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Def Leppard: Lep Alive!

Def Leppard: Lep Alive!

Vivian Campbell playing live with his Les Paul.

What were some of the interesting things you noticed while going through the tracks?

Campbell: Our tempos are so consistent that we could literally splice the front half of a song from one night, and the second half from another night, and put them together. You would never know the difference.

We’re very precise in that way.

So does that mean there aren’t any mistakes on the record?

Collen: [Laughs.] I’ve got a few mistakes on there. I heard a couple of bum notes and bad chords. I like the fact that I get to do that on a live album. We left mistakes on Hysteria and Pyromania. I remember going to [producer] Mutt Lange and saying, “Hey—that chord!” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah—it sounds great!” It’s kind of funny, because everyone thinks he’s such a perfectionist, but it’s actually the vibe he goes for. That’s more important than getting all nitpicky. If it’s got character, it deserves to be on the record. [Turns to Campbell] How close do you stick to Steve Clark’s guitar parts, Viv?

Campbell: Pretty close. Not 100 percent, note-for-note, but certainly 90-something percent. His parts weren’t guitar solos per se. They were very much a part of the song—very melodic, very thematic. I think it would be an injustice to the song if I were to go way off and do my own thing.

And yet you can still hear your Vivian Campbell-ness on the record—even though you’re playing someone else’s parts.

Campbell: [Laughs.] Thank you. I play heavier than Steve did. When I take the solo in “Armageddon It,” I don’t play it 100 percent, but I definitely play it in my style—which is much, much heavier.

Campbell with a sparkle-finished Les Paul equipped with a DiMarzio Super 3 in the bridge position.