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more... GuitaristsSeptember 2011Def Leppard

Def Leppard: Lep Alive!

Def Leppard: Lep Alive!

Vivian, what do you like about Mojave amps?

Campbell: They really breathe, and when you hang onto a note, you’re hearing all these rich overtones and undertones that you don’t hear in a lot of amps. Basically, the Scorpion is like a slightly hot-rodded version of an early JTM45, so it’s got that old-school thing.

Phil, what do you get from ManRaze that you don’t get from Def Leppard?

Collen: It’s the edge thing and the excitement. It’s very instant and immediate. Even lyrically, I can go places that I can’t go with Def Leppard. There’s such a precise sound in Def Leppard that we can’t really stray too far from what we’ve done, otherwise the fans kind of turn off. We can’t go off and do things in left field, because they wouldn’t appreciate it.

With ManRaze, your guitar has a rawer sound.

Collen: It’s less processed. Also, a lot of the stuff is first take with ManRaze. I really think that makes a huge difference. A lot of times when we record the Def Leppard stuff, we do lots of parts, we edit, and therefore it comes out in a different way. With ManRaze, a lot of the lead vocals and most of the guitar is done in one take. We did Punkfunkrootsrock in two weeks.

Vivian, what’s it like playing in Thin Lizzy?

Campbell: It’s a dream for me. I wanted to be in Thin Lizzy when I was 18. It’s like being a teenager again being able to do that. I’m so familiar with the catalog—it’s ingrained in my DNA. It’s such a pleasure to get out onstage and be Brian Robertson, Eric Bell, and Gary Moore all in one night. I haven’t been this excited in decades about my instrument, and I think I’m playing better than ever as a result.

Will there be a Def Leppard studio album in 2012?

[Both answer simultaneously.]

Collen: No.

Campbell: Yes.


Campbell’s Les Paul is shown here bedecked with Jim Dunlop
stainless steel picks—a key part of the Leppard guitar sound.

Phil Collen’s Gearbox
Jackson PC1, Jackson PC Supreme

Marshall JMP-1 tube preamp, Randall RRM-2-250 solid-state power amp, four Marshall 4x12 cabs

TC Electronic D-Two digital delay, TC Electronic 1210 Spatial Expander+Stereo Chorus/Flanger, TC Electronic G-System, MXR M117R Flanger, Alesis MidiVerb II, Digital Music Corp. Ground Control, Digital Music Corp. GCX Expander

Strings and Picks
GHS Boomers (.013–.054 seets), Dunlop stainless steel picks (for electric), Jim Dunlop 1.14 mm Tortex (for acoustic)

Vivian Campbell’s Gearbox
Rebuilt guitar with 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom neck, Gibson ’56 Custom Shop Reissue Les Paul

Marshall JMP-1 tube preamp, two Engl Tube Poweramp E850/100 power amps, Mojave Scorpion head and Mojave 4x12 cab (for Thin Lizzy)

Way Huge Angry Troll, Jim Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Signature Wah, three Jim Dunlop Cry Baby wahs, Fulltone Tube Tape Echo, Yamaha D1500 digital delay, TC Electronic TC 2290 Dynamic Digital Delay+Effects Control Processor, Eventide Omnipressor, Rocktron Chorus

Strings and Picks
Jim Dunlop strings (.013–.054 sets), Dunlop stainless steel picks (for electric), Jim Dunlop 1.14 mm Tortex (for acoustic)
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