Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, who has been battling cancer– specifically Hodgkin’s lymphoma – for the last two years, recently spoke to Mike Bell of The Calgary Herald about the band’s forthcoming new album; an excerpt follows.

The as yet untitled follow-up to 2008’s Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, is completed and in the can, but won’t be released until later this year. “I actually believe that this is the best record the band has made during my tenure,” Campbell says. “It’s also a very diverse record. We covered all the elements of Def Leppard’s career pretty much. It’s a great, great record. We’re really, really proud of it.”

Fans with tickets to the current tour will have to wait for a taste of it until the album gets released in the fall-winter. Not that there will be many complaints, mind you, as with most acts of their established pedigree it’s the many hits that propelled them to stardom that most people want to hear and see.

Campbell acknowledges that, noting that touring something fresh certainly wouldn’t give them that much of a bump, and that, frankly, a new Def Leppard record is something of a losing proposition, considering the tens of thousands of dollars in airfare alone for the globally dispersed crew to get together in the studio.

“But we do it for two reasons, really,” he says. “We do it primarily for ourselves because it validates who we are and what we do. We have to exercise that creative muscle as a unit as Def Leppard. But we also do it for the hardcore fans that care that actually will buy this record. But we don’t anticipate there’s a lot of them in this day and age. If we didn’t put our record out it wouldn’t have any effect whatsoever on our bottom line with regard to touring. We’d still sell just as many concert tickets.”