Def Leppard on how KISS — and Beyoncé — inspired them to raise the bar on their live shows


Not every band that came up in the ’80s can brag that they’re still filling stadiums, but Def Leppard can: The U.K./European leg of their Stadium tour with Mötley Crüe starts on Monday. Guitarist Phil Collen says they’re still touring at this level because of some inspiration from KISS and Beyoncé.

“Rolling with the punches and moving with the times … you have to go with it, you have to roll with it,” Collen tells Music Radar. He explains, “We keep raising the bar with our vocals and playing, and the way that we present the show. And I think you have to do that.”

“We learned something when we went out with KISS; the show is more important than anything, and you take the ego out and the crews work together and everything is the show,” Collen notes.

“Beyoncé just did a thing a few months ago in Dubai and it was so over-the-top. And that’s what you’re competing with … so you keep having to raise the bar, and you keep having to get better.”

“The minute you go out there and you’re not really into doing it, you’re turning your back on the audience,” he adds. “So I think there’s a constant thing of striving to be better, especially with the show.”

And Collen says Beyoncé isn’t the only pop star other rock artists can learn a lesson from: Ed Sheeran‘s another. Collen says he was “very impressed” that when Sheeran was first starting out, he’d play multiple shows a day in different venues.

As Collen notes, “If you can’t do that then you ain’t got a chance. … Whether you like him or not, that’s the role model.”

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