JOE ELLIOTT: How ALISON KRAUSS ended up guesting on two songs on DEF LEPPARD’s new album
In a new interview with Independent.ie, DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliot explained how the acclaimed bluegrass singer Alison Krauss came as a guest on two songs from the band’s upcoming album, “Diamond Star Halos”. According to Elliothe got to know her through ZEPPELIN LEDit is Robert Plante who recorded two albums with Krauss.
“In 2020, wolves [Plant‘s beloved football club] played at Sheffield United [Elliott‘s club] and we had the joke, ” Jo recalled. “He said, ‘What are you doing, kid?’ And I said, ‘Don’t tell anyone, but we’re doing a new album.’ And he said, ‘Oh, I have to say Alison because, annoyingly, you’re his favorite band.
“We had known for a while that she liked us, because she had interviewed us for Q magazine,” Elliot continued. “We accidentally became a favorite of a lot of country artists because our backing vocals were often arranged in a country-type harmonic way because Mutt Lange [who produced the band’s bestselling albums] was a huge country fan and he was like, “Change that major to minor” and we would and it would take [the song] away from that standard rock stuff.”
Word soon reached Elliot that Krauss wanted to participate in the new album. “We sent her ‘Without life’ and “This Guitar” and said, “Pick whichever you like because those are the two songs that suit you best” and she texted me within an hour, “OMG I can’t pick one – I love them both.” And without asking the guys, I said, ‘Why don’t you do both?’ And she did.”
“Diamond Star Halos” will arrive on May 27 via UMe. The sequel to the 2015 self-titled LP has been recorded over the past two years simultaneously in three different countries with Elliot in Ireland, Rick Wild (bass) in England, and Phil Collen (guitar),Viviane Campbell (guitar) and Rick Allen (battery) in the United States. Without the pressure of deadlines or a fixed schedule, they poured all their energy into creating 15 meaningful tracks with a blend of classic spirit and modern fire. Thematically, they nodded to their early collective influences such as david bowie, T.REX and MOTT LE HOOPLE, among others. The title itself refers to T.REXit is “Bang a Gong (Go Ahead)”.
The work for “Diamond Star Halos” follows the pedigree with DEF LEPPARDInstantly recognizable album covers from their famous past. With images from world famous photographer and director Anton Corbijnstyling concepts by Maryam Malakpour and graphics by the British company Munden Brothersthe design really follows the band’s influence through their eyes today.
DEF LEPPARDit is “The Stadium Tour” with MOTLEY CRUE, POISON and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACK HEARTS was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, then 2022, due to the coronavirus pandemic.