Def Leppard has become a fixture on the touring circuit over the last few summers, and this year is no different. The classic rock group plans to go out on the road again, this time with Poison and Cheap Trick.
But frontman Joe Elliott says the tour, which kicks off June 23 in Camden, N.J., could be the last chance for fans to catch them for a while.
“This will be our fifth year in a row where we’ve toured the summer in the states, and I seriously do think that it’s time for us to not do it next year, because I’m a firm believer in you don’t want to do it too much — people start taking you for granted,” Elliott said in an interview Wednesday.
“For me, next year is more of a case of gathering stock and maybe a writing a bit of music, getting prepared for another record.”
Def Leppard has been a popular tour during its summer runs, and has teamed up with other classic bands like Foreigner, Journey, Bryan Adams and Cheap Trick for co-headlining tours — packages that Elliott believes gives fans “value for your money. It’s an absolute no-brainer.”
And with the ever-sinking economy, it may make even more sense this year.
“Come the summertime, the rules are going to be different ... nothing stays the same anymore,” he said. “All we’re trying to do is take the path of least resistance, if you like, for what we think is a fair way of doing it. We’ve got a good ticket price, we’ve got a good lineup. For the kind of music that we make, it’s a show made in heaven, really.”
Some people might be surprised to find Poison and Def Leppard on the same bill, after Elliott was perceived as having made disparaging remarks about the glam metal band last year. But he said the controversy was blown out of proportion.
“The supposed fight that we had with Poison wasn’t a fight at all. It was taken out of context by a foreign journalist,” he said. “I’ve spoken with (Poison’s) Bret Michaels, and he totally gets that it was taken totally out of context, and we don’t have a problem with any of these guys, never have been.”
Def Leppard is best known for classics like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Photograph,” but last year put out their first CD of new material in six years, “Songs From the Sparkle Lounge.” Elliott said it was crucial for the band to keep putting out new music.
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“I can’t live my life with my past being my future, just going out there and consistently playing some kind of nostalgia show,” he said. “I have to be able to walk on stage and say, ‘This is a song from my new album,’ or I can’t do it.”
But he doesn’t complain about singing well-worn hits.
“We haven’t gotten to the stage yet where we are bored of doing any one song,” he says. “When you go on stage and you play that song in front of 20,000 in Madison Square Garden ... it’s like your life rushing before you.”
Tickets for the summer tour go on sale next week.