During a recent conversation on the No Sleep ‘Til Sudbury podcast, Def Leppard’s guitarist Phil Collen talked about his favorite band ever and expressed his fascination with Sting’s songwriting skills while revealing what he appreciates the most about him.
As you probably know, Phil Collen joined the English band, Def Leppard, back in 1982 and he achieved mainstream fame as the band’s guitarist. He was especially known for his close friendship with Steve Clark and the iconic duo’s great collaboration on stage led to the trademark dual–guitar sound of Def Leppard.
It seems like 1977 was a great year for the English rock scene as it was when The Police and Dire Straits were formed in London and Def Leppard in Sheffield. Although one would expect extreme competition between the band members, in his recent interview Phil Collen proved the exact opposite when he praised The Police and its co-founder Sting.
When asked about his favorite songwriter, Phil Collen said that it was definitely Sting and went on to explain why. Collen said that his talent extends from writing unforgettable classics to creating a ‘silly pop song.’ He went on to talk about The Police which he said is his favorite band ever and talked about his favorite Sting-written songs.
Collen said that ‘Walking On The Moon‘ still sends shivers down his spine and that he really wishes he was the one who wrote it. He went on to talk about the amazing contributions that the band made to the rock culture with their fusion of reggae, rock, jazz, and punk. He also added that all the band members are still amazing and that he was pleasantly surprised when he went to their concert after they reformed.
Here’s what Phil Collen said during the interview:
“I think Sting was and sometimes is, my favorite songwriter. He can walk the line of, actually, great songwriting and pop silliness. He can get a little blasé — he can do anything he wants from a songwriting point of view… ‘Every Breath You Take’ is one of the classic songs of all time. ‘Walking On The Moon’ had actually done something to me as well; it was a goosebump thing.
As much as I wish I wrote ‘Every Breath You Take’, it’s ‘Walking On The Moon‘ that sends shivers down my spine. And I think it was the sound of the band — the vibe of the whole thing. Everything about it. They were a true hybrid — they took the reggae thing and the rock thing and it came out in the punk era. It just had a bit more venom in it as well; it had a lot more fire than guys who normally… These guys were jazz guys — they all played in jazz bands before — but there was an absolute fire in the playing. Stewart Copeland is one of my favorite drummers of all time. When you put those three in together, magical things [happen].
Whenever I hear the band, it’s — again — goosebump time. I know I keep saying that, but The Police do that every time I hear them play. I got to see them when they reformed, and, again, I thought it was magical. It‘s my favorite band, so I would say that. But I do think Sting’s the most amazing songwriter. He can write a classic or he can write a silly pop song — or both.”
Click here for the source and you can listen to the song that gives Phil Collen goosebumps below.