VIVIAN CAMPBELL Talks About Playing With THIN LIZZY, New DEF LEPPARD Music

Thomas S. Orwat Jr. of RockMusicStar.com recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD/THIN LIZZY guitarist Vivian Campbell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

RockMusicStar.com: As most people know you as a guitarist from DEF LEPPARD, some may not be aware that you’ve been in Thin Lizzy for a few months now. How has the experience been so far?

Vivian Campbell: It’s been brilliant. Musically, it’s very exciting and it has kind of reignited my passion for playing guitar. I really haven’t had to play this much guitar since 1983. When I was a teenager, I learned their entire “Live & Dangerous” album. It’s been a really privilege to be given the opportunity to live out that fantasy.

RockMusicStar.com: You just returned from a THIN LIZZY tour of Europe. How was the audience reaction to the new version of the band?

Vivian Campbell: It was really, really good. The tour had sold well in advance. The band sounded really good, we sound like what THIN LIZZY should sound like. It was very authentic, so the response from the people was very strong. There was also a strong viral response on the internet as well, as from the live performance videos posted on YouTube. Ticket sales really picked up because of that. It’s definitely better than we expected.

RockMusicStar.com: Was there any hesitation on your part to join THIN LIZZY?

Vivian Campbell: No, it was a no-brainer. But, it’s not a permanent situation. I’m going on tour with DEF LEPPARD this summer, so I’m kind of a semi-permanent member. They are going to get someone else to fill in for me for this summer and fall. I still have a bunch of shows to do with THIN LIZZY before I go back to DEF LEPPARD, however. I’ll be doing the shows on the U.S. East Coast later this month. My last date with THIN LIZZY, for now, will be at the Slane Castle festival in Ireland, on May 28. That will probably be my last gig with THIN LIZZY for the foreseeable future.

RockMusicStar.com: DEF LEPPARD will also be releasing a live CD this summer, called “Mirrorball”. But in addition to the live tracks, there are also three band new studio tracks as well. Can you tell us a little about the style and sound of the new tracks?

Vivian Campbell: Well, they are three very different songs. It was really a last second decision to put new songs on the CD. Originally, it was just going to be a live album. It was pointed out to us, that it would be beneficial to put some new songs on as well. So, Joe Elliott wrote a song, Rick Savage wrote a song, Phil Collen wrote a song, and I wrote one. Unfortunately, mine got in last. So it didn’t make the cut. The Sav song is pretty epic, The Phil song is pretty LEPPARD-like. Of the three, the one that really stands out to me is the one that Joe wrote, called “Undefeated”. That is probably the only one of the three that we are going to perform on this upcoming tour. It’s a pretty amazing song. I really think that out of all of us, Joe is the best at writing simpler songs. All it takes is three chords and a melody. Joe always seems to come up with the best ones. But, yeah we have three new songs, plus a disc of live material, and a DVD of concert footage — with some backstage shenanigans.

RockMusicStar.com: How would you describe your working relationship with your co-guitarist Phil Collen and how does your guitar style differ from him?

Vivian Campbell: Phil is a lovely, lovely guy. There is no competition or rivalry like that. I think that we too old for that shit. Maybe twenty-five years ago, it would have been a bit different. But we are very different guitar players. We have totally different styles. When we are in the studio and we are trying ideas for songs, frequently we will switch guitars, to try different things. But even when I play through his guitar and amp , I sound nothing like Phil. The same thing happens when he picks up my Les Paul and plays, he sounds like him. A guitar player’s tone and style comes primarily from his hands, and how they approach the instrument. Phil and I are different, he practically picks every note he plays, and I have much more of a metal style. I’m also more blues influenced, and he’s more of a technical guitar player. It’s very different, so I think that we complement one another. Plus, he is very easy to get along with, so there are no problems there.

Read the entire interview from RockMusicStar.com.

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