Joe Elliott’s Plan To Put Def Leppard In The Same League As KISS

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Rock music history has numerous tours that have brought together metalheads’ favorite artists and bands. It is common for musicians to go on tour with each other, bringing them many advantages. It allows the artists to welcome new listeners and play in front of a larger audience since it is not much likely that the two bands share the same fanbase.

The tours may also relieve the bands of taking responsibility by allowing them to divide some labor. By planning a schedule together, they will naturally have a larger team and a broader network supporting them. They can also boost their creativity by collaborating since they spend a lot of time together, giving them new ideas and fresh perspectives about music. Two of the prominent bands of the rock scene, Def Leppard and KISS, also once hit the road together.

Def Leppard Joined KISS For Their 40th Anniversary World Tour

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On June 23, 2014, KISS launched their ‘40th Anniversary World Tour‘ in West Valley City, Utah. After touring in North America through the end of November, the band made their way to Asia and South America in 2015. Then, they hit the road across Europe in the summer of 2015 and ended the extensive tour with final performances in Australia and New Zealand.

While Kobra and the Lotus and The Dead Daisies performed as the opening acts, Def Leppard co-headlined the North American leg of the tour with KISS and played in the first 42 shows. Joe Elliott and Gene Simmons had first discussed the idea when they played together as part of a rock and roll all-stars tour two years ago. Just before hitting the road with KISS, Elliott talked about his plan to put Def Leppard in the same league as KISS in an interview he joined.

What Did Joe Elliott Think Of Playing Hits On The KISS Tour?

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott shared his thoughts on hitting the road with KISS just before the beginning of the tour. The singer reflected on whether they would prefer to go with their hit songs or the lesser-known ones. Elliott explained that they were not in competition with KISS on who was a better band, yet they would do whatever they needed to do anyway.

The rocker knew KISS would play their hit songs, so doing otherwise would be foolish of them. They didn’t want to hear from the crowd that they handed down all the show to KISS by not performing their best-known tracks. According to the singer, there was a responsibility coming with producing hit songs, so they were ready to take it.

In the interview, Joe Elliott said the following:

We’re not in competition with KISS, but we’re not stupid. They’re going to play their top tunes; we’d be f*cking stupid not to. We don’t want to come across as, ‘Well, you just handed it to them by playing B-sides that came out in Holland and Japan to an American audience.’ I don’t care what the critics think. If you can’t handle the responsibility of a hit record, don’t write one.”

Joe Elliott thought they somehow had to keep pace with the tour by playing Def Leppard’s hit songs to avoid losing the audience. Thus, he aimed to put Leppard in the same league as KISS with this plan.