Def Leppard's Rick Allen • Page 2

Talks Guitar Hero, heroin and GTA IV.

Eurogamer: So just how rock and roll is Def Leppard these days? On a scale of one to ten, do you go up to 11?

Rick Allen: Oh man, about once a year. That's about all the body can stand these days. We're really boring. But really funny - when you get the five of us in a room together, it's off the scale. Any kind of excess has fallen by the wayside and been replaced by intense humour, open-minded to the point of obscenity. It's very funny to be part of this organisation and there's always something to be thankful for and something to laugh at, and there are always people to appreciate.

Eurogamer: More nice cups of tea than champagne and hookers?

Rick Allen: Yeah, that's about it. Peppermint tea as well. I'm off the caffeine at the moment.

Eurogamer: That's not very rock and roll, is it?

Rick Allen: No, it's not. It's sad really. I've been off the caffeine for about three or four months. I go to sleep when I should be going to sleep, and I don't feel like I need coffee when I wake up. Cos that was starting to get me, too much coffee. Although at least it's not too much heroin, you know? Hahaha.

Eurogamer: Um, yep, haha.

Rick Allen: I guess addictive crutches come in many different flavours.

Eurogamer: Some in syringes, some in coffee cups.

Rick Allen: Absolutely. So I'm doing pretty good at the moment. Peppermint tea, nice fruit-topped croissants [gestures at coffee table full of nice fruit-topped croissants].

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We don't take our shirts off when playing Guitar Hero - perhaps it's the secret.

Eurogamer: Never mind all that, when was the last time you booted a telly out of a hotel window?

Rick Allen: I don't think I ever did. But we did trash a couple of hotel rooms back in the day with fire extinguishers, which was quite fun. The dry powder ones especially. It coats everything in the room with a very fine powder, and it looks like you haven't been in the room for about 10,000 years.

Eurogamer: Not that you'd be advising our readers to start trashing hotel rooms with fire extinguishers...

Rick Allen: Oh no no no no. No, no, no, no. No. We did get into trouble. Once we set a fire extinguisher off while someone was in the room. It just happened to be my brother. He was in there with a girl.

Eurogamer: She must have thought she was giving him the best night of his life.

Rick Allen: I'm sure.

Eurogamer: According to my extensive research on Wikipedia, Def Leppard has now sold 65 million albums worldwide. What's the secret to your success?

Rick Allen: I think we've written some really decent songs, but I think the real secret to our success is being able to stay together for 30 years. The life expectancy for most bands today is four or five minutes. It's sad, in a way; they don't get to really experience what it's like to have history.

Eurogamer: Steps didn't quite make it to 30 years, did they? I miss them.

Rick Allen: Yeah. It's scary that people can just disappear by the wayside. But we're very blessed, we've been given the foresight to realise why we're together, and really it's the friendship.

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And here's the game, in case you've forgotten what it looks like.

Eurogamer: What would you say to people who fancy following in your footsteps? Do you think Guitar Hero might help them learn to play, or should they stick to the real thing?

Rick Allen: It's a bit of both, I think. I've heard sometimes it's difficult for a real guitar player to play the game, because you're missing out so many notes. But I think a combination, when you're starting out, is good for dexterity. Then you can move on to the real thing.

Guitar Hero is way less mindless than just sitting down in front of the TV. At least there's interactivity and a sort of educational curve. I saw a YouTube video the other day of somebody on Expert level doing Nine Lives, and that was fantastic. I think if you're a fan, it's a great way to really tear these songs apart and get inside them.

Eurogamer: Have you heard about the new Guitar Hero game that's based almost exclusively around Aerosmith songs?

Rick Allen: Really? That's fantastic.

Eurogamer: It follows the progression of their career, so you join the band when they're just starting out and see how they made it big.

Rick Allen: That's brilliant. Now that sounds more appealing to me. Then there's rhyme to the reason, and the fact it follows their history is clever. I'd love to introduce my own daughter to something like that, a Def Leppard game where she could follow the history of the band. That would be really cool.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is out now along with the Def Leppard track pack, which includes Rock of Ages and Photograph as well as Nine Lives. The track pack costs GBP 3.99 / EUR 4.99. Def Leppard's latest album, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, is also out now.

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