Def Leppard Breaks Out

On the road to UCLA

Def Leppard kick off their new and improved band by

playing at a...frat party? Yes, you heard us correctly. Those kings of the

eighties slag heap are going to debut their new album Slag--their first

in four years--at the ZBT frat house on the UCLA campus tonight. Album

Network is sponsoring the show, which kicks off at 7:00 PM on May 9 with an

interview with all five band members on Rockline, followed by Def Leppard doing

five songs on the air. After the radio-broadcast, the band will play a private

show for the Zeebs and 350 of their guests. Why the ZBT's? Neither the band or

Album Network have any enduring ties to this brotherhood, but they just

happened to have the largest space. The whole shebang is going to take place on

their outdoor patio, in Westwood, California--and Album Network had to

go in and build a stage, rent klieg lights, and rent generators to power the

broadcast. The reason Def Leppard are debuting their album this way, according

to the label, "they wanted to do something different. Everything they're doing

is a break from the past. For one thing this new album is not produced by Mutt

Lang--as all of their others were--and focuses more on playing rather than

production. One reason they released Vault last year, to mark the end of

an era. Slang marks the beginning of a new chapter in their

life."

This album was a labor of love, produced by the band and longtime

cohort, Pete Woodroffe in a house in Marbella Spain in an almost bare bones

atmosphere. Gone were the hi-tech stage of the art equipment, replaced by four

eight-track digital VHS machines, and nothing more. In fact one of the tracks,

"Where Does Love Go When It Dies" was recorded outdoors at midnight. After one

listen, you'll find that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves--as well

as a few poignant moments. Drummer Rick Allen plays an acoustic drum kit for

the first time on the record since he lost an arm in a car accident back in

1984--prior to this he only used a custom-made electric drum kit, and there's a

song on the album titled "Blood Runs Cold," about guitarist Steve Clark who

died in 1991. The song is a rather raw look at how the reacted to that

gut-wrenching tragedy.