Def Leppard’s Phil Collen Explains Why Ed Sheeran Became ‘The Role Model’

Following the release of Def Leppard‘s new album, ‘Drastic Symphonies,’ Phil Collen shared his thoughts in an interview with Music Radar. At 65, the guitarist covered a range of topics, including his views on young artists. Ed Sheeran came up as a prime example in this discussion.

During the conversation, a topic was raised about the importance of songs and their execution for new musicians to achieve success in today’s music industry. In his response, Collen stressed the significance of hard work and determination, pointing to Sheeran as a reflection of these qualities.

When asked whether performances mattered, the guitarist explained his viewpoint by saying:

“A hundred percent. It’s integrity. And that’s what’s kept us here; it’s the band’s integrity. It would be so easy to p— and moan about something when you’re playing anywhere live – you’re playing in front of people. You dreamt of this thing. So we get we still get the opportunity to do that, and I think it’s the integrity.

What would I do if I was starting out now? I would play the opening of a letter. There was one thing I remember about Ed Sheeran when he came out, and I was very impressed with what he did. I saw him talking about looping his acoustic guitar, and he’s playing at Camden Lock, and the same day he’d be doing an open mic somewhere. Then he’d be down the subway playing acoustic guitar. That’s what you’ve got to do, and if you can’t do that, then you ain’t got a chance.”

He went on to name the pop singer’s method as the correct way and included Arctic Monkeys in his argument as follows:

“With Ed Sheeran, power to him because he soldiered through that, and he became this great songwriter – this amazing artist. So whether you like him or not, that’s the role model because that’s what you have to do. I remember, again, Arctic Monkeys when they came out.

They were like the biggest band in the little part of Yorkshire because they would play this one gig every week. And then they’d play this other one, then they got this network going, and they’d play their asses off everywhere they could, and before you know it, everyone started believing in that. So that’s what you’ve got to do. There’s so many people that are lazy, and some aren’t even lazy; they just don’t know that it takes so much hard work, and even then, you may fail. So what are you prepared to sacrifice? And that’s really it.”

Of course, Collen’s own efforts did not stop after passing the beginner phase. The musician is currently on the road with Def Leppard for their World Tour that is planned to end in mid-August.