Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell talked about his bandmate Phil Collen recently hitting the road with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci as part of the G3 trek, telling 101.9 The Keg:
“Phil just did the G3 festival with Joe Satriani earlier this year – he was out for about three months.
“I went to see the show in LA, and Phil’s playing guitar much, much better than ever; it’s really made him an even better guitar player and really upped his game.
“And I’d like to think that the same is true when I go out and do shows with Last in Line. When I come back to Def Leppard, I have a renewed vigor with which I approach that work.”
Asked if side projects keep things “fresh” for him and the rest of the Leppard guys, Vivian replied:
“It absolutely does for me. I think there’s a few things that keep bands vital. For Def Leppard, one of those things is that we continue to occasionally make new albums. It’s been a couple of years; I think we’ll do another one.
“We still do that, even though some people say, ‘Why do you even bother? People just wanna hear your hits. You do very good business by just going out and playing your hit songs.’ But it’s important for the lifeblood of Def Leppard as a band that we continue to be a creative unit.
“It’s also important for me as a guitar player that I really exercise that muscle, and I do that with Last in Line. It’s a different kind of challenge to Def Leppard shows, and I’m sure Joe [Elliott, vocals] and Phil feel the same way when they work with their side projects.”