get David Coverdale to sing on “Private Number?” David is a great fit!
PC: No, I called him directly. I’ve known David for years.
GD: Looking back on your career, I read that you saw Deep Purple when you were 14. Why did you decided to play the guitar instead of the bass, drums or keyboards?
PC: I never even heard another instrument. Well, maybe the voice too.
GD: You started your first band Girl with Phil Lewis who went on to front LA Guns. When was the last time you spoke with him? Is there a chance you might to something with him in the future?
PC: I saw him when I did the LA Guitar Center Sessions. Getting the chance to do anything other than what I’ve got (planned) for the next two years is highly unlikely.
GD: How did you end up meeting Joe Elliott and Steve Clark?
PC: My old band, Girl would play the same venues in England.
GD: Why did you turn down the chance to tour with Def Leppard on the High ‘n Dry record?
PC: I didn’t. I was going to help out but things got smoothed out (between the band and Pete Wills) so I didn’t have to help out at that particular time.
GD: You became an official member of Def Leppard during the making of Pyromania; what was the first song you played on?
PC: The solo on “Stagefright.”
GD: You guys really blew up with all of the videos on MTV and then Hysteria really made you superstars. You guys are one of only 22 artists to have two Diamond (10 million sold) albums. What do you attribute that success?
PC: Mutt Lange
GD: What is your favorite song to play in concert?
PC: I like “Rocket” but not just the vibe, I also like the theatrics we can add to it.
GD: What do you enjoy doing on your day off from tour?
PC: Checking out the local culture, wherever it is.
GD: What’s the one item you have to bring with you on tour?
PC: I have a portable gym and a kickboxing training bag.
GD: What’s the one extravagant thing that you have purchased?
PC: An Aston Martin.
GD: When you guys had your residency in Las Vegas your alias band, Ded Flatbird opened the show. What was it like opening for yourself and who’s idea was it?
PC: It actually felt like we were a different band, it was really weird. Joe (Elliott) thought it up.
GD: I think it was a great idea! I love hearing the deep cuts from the early albums. Will you put some of those cuts like “Mirror Mirror” or “Let It Go” into the regular set this summer?
PC: We’ve been doing “Let It Go” for the last couple of tours, so we’ll probably rotate a few more in.
GD: You guys just announced a co-headlining tour with Journey this summer and we’re happy you are hitting Cleveland on Memorial Day. That’s a great double bill. Do you have any special memories of playing in Cleveland?
PC: Yeah! I first went out with my wife there.
GD: You are quite the busy man, I heard that you produced Tesla’s new album. How was it being on the other side of the studio?
PC: It’s what I usually do when I’m in the studio. The only difference was I had to make sure was that all of the guys trusted me and faith in what I was doing. They absolutely did and we made an out of the stratosphere, phenomenal album!
GD: Ok, getting back to the G3 tour; what can fans expect to see when you at the end of the month?
PC: We’ve been getting better every night! And when I say we, I mean everyone on this tour. It’s so exciting to be a part of that whole artistic trajectory.
GD: Phil, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure and I look forward to seeing you at the end of the month.
PC: Sounds good! Thanks, and I’ll see you soon!
Be sure to catch Phil Collen and Delta Deep as they are a part of the G3 Tour with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci.
The will be at the Hard Rock Rocksino on February 22. Click here for tickets.
For more information about Delta Deep, click here for details.
Interview by Greg Drugan