Def Leppard's Phil Collen talks Delta Deep solo project and album Special

Posted May 9, 2015 by Markos Papadatos
Def Leppard's lead guitarist Phil Collen chatted with Digital Journal about his latest blues project, Delta Deep, and their forthcoming album.
Rock star Phil Collen
Rock star Phil Collen
Helen L. Collen
Delta Deep features Robert DeLeo, the bassist from Stone Temple Pilots, songstress Debbi Blackwell-Cook and drummer Forrest Robinson, as well as special musical guests Joe Elliott (from Def Leppard), David Coverdale, CJ Vanston, Paul Cook and Simon Laffy. Their album will be released on June 23 via their record label, Mailboat Records. "I have worked with all of those guys before. We have toured together, and that was really cool," he said.
On the origin of this new album, Collen said, "My wife's godmother, Debbi, has been singing since she was two years old, and we ended up hanging out all the time and playing acoustic and Motown songs. We did a charity event and we performed there together, and everybody wanted to buy those songs, so that prompted us to work together, and the project took off from there."
Their album's lead single is "Bang The Lid," which is about "killing a slave-master." "Lyrically, that is what anybody can do, after they are forced in a terrible situation that they can't get out of," he said. "I literally learned how to play slide guitar after watching a Joe Walsh tutorial on YouTube, and the next week, we recorded that song."
Collen added, "We are thrilled with this album, and we had a rehearsal the other day, which was the first time that we all played live together, and it blew us away. The grooves were massive and funky. The four-piece band was just amazing."
He listed the tune "Feel It" as one of his favorite songs on the project due to its "commercial" nature.
Regarding his plans for the future, he said, "We are in the middle of a Def Leppard tour, which will go on for a bit, but we are trying to put shows together. Just before the album comes out, we will be doing some Los Angeles shows and those will be cool. We are going to get out there and promote as much as we can."
When asked if he ever played in Greece, Collen said, "I have. Absolutely. We played in Athens, and we had a blast there. It was really, really nice."
Rock band Def Leppard
Rock band Def Leppard
Courtesy of Def Leppard
As a member of Def Leppard, one of his most memorable moments last year at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh was performing "Hysteria" live, with archive images of the acclaimed rock band playing in the background. "There are a couple of songs that we do that way, and I try to turn around as much as I can and see what is happening on the screen since there is some really great footage. It is really great and slightly surreal," he recalled.
Each day, the veteran rock star is simply motivated by his excitement for music. "I just get excited and I am inspired. I am surrounded by inspiring people and that makes a difference," he said.
When asked how he stays in such top-notch shape, he noted that it deals with good dieting. "I think the main thing is the diet. The reason most people get out of shape is diet-related. That would be the first thing. I work out six days a week, and sometimes twice a day, but you are constantly in that time frame and physically in that frame, it becomes easier. If you stop, it becomes a problem. It is all about being consistently active," he said.
On the key to longevity in the music industry, Collen feels that it is all about being inspired. "There is so much more to achieve. The industry has changed, and we are very proud of how we put our live shows. We keep that up since we want to express ourselves in an art form. That's why I got into it in the first place," he said.
"We have a new Def Leppard album coming out as well. We pretty much finished that up, and we will be touring to Australia, Japan and New Zealand and promote the album there, and then we will return again to the United States. We will be very busy, and we will be touring as much as we can," Collen added.
Collen defined the word success as "being able to do what I want for a living," as well as being able to make a living doing that. It is safe to say that the guitar king is a successful individual.
For more information on the blues band Delta Deep, check out its official website and on Facebook.