Vivian Campbell Says Joe Elliott Isn’t An Ego-Driven Singer Unlike Dio And David Coverdale


During a recent interview with Classic Rock, Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell stated that Joe Elliott is a much more humble singer than Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale and a perfect teammate.

Throughout his career spanning over four decades, Vivian Campbell has made quite a name for himself as one of the most accomplished guitarists in the rock and roll scene. Before joining Def Leppard, the guitarist had a chance to work with many prominent bands like Dio, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, and Sweet Savage. He achieved commercial success and gained greater recognition with Dio.

After three studio albums with Dio, Vivian Campbell joined Whitesnake in 1987 to replace John Sykes. He toured extensively with the group in the following period but was fired from Whitesnake due to musical differences. After a few brief tenures, the guitarist became a member of Def Leppard in 1992, replacing Steve Clark. He has been performing with the band since then.

In an interview, the guitarist explained that Def Leppard is not comparable to the previous bands he worked with due to the collective effort they’ve made together. Neither his tenure in Dio nor Whitesnake satisfied him. Vivian Campbell finds Ronnie James Dio a bit self-centered, while he is also critical of Whitesnake’s constant lineup changes. However, according to the guitarist, Joe Elliott is a much more humble artist than Dio and David Coverdale. He thinks they all intend to put out good music, which gives them a common cause and perfect harmony.

Joe Elliott’s difference compared to Dio and Coverdale in Vivian Campbell’s words:

“There isn’t another band on the planet like this. And what it comes down to is a collective sensibility. My two big experiences prior to Def Leppard were with Dio and Whitesnake, and neither situation worked out well for me. Ronnie James Dio named the band Dio, which tells you all you need to know. And Whitesnake: has there ever been a band in the entire history of rock music that’s had as many musicians pass through the turnstiles?

If David Coverdale had only charged membership, he’d be a gazillionaire! In Def Leppard, it’s different. Joe isn’t your typical ego-driven singer. There’s more humility to it. We’re all in service of the music. And we all look after each other to a certain extent.”

Later in the interview, Vivian Campbell admitted that they’ve dealt with some problems in Def Leppard from time to time, yet they’ve always found a way to work it out somehow. Finding common ground in his works with the band differentiated his experience from previous acts.