“We wanted to get the right guitar sound for every song,” Clark continues, “so we had to do a lot of overdubbing on Pyromania, which is something we haven’t done too much of in the past.
On some of the songs we laid down two tracks of Les Paul for the low end, two tracks of SG’s for the mid-range and then two tracks of Telecasters for the highs. By mixing them all together we got a full spectrum of guitar sound.”
Clark attributes the quality of Def Leppard’s studio sound to producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange (also of AC/DC’s Back In Black and Foreigner 4, both multi-platinum sellers). “‘Mutt’ is a trained musician himself and he will change an arrangement around if it’s not right. He is able to put himself into a record buyer’s position. Besides, when you’re working with ‘Mutt’ you come out of the studio a better musician. This helps when you’re playing a concert because you now know the songs inside out and as a result it makes your guitar playing a lot better.”
Clark has three guitars with him on the Pyromania tour: a ’76 Gibson Les Pall Cherry Sunburst Deluxe, a ’75 Gibson Les Paul Standard and a brand-new Gibson Les Paul XR-1. Collen, on the other hand, uses a black ’81 Ibanez Customized Destroyer with three humbuckers and a precision-made Dave Story Tremolo. “Ibanez built a guitar for me in Japan when I was in Girl,” Collen reflects. “I really like the tremolo because once it’s clamped you can still fine tune it.”
As for special effects, Collen doesn’t use any. Clark though uses a Boss chorus, a Boss delay and a Morley volume booster. “The effects I use are so slight most people don’t realise I have them on,” Clark notes. “I don’t like real gimmicky effects that totally alter what I’m playing, just subtle ones that enhance my sound.”
In the near future Def Leppard will be seeking to enhance its double-axe attack even more. “On our fourth album we will be playing more songs where each guitar will be playing different parts,” Clark predicts. “And maybe we’ll add a keyboard player for our next tour. But no matter what happens, we’re not going to let the success of Pyromania get to our heads – no way. We are going to work so hard on our next release that it will be better than anything we’ve ever done.”