Phil: Marriage wouldn’t work out. It’s the way the band is. We don’t live anywhere. We spent four years in studios in Holland and Ireland and Paris, and then we went on tour. So we’re not really in one place long enough.
For a long time you were more popular in the U.S. than in your native England. Why do you think this is so?
Phil: It’s not really so anymore.
Steve: In England – and this is just a generalization – they resent any kind of success ‘cause they’re so unambitious themselves.
Phil: In America, you see a Rolls Royce go by, you think, “someday, I’m getting one of them.” In England they think, “rich bastard.”
Steve: Plus, the English music business is very fashion-oriented. You gotta dress up like Boy George, and you only last as long as the image. In the U.S., they still listen to Led Zeppelin. In England, it’s kind of the flavour of the month. I guess we’re the flavour of the month now.
Phil: We went to the U.S. and so did Iron maiden, but we got all the flack for it. People think we walk around with a million dollars in our pockets, and it’s not like that.
But now your countrymen think you’ve suffered enough?
Steve: I think that’s it.
Phil: In a horrible way, maybe it was Rick losing his arm and all that shit we went through the last four years. Maybe they think we’ve paid our dues.
During those fateful four-and-a-half years, did you ever think it wasn’t going to come together?
Phil: Oh yeah, every day.
When did you really believe it was going to turn out okay?
Steve: (Laughs) When Mutt Lange phoned us and said, “I’ve finished the last mix, boys.” We were also thinking [then], “If we ever get this together, is anybody gonna care?” After all the stuff we went through, it was amazing there were any fans left.
Phil: But we got over feeling nervous about it after the first year. We’d blown our momentum, so we were gonna have to do a good album.
Steve: We decided, we won’t settle for second best. And if it does all fall apart, so what? Here’s a guy [who] lost his arm and he’s still playing. So who are we to complain?
How did that time change you?
Steve: As a band, we’re so much better, so much more professional. We were laughing about this the other day. We used to take everything for granted – playing-wise, back-up vocals. You’d stay up all night and then you’d expect to be out singing the next day. We listen to old tapes versus the new stuff and think, “we got away with that?”
Phil: As individuals, everyone realized it’s not worth worrying about little things. We miss the train, we say “so what” and get the next one. If we could get through [the last four years], we could get through anything.