Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott Compares Himself To Brian Johnson

In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Def Leppard‘s Joe Elliott, opened up about his natural singing voice, which is naturally more pop, and even admitted that he’s not quite the rock powerhouse like AC/DC’s Brian Johnson.

Growing up, Joe Elliott was influenced by a variety of artists who had a unique edge to their sound. He found inspiration in singers like David Essex, Brian Ferry, and David Bowie. Although these artists had a rock element to their music, they leaned more toward the pop and glam rock genres.

These examples shaped Joe’s natural singing voice, which he admits leans more towards pop than rock. He struggled to find his footing as a rock singer when producing harder music with Def Leppard, so a track like ‘Diamond Star Halos’ is more of him with the melodies and fills; however, most of the time, he has guidance from others for his voice to fit harder tracks.

Joe Elliott’s words about his natural rock voice read:

“I actually don’t have a great rock voice; I have a pop voice. I think I honestly think I sing a David Essex song, like ‘Rock On’ better than I sing my own, because I grew up on people that were just edgy. David Essex had a couple of hits that were pretty edgy for a pop singer, and then there was, like, you know Brian Ferry? I don’t sound anything like him, but he was a voice that was unique, and definitely, they were a rock band but a glam rock band.

He added:

“It wasn’t Ponzi pop music; he was just, you know, [David] Bowie, the same thing. It was unique, and I was kind of led down the path of the rock singer when we were producing the hard stuff with Mo, but it was difficult for me to do. I’m not naturally Brian Johnson. I can do it, but if I’m left to my own devices, you listen to ‘Diamond Star Halos,’ and that’s the real me.”

Despite not having a natural rock voice like Brian Johnson, Elliott managed to carve out a successful career with Def Leppard. By acknowledging his natural pop voice and the various unique influences that shaped him, Joe gave fans insight into the effort that goes behind the scenes for Def Leppard music to exist.