Def Leppard’s Phil Collen has poured cold water on the view that 2008 has been a vintage year for rock – after taking a swipe at the so-called big guns who blasted back following years in the wilderness.

The Londoner was back in his home town this week in ebullient mood prior to Monday’s long-awaited UK release of Surreal by Man Raze – Collen’s eclectic side project featuring Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook and Girl bass guru Simon Laffy.

But he told rushonrock: “I’m really proud of what Leppard have done this year and Songs From The Sparkle Lounge has been a big success at a time when a lot of big bands have brought out new records.

“But you can’t compare Def Leppard to AC/DC or Guns N Roses because we’ve never been away. We’ve been working hard, writing records and touring for 25 years unlike some bands.”

For the full interview with axe hero Collen check out rushonrock next week!