Def Leppard: 'You Don't Need Massive Labels Anymore'

"It's a very creative period if you want it to be," says Phil Collen.

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Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen has been speaking with Guitar World about the current state of play in the music industry, and the opportunities available for young bands.

Collen notes that, while it is still possible for young bands to get off the ground, they have to do it on "a different level" to how bands did it in the past:

"You don't have the interruption, you don't have A&R guys or record labels. It's a very creative period if you want it to be. I've heard younger guys and musicians coming out, there's this band in Ireland called the Strypes, they're 15 or 16 years old, and they kind of sound like a cross between early Stones, Pretty Things and the Kinks, and so they've got this retro thing. I think it's different from that point of view."

"You don't have these massive labels jumping on people too much anymore, they play it very safe, but I do think you can be very creative and expressive. I hear that a lot. It depends on what you want to do. If you want to be rich and famous, it's probably not going to happen. If you want to express yourself and share it, then the world is your oyster, you can do anything you want. So on one hand you've got this golden age of creativity because you can make your own records, but you're not going to get as much play out of it. If you want to be famous, which a lot of people want to be, it's a bit tougher."

Def Leppard released a deluxe version of their 1996 album "Slang" last month. The new edition features 30 demos, b-sides and unreleased songs in addition to the original album.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    For all the millionaire musicians talking about how the industry has changed, I find this article the least irritating.
    Agreed, quite tired of hearing these rich geezers say music sucks now because folks arnt lining their pockets with cash. At least his statement acknowledges the difference of fame to good music. Both dont always come hand in hand.
    ''I do think you can be very creative and expressive. It depends on what you want to do. If you want to be rich and famous, it's probably not going to happen'' I'd like to think you can still be very creative/ expressive AND end up rich and famous without a major label. I guess you just have to be um, good!
    Yes you do
    If you want to make a decent amount of money (like he said) To get noticed you just have to ***** yourself out on social media and do other things to get noticed
    Yeeaaaah sure you need them, why do everything the record companies do, for free, with the social networks by your own self?? Pffft that's plain retarded!
    I dunno even if you have to give them money they reach more people. The amount of people who get big on their own with no help is very small. I'm not saying doing it yourself is bad. It's just with the help of an established company you can generally reach more people than doing it yourself.
    Misleading title: he said you don't need them to creatively express yourself, but you do need them in order to become famous (i.e. to play before more than 20 people in your garage). Nice work yet again, UG.
    Didn't he pretty much say the exact opposite in an article last week? I might be thinking of someone else...
    And I think its very good for music in general, that way music can be heard without the money being out there.