Phil Collen Interview: Def Leppard and Delta Deep

It’s a pretty exclusive club. In fact, no new members have joined in decades. We’re talking about the fraternity of bands with two studio albums selling more than 10 million copies each in the U.S. Membership thus far is limited only to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Van Halen -- and Def Leppard.

The group came blazing out of the U.K. in 1980 with the albums On Through the Night, and High ‘n’ Dry, both tremendously hard rockin’ affairs. And then they got serious. That’s when Leppard recruited guitarist Phil Collen to replace founding member Pete Willis, and recorded Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987). And with that they became one of the biggest bands in the world.

Phil Collen, Def LeppardNow Collen and his Def Leppard bandmates are celebrating 35 years with a massive U.S. tour, hitting the road for a summer 2015 jaunt with Styx and Tesla. But when he’s not tied up at his day job, Collen is excitedly promoting his latest side project, the band he put together with singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook, drummer Forrest Robinson, and Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo.

Together they recorded Delta Deep, an album of Earthy blues and hard rockin’ covers of such songs as Deep Purple’s “Mistreated,” and Humble Pie’s “Black Coffee.” Collen pulled out some new tricks for the album, including slide guitar. He also dug deep into the soundtrack of his youth, which -- besides the usual Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Hendrix -- included a healthy dose of B.B. King and the blues.

Guitar.com spoke with Collen about Delta Deep, Def Leppard, and da blooze too. Phil gave us a rundown on his rig, talked about learning slide guitar from Joe Walsh (via Youtube), and told us a little about the upcoming Def Leppard album.

As a bonus, he passed along the settings he uses with his Fender Cyber-Twin amp -- so if you’ve got one of those, dig in, dial it up, and post your best Def Leppard covers in the Guitar.com forums.

And before he left us, the shirtless wonder even gave us some serious fitness tips.

Here’s what Phil had to say:

Guitar.com: Hi Phil, It’s Adam with Guitar.com

Collen: Hey, how you doing?

Guitar.com: Good. How are you?

Collen: Great, actually. I just got back off a promo tour with Def Leppard. And the next day after I got home, I had the Delta Deep thing, and our first gig a week later. And then the day after that, we’re off to Puerto Rico with Def Leppard again, so it’s non-stop. But it’s cool. It’s what I’ve been doing, really, for 30 years. I’m cool with that and I do have the energy to keep going and keep up with it. So, it’s pretty cool.

Delta Deep Album featuring Def Leppard's Phil CollenGuitar.com: So, this new album, Delta Deep, there’s some pretty rockin’ stuff on this. I know it’s kind of being called a bit of a blues album, but it’s a pretty rockin’ blues album.

Collen: Oh, thank you. Yeah, It’s an expression. It’s artistic expression, you know? I think we get a lot of stuff out of the blues. The blues was, in the first place, you know, it started from slavery, then it was spiritual songs, and gospel, and blues. And it was getting something out that you couldn’t quite get out normally because, in that case, people we’re being beaten over the head and all sorts of things.

We have two African-Americans in the band. My wife is African-American. Some of these songs are about different things as well. There are some slavery songs, there are some songs about stuff going on. It’s a whole different thing. So, that’s really where the blues part comes from.

But, you know, we wrote these songs and they just took off and went their own way. A song like “Whiskey,” it sounds like a jazz song to me. And then, there’s bits of R&B. And “Down in the Delta” is like full on Zeppelin-type rock, really. So, yeah, it all fit. It all felt very natural, so we just went with it.

Guitar.com: Have you spent a lot of time in your life just sitting around playing bluesy stuff, like when you’re home alone or something?

Collen: Well, when I first started playing, my first guitar -- I was 16 years old. I couldn’t actually play. But, on my sixteenth birthday, I got a guitar and this album that had Hendrix on it, BB King, Shuggie Otis, Roy Buchanan, Duane Allman – all of those guys. The blues guys. And the stuff that I learned, you know, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Hendrix, they were second degree, if you like, blues players. So, I, kind of, got it second-hand from them.

So, I understood where it comes from. And they’re real great players. They have this anguish that you could hear in the playing, there’s fire that will actually come out. There are so many guys these days, they profess to play the blues, but there’s absolutely no vibe and no fire, no feel. So, we really wanted to do that, the expression part of it, you know?

It’s weird: Lot’s of music, you know, R&B, and soul. The soul got taken out of soul, you know? Even rap music -- you have the social commentary that got taken out of that and became a pale imitation of itself. And that’s what happens with commercialized stuff, and people standing up and doing a style on it. That’s what I hear all the time. So it was really refreshing for us to get in there (and record).

And when we play live, you know, Robert DeLeo, Forrest Robinson, me and Debbi, one minute it sounds, kind of, very subtle and bluesy or something, the next minute it sounds like Rage Against the Machine. And we’re obviously not going to stop that flow because it’s so exciting, it just has a real vibe, so we’re having a blast.
 

See the Lyric Video from Delta Deep for "Down In the Delta"

 

Guitar.com: Cool. This album that you mentioned, what was this? Some various artists album?

The Guitar AlbumCollen: Yeah. It was called The Guitar Album. I was home in England just about a month ago, and I was pulling out my vinyl. I was looking for it, and I actually pulled it out. It’s in my flight case somewhere on the way to Japan, so I’ll see it in November, I guess. I’ll bring it home. But, yeah, the vinyl, it was really cool. Everyone on it is just perfect.

Guitar.com: Cool. And also, with you coming out with this album at this time and with the recent passing of B.B. King, was he a big influence on you?

Collen: He was. I heard him from the get go. Interesting enough, I got that album on my sixteenth birthday. He was singing “Sweet Sixteen.” And on my fifty-sixth birthday, I went to see B.B. King. And I met him and I said, “Look, I got this album. You were singing ‘Sweet Sixteen,’ and it was my sixteenth birthday, and that’s when I started playing guitar, and that was 40 years ago.”

So, he started singing “Happy Birthday” to me, which just blew me away. So, that was really nice. That was my… I was fifty-seven last Thursday, so it was a year before that. That was actually really cool.

Guitar.com: That was cool. He was a really nice guy.

Collen: Yeah, absolutely. And a great player. You knew him in an instant, on the radio -- not just for singing, but the guitar playing. You could tell just straight away. So it’s pretty unique. Very cool.

Guitar.com: Did you listen to the Live at the Regal album like a bunch of people?

Collen: Absolutely. You know, just anything. I got the album, but I think just hearing -- even the recordings -- a lot of the guys used to just play live in the studio, so that’s what you would get. Same deal with, like, Aretha and stuff like that, you know? That was real. And some of the early Motown stuff, it was just great stuff, and these guys just took it on. It was amazing.

Guitar.com: Yeah. You have a home studio, right?

Collen: A lot of this stuff I just do on my laptop. For the last five years, literally, some of the stuff you hear on Def Leppard records, I’ve done at my coffee table at home. And a lot of this stuff on Delta Deep.

I’ve got a Pro Tools setup upstairs where I do vocals, but for the most part I use my Mac. And I use {Native Instruments] Guitar Rig 5. I think they’re on version 6 now, but I use 5. And pretty much every song on that album was done on that, I think. Yeah, at least nine of the songs on the album were recorded on Guitar Rig – I just plug in to the Mac.

Guitar.com: What do you for drums?

Collen: For drums? That’s live. The drums and the bass is Forrest Robinson playing his ass off and Robert DeLeo, you know, he plays in Stone Temple Pilots, he is just killing it on bass. So, for those two guys we went to a studio and did the bass and drums.

Guitar.com: But, if you’re at home and you’re just coming up with something, are you using EZDrummer or something like that?

Collen: Yeah, absolutely. That’s exactly what I use, you know, Superior Drummer, yeah.

Guitar.com: So, your relationship with Debbi is a family relationship in a sense, right?

The Delta Deep Band: Robert DeLeo, Debbi Blackwell-Cook, Forrest Robinson, Phil CollenCollen: It is. She’s my wife’s Godmother and she sang at our wedding. And she’s been singing since she was two, in the church. She’s 62-years-old. And she’s just got it down, you know? She’s just got that thing, with the expression.

Again, I don’t hear that anymore. I just don’t hear that style of singing unless, you know, obviously when you see the Stones, you see Lisa Fischer getting up and doing a little solo. But, actually, it’s kind of very rare. It just kind of follows that commercial thing – if someone can sing, they end up making them sound like everyone else. So, Debbi’s expression is just wonderful.

We first started off just sitting around the house. I’m playing acoustic, and she just starts singing. And before you know it we’ve covered Motown songs in people’s front rooms. We ended doing a charity thing and a local TV thing, and people were going “Wow, where can we buy this?” And we go, “Well, we’re just goofing around.”

So, we actually sat down and wrote the songs. It’s actually me, Debbi, and Helen -- my wife. We actually wrote m all the songs -- except for the covers. And again, they’ve got a different flow on them. My wife’s grandmother -- she raised my wife -- was actually still picking cotton in the country in North Carolina when she was five, until she managed to get away from that..

So, you know, some of that stuff comes out in the songs. Debbi lost one of her sons to gun violence two years ago, so, a lot of this stuff comes out. But I, certainly, being a white male who is kind of privileged, I wouldn’t be able to… I can relate to their pain, obviously, but these things just don’t happen to everyday people. But they happen to black people a lot. So, a lot of the songs are written about that, you know? And it comes out in the songs. So it’s very cool that everyone gets a chance to express themselves. I think you hear it in the music as well.

The reason I picked up guitar was to get something out. I never really had teenage angst like my buddies in the East End of London, which was really rough when I was growing up. I never had that problem because I had an escape valve, and that’s just letting off music. So, for me, it was a tool of expression to write songs and learn how to play the thing. And it was like just this raw, kind of way to express. So, it’s just wonderful. The band as a whole, you know, we get to let that out one way or another.

Guitar.com: Right. And Debbi actually sang with Luther Vandross, I believe?

Collen: Yeah. They were backup singers together, back in the day. And then she toured with Michael Buble as a backup singer. So she’s done stuff, but she’s also a grandmother of 10 and a mother of five, so…

Guitar.com: Wow.

Collen: Yeah, she’s been busy her whole life and just being here is very important, you know?

Guitar.com: Yeah, very cool. So, you’ve had a relationship with the other guys for quite a long time too.

Collen: Absolutely, yeah.

Watch Phil and Def Leppard Perform Before and NFL Game at Wembley Stadium

 

Guitar.com: Which is really cool – being able to play with old band members and old friends.

Collen: Absolutely. It’s great. Paul Cook and Simon -- we actually played in another band, Man Raze. They’re on the track “Black Coffee.” Joe [Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott] obviously sings on “Mistreated,” which is one of my favorite vocals of Joe, which is kind of weird. We’re singing and playing together every single night for 30-something years, and then you watch him work on that and he just kills it. It’s amazing. So, and I asked David Coverdale to come down and he did this beautiful duet thing with Debbi. So it’s really cool.

Guitar.com: Right, very cool. So, how are you fitting this album release in with your day job?

Def LeppardCollen: It’s difficult, but I’m making it work. You just have to find time. We’ll have our first gig next week in L.A. We’ve been rehearsing. I got back from Scandinavia on Sunday, I think, and then Monday we were rehearsing, so, you know, I dig it. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. It is a bit frantic, but I just love the energy. And we just have to get it done.

So, yeah, when we want to tour, we will have to tour Europe. We want to tour the States. We want to do festivals. So it’s just a matter of getting of getting them in. Obviously, Stone Temple Pilots plays as well. And Forrest, he played -- among other things -- he replaced Steve Gadd in the Crusaders, which is huge -- the Jazz Crusaders.

He can go from John Bonham to Billy Cobham in about two seconds flat. It’s just amazing. He just gets this thing going. So getting all the schedules together and figuring out when we’re going to do it is difficult, but we’re really excited about it.

Guitar.com: Yeah. So, it might be a while though before you get to tour with this, right?

Collen: A proper tour, yeah, but I think we’ll be doing gigs in between all the time.

Guitar.com: Yeah. So, you’re looking forward to the Styx and Tesla jaunt too, right?

Collen: Yeah. You know, we’ve toured with those guys tons of times. And we just had probably my favorite tour of Europe that we’ve ever done. It was different bands every night, you know, supporting and everything. But we just had a blast. It was a different vibe.

So it just keeps improving. We just keep trying harder, you know? At the end of the day, when a lot of these bands have fallen apart, and split up, and had reunions, and lose all their integrity -- we’re still there making records.

We have a new album coming out in October, and we still have that kind of integrity thing going. I think it’s the best thing Def Leppard’s done in 20 years. It’s like massive guitars all over the place, more vocals than we’ve done since Hysteria, so, you know, just multi-track stuff like crazy. And super melodic. Some songs sound like full on rock, and there are other songs that sound like Top 40. So, every song is kind of its own entry, its own project, if you like.

Guitar.com: Yeah. Is that album done?

Collen: Yeah. It is. It comes out in October, late October. So, we literally just finish the U.S. tour and we get the album out for when we play in Japan actually. It comes out in Japan, so we’ll have the new record there.

Guitar.com: Cool. What’s it called?

Collen: Def Leppard.
 

Watch the Official Music Video for "Pour Some Sugar On Me"

 

Guitar.com: Okay. That’s easy. So, what’s the difference between the gear that you would use for the Delta Deep album and the Def Leppard stuff?

Collen: It’s exactly the same.

Guitar.com: Okay.

Phil Collen, Def LeppardCollen: It’s exactly the same. Some of the guitars are different. I actually used a Strat, like I’ve got this ‘90s Strat with a rosewood neck on it, and it’s got DiMarzio Cruisers on it. They’re kind of a bit harder than a regular single coil, but not full on humbucker. They’re actually kind of great. I did a lot of the solos – the song called “Miss Me,” and stuff like that – you hear that it’s obviously a Strat. Other stuff is basically a PC1, a Jackson PC1, on almost everything else.

And I  got the chance to use my ’54 Gibson 175 on the song “Whiskey.” And I’ve also got this 330, a ’63 330, which -- it’s broken. Only one of the pickups works, which is luckily the neck one.

So all the licks and everything that are on the song “Whiskey,” I did on that. It was the first time I’ve ever recorded with it. I’ve had it for years. It was just nice getting some of those guitars out, but for the most part I used the PC1.

Guitar.com: What did you say was up with the neck pickup?

Collen: Oh, the neck pickup on the 330 is the only one that works. The bridge pickup, I’ve got to get it fixed. It’s something with the wires.

Guitar.com: But, with that neck pickup you had that nice, rich tone anyway.

Collen: Absolutely, yeah. And my 175 only has one pickup which is the neck one anyway, so that was nice and warm as well. It’s great.

Guitar.com: I was looking at a video you shot at the morning show at KLOS in Los Angeles. It says they published this two years ago, but you and Debbi were singing. And the guitar tone was massive, man. What were you using that day? What were you playing through?

Collen: Fender put this little G-Dec. Do you remember the G-Dec? You could punch in and you could just play with them. It was the second G-Dec, it wasn’t the very first one. It was the second one, which I still use. It sounds great. I’ve actually done gigs with it. Me and Debbi actually did a thing in a theater, and I’m like, “There’s no way I’m going to hear this thing.” But I put it there anyway. I just tilted it up and used this thing and it sounded killer. So, it shocked me. I actually just used one of the standard presets on there as well and like, “Wow!” It was on fire!.

Guitar.com: Yeah, it was massive tone. Those G-Decs -- you can plug in stuff to them, right? You can plug in an mp3 player or CD player, right? Or you can plug into it and play drum tracks through it, or whatever?

Collen: Absolutely. They’ve got loops there. Different musicians put these loops in, like Gary Hoey, and other people. And you just jam along with it. It’s a great idea. And I think they’ve got Page in it. But, it was such a great idea. But the real bummer is that less and less kids learn how to play guitar. They just want to… They like the idea of it, but they don’t really want to put the effort in.

Guitar.com: I know.

Watch Phil and Debbi Perform at KLOS

 

Collen: So, I’m fortunate with things like that. When I was a kid, you didn’t see me because I was just playing all the time.

Guitar.com: Yeah, I hear ya. You know, I have a Fender Cyber-Twin which -- I don’t think they’re making those anymore -- but all kinds of guys, clinic guys, like – Do you know Greg Koch?

Collen: Not offhand.

Guitar.com: He’s phenomenal, just a phenomenal player. He did a lot of clinics for Fender. And guys like him were creating tones for this amp, because you could tweak it and you could load new sounds into it via MIDI, or USB.

Collen: Right.

Guitar.com: So, yeah, it’s another one of those amps where you could do that kind of stuff. More and more amps are going that route these days. It’s pretty cool that users can tweak and share sounds, you know?

Phil Collen, Def LeppardCollen: Yeah, absolutely. I actually use a Cyber-Twin as well. Actually, I was on Jimmy Fallon -- I jammed with the Roots and everything -- and I played this Cyber-Twin. And I loaded all my presets from home on to the one in New York, and it sounded exactly the same. And actually, the big gig we’re doing next week -- I’ve got my Def Leppard C rig, which is my Marshall JMP-1, which I’ve been using for like 15 years, and a Fractal. And it’s my C-rig – we have an A rig, we have a B rig, and we have a C rig.

I think for the show I’m actually going to use a Cyber-Twin through two Marshall cabs because it just sounds killer. It’s more suited to this sound, you know? It’s interesting because the other thing (the Fractal) is a little more processed, which sounds ridiculous because, you know, you’d think that a Fender Cyber-Twin would sound more processed. But in this environment it actually sounds great. It’s a Cyber-Twin head I’m using this week, so yeah it’s very cool.

Guitar.com: Okay. Would you share some of your settings with me?

Collen: Sure. Absolutely.

Guitar.com: Okay. Would you be okay if I share those with the Guitar.com community?

Collen: Sure, absolutely.

Guitar.com: That would be so awesome, man.

Click Here to See Phil Collen's Amp Settings for the Fender Cyber-Twin

Phil Collen Jams on the Cyber-Twin in an Episode of Guitar Center Sessions

 

Collen: You know, so many things make a difference. You know, I play really aggressively. I use .013 to .054 gauge strings and I’m using that with picks, so all of those things make a difference to the sound, obviously. Yeah, but it’s smoking, it’s really good.

Guitar.com: You use 13s?

Collen: Yeah. Actually, on the Def Leppard album we actually used .014 to .056, but… I had an accident a couple of years ago. My tendon slid off the bone. I was getting into a boxing ring, and I just landed on the floor, and it just slid off. So, I had to have it stitched back on and I couldn’t play guitar for six weeks.

And then when I came back, I actually pretty much learned again. I had to sit down and play scales on .010 gauge strings which is like, they’re like cotton for me because I’m so used to .013s, but even that was a bit painful at first, and the wrist was really weak. And then I got over that, and before you knew it, it’s back up to the 13s and 14s.

Guitar.com: What were you doing in a boxing ring?

Phil Collen, Def LeppardCollen: I’ve done martial arts, kickboxing, boxing, and stuff for years. So I was just getting in the boxing ring to do a bit of that. But they cut that thing pretty short. I can’t really pound very hard in my left hand anymore. I can, probably, but I don’t want to. I’m a bit scared to do that. But I train all the time. I trained the last three days actually.

Guitar.com: Yeah. Wait, so what tendon did you cut?

Collen: It just slid off, it slid off the bone. It was really weird. It’s gross. It was the second finger on my right hand. So, obviously, with the guitar playing… But, I wasn’t that bummed. I saw this great surgeon in Paris and he said, “Yeah, I can stitch this on.”

But, we were just about to start a tour. And I turned up first, and me and Rick Allen started playing a song, and I said, “Shit, I can’t play that,” so we dropped about five songs. I got Vivian to play a couple of my solos because I literally couldn’t do it, because every time I used even my little finger, the tendon would pop, and it sounded like I had Turrets on the guitar. It was like, you know, just playing all this weird stuff, bum notes and everything. So I was like “Whoa.” So, that was a little bit embarrassing.

And that lasted for that tour. It got a little better toward the end. I figured out ways to get around it. Then after the surgery I learned how to play slide guitar, which I’ve never done before. And there’s a couple of tracks on the Delta Deep album where I played slide for the first time.

Guitar.com: Right. Yeah, there are some awesome stuff on there, some awesome, real, Delta-sounding kind of stuff on there too, along with the rock stuff.

Collen: Oh, thank you.

Guitar.com: So in the last few years, did you dig out all kinds of old blues stuff and listen real hard again, and work on it?

Phil Collen, Vivian Campbell, Def LeppardCollen: Actually, I didn’t. I learned to play slide in 10 minutes. I swear I did. I went on YouTube. And I always loved Joe Walsh’s slide playing. Honestly, it’s his thing. He goes, “Okay, tune the guitar like this, and put your finger here.” And I’m actually copying this Joe Walsh thing. So I need to learn it from Duane Allman, who is another one. Ry Cooder, Duane Allman. And Bonnie Raitt, actually: I love her slide playing..

So all this stuff was in my head, I just didn’t know how to put it into practice. And, you know, like I said, 10 minutes of a little tutorial technique and everything, and you know, you express it. You know how it goes in your head. I just technically didn’t know how to do it. Before long -- within a day, actually -- I just tried doing this stuff that I otherwise imagined I’d want to play, which was really cool, I’ve got to say.

So, no, I didn’t really go down and learn any new stuff or go back. There was so much in there that was just wanting to get out anyway, and like I said, it’s stuff I otherwise listen to. And not just guitar players. Singers, you know? Singers who express suffering and pain. Aretha Franklin. Merry Clayton. Just a lot of that stuff. [Editor’s note: Merry Clayton sang the duet with Mick Jagger on the Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”]

Guitar.com: Right. Do you have a Dobro?

Collen: No. I’m just getting one. I was getting a Regal, I think. My guitar tech, John Zocco, is an amazing player. He’s going to give me his. He’s got one he never plays, so I’m actually going to get into that pretty soon.

Guitar.com: Yeah. I want to get one of those. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

Collen: Yeah. They’re great.

Guitar.com: They’re so cool. So, you went open tuning on that then, right?

Collen: Yeah. Tune it to E, at Joe Walsh’s request, you know?

Guitar.com: Yeah. See, I’ve always tortured myself, trying to force myself to play slide in standard tuning, and then never been happy with it. And, you know, it’s like, “Come on, man. Just put it in open tuning like you’re supposed to and go for it.”

Phil Collen, Def LeppardCollen: And away you go. And Duane Allman and Joe Walsh -- that sounds good enough for me, you know? You tune it like this and away you go.

Guitar.com: Yeah. So, you use, like 13s and 14s on all your guitars these days?

Collen: Yes. I’ve done for about 10 years, yeah.

Guitar.com: Wow. That’s pretty heavy duty.

Collen: Yeah. I hit so hard…

Guitar.com: Yeah. And what kind of effects?

Collen: No effects. Just the Fractal on Def Leppard stuff. I don’t have pedalboards, you know.

Guitar.com: Okay.

Collen: And my tech does my changes. I have so many vocals, there’s no way I’d be able to do pedals as well. So, it just magically changes, you know, our solo presets come on.  And I just use a little bit of delay and chorus on certain things, but other than that, it’s pretty straight. It’s just straight, and I back the guitar off as well.
 

Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell Perform Early Def Leppard Classic as "Ded Flatbird: The World's Greatest Def Leppard Tribute Band"

 

Guitar.com: So, like, for overdrive you just crank the guitar volume?

Collen: Absolutely. Yeah.

Guitar.com: Okay. So, would you say, typically, if you’re not playing a solo, you’re not playing lead, where would that volume knob be? Would it be at, like, 5 or something?

Collen: No. It’s always flat out. It’s just the solos that it kicks in. It’s the same sound, it just goes up a few dB. And the really clean stuff, like on some songs like “Love Bites” and “Hysteria,” I just back the guitar down to about 6 or something like that, but I’ve still got a bit of dirt in it.

Guitar.com: So, you’re saying your tech hits an overdrive pedal or something?

Collen: No overdrive pedals, it’s just a dB booster.

Guitar.com: Okay, just boost, sure.

Collen: Well, it’s not even a boost. It’s actually just the next preset. The Marshall JMP, I’ve got the volume at like 11 or something for rhythm. It’s the same sound, identical, it just goes up, you know, to volume 12 on that one.

Guitar.com: Your amp goes to 11 and 12?

Collen: (Laughs) 

Guitar.com: That’s not fair. Well, anyway, when I contacted Melissa, your publicist, I said, “Well, first of all, can you have Phil come over and help me with my workout routine?”

Collen: Okay. (Laughs) 

Guitar.com: What do you do, man?

Def Leppard, Phil CollenCollen: The main thing, if you want to get ripped, that look that everyone says “ripped,” the thing is actually low body fat. So, it really comes down to the food part. And then you’ve got to be active, you’ve got to do something. It doesn’t have to be crazy, but you have to do something. And if you want the muscles to pop out, you have to increase the weight.

There are so many people I see in gyms and they’re not sweating enough, so their cardio routine is worthless. Or they’re not lifting heavy enough weight, so their weight routine is kind of useless. And then they go and eat crap, and salt, and sugar, and beer, and God knows what..

So, it’s a little bit of discipline, but it’s just working the mechanics of that, really. And you can do different things. Like for cardio, my cardio of choice is kickboxing – I have bags and stuff all over the place, and I’m just constantly kicking at it.

And an interesting thing happened: I kick; I do head kicks every day. I’m just like constantly kicking up there. We’ve just done Europe, we were there for three weeks, and I didn’t have access to any of that stuff. So, I started getting the worst back pains, and hips, and everything, because I wasn’t doing that. So you’ve got to be consistent as well.

Guitar.com: Right.

Guitar.com: Okay. So, you know, we’re all impressed with your guitar playing, dude, but at your age, your physique… I called my wife over here to take a look.

Mrs. St. James: When’s he coming to visit?

Collen: (laufgs) That’s very cool. Thank you.
 

Check out Video of Phil's Workout and His Favorite Training Device

 

Guitar.com: Well, hey, man. Thank you for talking to us at Guitar.com. and I will text you and would love to get those Cyber-Twin settings.

Collen: Absolutely. Sure, absolutely. All right. Very cool. You take care.

Guitar.com: Alright you too, man. Take care.

Find Out More:

Phil Collen Website 
Def Leppard Website

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