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Vivian Campbell: Lymphoma is ‘Coming Back Again’

Vivian Campbell
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The members of Def Leppard have started working on new material for their next record, but they’ll need to get part of the way there without guitarist Vivian Campbell, who needs to take care of what he refers to as “medical issues” before the band heads out on its summer tour with Kiss.

“I’m doing good,” stressed Campbell during his conversation with the West Palm Beach, Fla. rock station 98.7 The Gater — although he went on to admit that his Hodgkin’s lymphoma “seems to be, kind of, coming back again.” Given that he was declared “officially in remission” last fall, that’s frustrating news. “But I’m not concerned about it,” he added. “I mean, it’s just a process. I mean, it always was a little bit touch-and-go. But, you know, it’s just a process to get through. I mean, like I said, it’s absolutely nothing I’m concerned about, but it’s something I need to start the process, I need to get a handle on, so that I am free and clear to tour this summer. So, all good. You know what I mean?”

Far cheerier is the news that Def Leppard has returned to old-fashioned woodshedding as it preps for its next studio LP. “We got together in Ireland, at [singer Joe Elliott's] studio in Dublin, for all of February; we were there for just over four weeks. And we, actually, set up and played real time, the five of us, which is not something we normally do in the studio; in fact, we hadn’t done that since the ‘Slang‘ record,” Campbell revealed. “And that was great. I personally prefer when the band works that way, because we tend to capture more of our rock element when we do that. And that’s exactly what we did; within the first week, we had, I think, four rock songs done. And that was something that we consciously wanted to do for a new Leppard record — to try and make sure that we covered the rock element.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean the new album is just going to zip together quickly and easily. “Then it gets a little bit more difficult, ’cause then we’re starting to write to order, then we’re starting to analyze, ‘Well, what kind of a song do we need next?’ kind of a thing. This is where it starts annoying me, personally, because it becomes more of a thought process than a creative process,” Campbell admitted. “But it’s inevitable that Leppard goes through this; every time we make a record, we go through this to varying degrees.”

Saying that the record would be completed in “installments,” Campbell said he’d be missing the next round in May, due to his health, but he plans to be back in the studio in the fall for what should be the final round of preparation. “Our third and final installment will be in November, to finish up the record,” he added. “We’re hoping for a release for early spring 2015.”

Next: Top 10 Def Leppard Songs

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