Def Leppard are one of the biggest names in rock and roll history. Since forming in 1977, the band have gone on to play all around the world, and have released 12 studio albums (counting a new record released this year, Diamond Star Halos).
During a recent conversation with Listen Next!, band guitarist Phil Collen spoke to a variety of subjects; among those subjects was that of the younger generation of musicians. Specifically, at one point during the conversation, Collen is asked about the next generation of bands and who Def Leppard will “pass the baton to.” In his reply to this, Collen shares that he sees a problem today, that problem being the “TikTok and YouTube crowd.”
The points he shares speak to young artists looking to seek attention, rather than creating art just for the sake of sharing their art. This is what Collen had to say regarding the “baton” question:
“I don’t know. I’m still waiting, actually. You hear a lot of stuff out there, but it’s few and far between. There’s a problem, I think, and I think it’s the TikTok and YouTube crowd.
“When bands or artists would write before, it would be because they wanted to be an artist and wanted to express themselves and write songs and share them and go, ‘Wow, check this out’, as opposed to, ‘Wow, look at me. Please love me.’ I don’t wanna sound like an old dude, but that’s what I noticed. And I’m still waiting for someone like Prince or Zeppelin or something that has a bit more something to it. There’s very little stuff.”
The guitarist goes on to say how awesome it is to see Metallica and Guns N Roses live, but that he doesn’t see that kind of star power anymore. Later in the interview, the interviewer goes on to say there is a “worry” regarding who the next festival headliner will be (in terms of rock music). To this point, the Def Leppard guitarist replies with the following:
“That question comes up quite a bit. [People] go, ‘What about this?’ And I don’t hear anything. I hear derivative stuff and stuff that’s not inspired. You wanna get inspired. So, yeah, I’m still waiting. It’s like in every genre of music. In hip-hop, same deal. You’re waiting to hear – Or R&B. You listen to the old R&B — you listen to Stevie Wonder, you listen to Marvin Gaye and stuff like that — nothing is like that anymore and that kind of soul and vibe and everything. I think we’ve kind of comfortably got into something else that doesn’t really demand that kind of excellence. It’s rare that that kind of talent comes along.”
What do you think of Phil Collen’s feelings? Do you think he is out of touch with today’s scene, or that his feelings on the “TikTok and YouTube crowd” are spot on? You can check out the full video interview featuring Phil Collen below.