Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen took somewhat of a jab at today's artists, pointing at their lack of integrity and genuine desire to make art.
Chatting with the Examiner, Phil also gave a surprisingly honest opinion regarding MTV's impact back in the day, confessing that although it helped propel his band to superstardom, the iconic channel is also guilty of killing the rock mystique.
"The motivation to be an artist or a singer is to be famous," the guitarist said. "That's all people want to be, so they go on these karaoke shows and that's all they want. They want to be noticed and have people pay attention to them. Back in the day, people wanted to share their art. It was an art form. The Beatles, the Stones, they wanted to express themselves and share that kind of experience, so it was real.
"You don't get that anymore," Collen continued. "They just want to be famous. That whole integrity, if you like, it was everywhere. You listen to the Beach Boys, when they talk about recording and the passion and the pain, all of that. Little Richard, it was about a different era. That doesn't exist now. The artistic thing doesn't exist.
"I think people recognize and they can see pretty clearly that what's coming out now is based on bulls--t and 'Please pay attention to me.' It's like, 'F--k off.' So you go back to Dylan, Hendrix, Zeppelin, killer stuff. People see the mystique of it, which MTV destroyed, but at the same time had a massive part in breaking my band. We got on early there. We were able to share our stuff and be seen," Phil added.
"We were right time, right place, and it helped us, where it killed a lot of artists and it was the final nail in their coffin. It killed the mystique, but in our case it made us famous. So I can see why all these things happen and I love the journey, which I'm still on. It's not anywhere near over. It's just starting, the way I look at it."
Agreeing that "MTV didn't kill the mystique as much as social media," the guitarist concluded, "Everything began something else. Napster kills one thing, then something kills that, and it will continue happening. It’s fascinating. I don't look at it as bitter or negative. I look at it as taking all this experience and making me better."