Kiss & Def Leppard Hit The Road

Kiss and Def Leppard will team up this summer for a 42-city North American tour that will “deliver good news and excitement,” says Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley. The tour begins June 23 in West Valley City, Utah, and wraps up Aug. 31 in Woodlands, Texas. Tickets go on sale starting Friday. The groups announced the tour Monday at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.The press conference was streamed live via the Live Nation website:
Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott says he and Gene Simmons first discussed the idea of the two bands touring together when he and the Kiss bassist played some South American dates two years ago as part of a rock-and-roll all-stars tour. “It’s finally happened, which is fantastic,” Elliott says.
It’ll be the first time the two bands have shared a bill, though Stanley says, “We’ve run into each other at festivals. It just seemed to be a natural fit.” Stanley also noted that one of guitarist Phil Collen’s pre-Def Leppard bands, Girl, opened for Kiss in the U.K. during the early ’80s. Kiss did a similar co-headlining tour with Motley Crue in 2012.
Kiss released its first albums, Kiss and Hotter Than Hell, 40 years ago, and the band will commemorate the anniversary with a slew of archival releases, including a 34-LP vinyl box set and a two-CD compilation called Kiss 40. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10.
Def Leppard has been writing music for the group’s next album. “We all camped out at my house last month and wrote songs, which you will hear none of this summer,” Elliott says. Collen says he expects that album to come out in 2015.
Simmons says a dollar from each ticket sold on the tour will go to to the Wounded Warrior Project and other military non-profits. Those charitable partners include the USO, Hire a Hero, Project Resiliency/The Raven Drum Foundatio, and The Augusta Warrior Project.“Politicians fart through their mouth,” Simmons says. “Only the military makes freedom possible.”
Stanley adds that the group also plans to hire vets for its crew. “We try to find a couple of vets who want to go out and be part of the team,” he says. “This is a chance for somebody to travel and be part of the Kiss Army.”
Elliot says he doesn’t see any rivalry developing between the groups while they’re on tour. “It’s two great bands that are going to be playing for the same amount of time,” he says. “It’s joint forces. I don’t see it as competitive at all.”


Def Leppard Regret Being Lumped In With “Crap Metal Bands Of The ’80s”

Def Leppard Regret Being Lumped In With Def Leppard have released a Deluxe Edition of their 1996 album ‘Slang’ containing the original 11 album tracks re-mastered and rare bonus tracks made up of demos, alternate versions and mixes with a series of new songs recorded during the time the band was creating the album.

“It was an essential album for Def Leppard,” guitarist Phil Collen recently told Billboard about ‘Slang’, whose sound was markedly more raw and stripped-back than multi-platinum predecessors such as ‘Pyromania’, ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Adrenalize’. “It was a drastic move, left-field for us. It was experimental. It went against the grain from what we normally were doing at the time. We felt like with ‘Adrenalize’ it started turning a little bit similar, so it was important to do something different at that point.”

Not everybody felt that way, of course. Though it debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 (after #1 bows for 1987’s ‘Hysteria’ and 1992’s ‘Adrenalize’) and went gold, ‘Slang’ was Def Leppard’s slowest selling album in more than a decade, which Collen says was a source of great frustration.

“Y’know, I think we could’ve put out ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ or “Dark Side Of The Moon’ and I think it would have been the same because it was Def Leppard and we had gotten lumped in with all the crap metal bands of the ’80s that were kind of pale versions of us,” Collen explains. “Nirvana had come along and everything had changed. What was very interesting was people said they didn’t like it so much because it didn’t sound like us, but we set up in a villa in southern Spain and pretty much recorded live, so it was actually closer to the mark than the other albums where we didn’t play live and did the usual studio thing of putting one thing on at a time and building it from there.”

‘Slang’ marked the debut of former Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell — who replaced the late Steve Clarke and also wrote ‘Slang’s first single, “Work It Out” — and was the first Def Leppard album made without producer Mutt Lange since 1980’s ‘On Through The Night’.

“Anyone who isn’t a Def Leppard fan, you play it to them and they love it,” Collen notes. “They go, ‘Wow, this is really cool. Who is it?’ ‘It’s us,’ and they go, ‘Whoaaaa. This is really cool.’ But, yeah, no one really heard it. There’s the faithful few who absolutely love it and think it’s the best Def Leppard album of all time, but it’s a minority.”