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Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. The England native discussed The Further Adventures Of …, the forthcoming album from his Mott The Hoople-inspired side project, Down 'N' Outz, as well as the status of new music with Def Leppard and the group's forthcoming tour with Kiss.
"It's just me paying homage to my favorite band of all time. I love the Beatles and I love the Stones but Mott The Hoople are my band," said Elliott regarding Down 'N' Outz. "Some of these songs have been criminally ignored for years and years. … I thought, 'Well, if I can just get my versions into people's subconscious, then they'll go back and [maybe] check out the [original versions]."
Founded in Sheffield, England, in 1977, Def Leppard rose to fame with their third album, 1983's Pyromania, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the hits "Photograph," "Foolin'" and "Rock Of Ages." The band's follow-up, 1987's Hysteria, rose to No. 1 and netted six Top 20 hits, including "Pour Some Sugar On Me" (No. 2), "Armageddon It" (No. 3) and "Love Bites" (No. 1). Pyromania and Hysteria have each attained diamond certification from the RIAA for sales of 10 million copies in the United States — Def Leppard are one of only five bands to have two albums reach that plateau. In 2013 the group released Viva! Hysteria, a live CD/DVD commemorating their Las Vegas residency during which they performed Hysteria in its entirety. Most recently, on Feb. 10 the group released a deluxe edition of their 1996 gold-certified album Slang.
Down 'N' Outz were formed by Elliott, guitarists Paul Guerin and Guy Griffin, drummer Phil Martini, and keyboardist Keith Weir. The quintet's goal was to revisit songs by English rock band Mott The Hoople and associated spin-off projects such as Mott, Ian Hunter and British Lions and help bring them to a wider audience. In 2009 Down 'N' Outz supported Mott The Hoople at one of the band's five concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. The group followed in 2010 with their debut album, My ReGeneration.
Set for release in the United States on April 22, The Further Adventures Of … features 12 songs, including deep Mott The Hoople cuts such as "Rock And Roll Queen," "One Of The Boys," "The Journey," and "Violence." The album was recorded at Joe's Garage, Elliott's studio in Dublin.
Def Leppard — comprising Elliott, drummer Rick Allen, guitarists Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen, and bassist Rick Savage — will launch a co-headlining U.S. tour with Kiss on June 23 in Salt Lake City.
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