The band are working through re-recording some of their back catalogue so that their former label has no control
As reported a couple of weeks ago Def Leppard recently re-recorded and re-released new versions of 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' and 'Rock Of Ages' and they suggested that the reasons were due to an ongoing dispute with their ex-label.
Now frontman Joe Elliott has expanded on that a little.
In a new interview with Billboard.com Joe reveals that the band refuses to deal with their former record label, Universal, "until we come up with some kind of arrangement" over compensation, especially for digital downloads.
"When you're at loggerheads with an ex-record label who...is not prepared to pay you a fair amount of money and we have the right to say, 'Well, you're not doing it,' that's the way it's going to be," Joe tells Billboard.com. "Our contract is such that they can't do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing. So we just sent them a letter saying, 'No matter what you want, you are going to get "no" as an answer, so don't ask.' That's the way we've left it. We'll just replace our back catalog with brand new, exact same versions of what we did."
Joe says that the re-recording process was longer than expected. "You just don't go in and say, 'Hey guys, let's record it,' and it's done in three minutes," Elliott notes. "We had to study those songs, I mean down to the umpteenth degree of detail, and make complete forgeries of them. Time-wise it probably took as long to do as the originals, but because of the technology it actually got done quicker as we got going. But trying to find all those sounds...like where am I gonna find a 22-year-old voice? I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again. It was really hard work, but it was challenging, and we did have a good laugh over it here and there."
He also revealed that the songs had received the seal of approval from original producer Mutt Lange after guitarist Phil Collen played them for him.
"Phil sees Mutt a lot," Elliott says, "and he played him the re-records and (Lange) couldn't believe how brilliant they were. He was like, 'Wow guys, incredible job!' Phil was just raving about how much Mutt was raving about them."
The band are looking likely to re-record more of their back catalogue when they wrap up their current tour. They are also starting to think about recording brand new material, although it's possible that they may release one or two tracks at a time rather than an album.
Joe also revealed that he is working on a second Down N Outz album and he hopes to release it in 2013.