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Interview: Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen opens up

Phil Collen joined Def Leppard just in time to play guitar on “Pyromania,” the massive 1983 release with which he and his bandmates emerged at the helm of the pop-metal ‘80s, rocking the charts with hits as emblematic of the day as “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages.” But they really hit their stride a few years later with “Hysteria,” the 12-times-platinum masterstroke that sent three singles to the Top 5 on the Hot 100 —“Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Armageddon It’ and “Love Bites.”

So when Collen says the album they’re releasing in October, their first studio release in seven years, is “the best thing we’ve done since ‘Hysteria’,” he has to know he’s raised the bar on any reasonable expectations for the album. But he doesn’t come off as the kind of guy who overdoes it on the self-promotion.

When friend Chris Epting told him he should write a book about his life, for instance, Collen said, “No, I don’t like the idea of it. It seems kind of very egotistical.” But Epting talked him into it and the resulting “Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard, and Beyond” is being published in October.

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