Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott has stepped into the debate surrounding band mate Vivian Campbell’s comment that his busman’s holiday with Thin Lizzy had ‘reignited his love for the electric guitar’.

In an exclusive interview with rushonrock earlier this month Campbell admitted life in Leppard was rarely challenging. But Elliott believes the band would be far worse off without the Irish foil to lead guitarist Phil Collen. “For all these years Viv has been the Ronnie Wood of Leppard but on the Lizzy tour people are starting to realise just how good he is. “Def Leppard have always been about the sum of the parts rather than any individual. We’ve always been about the songs and as individuals we’re overshadowed by that.

“Viv plays some great rhythm guitar, some cracking solos and he sings. Because he can do it all his quality as a guitarist is often overlooked. And it’s the same with Phil.

“With Lizzy he has an opportunity to show his ‘chops’. I think a lot of people will be going to the Lizzy shows this time around and thinking ‘I’d forgotten how good he was in Dio’ or realising they didn’t know he was that good in the first place!

“I think playing with Lizzy is great for Viv and I know he’s loving it. There was no better man for the job.”

Elliott, meanwhile, is busily putting the finishing touches to Leppard’s first live album due this summer – which will feature three new studio tracks as a taster for 2012’s follow-up to Songs From The Sparkle Lounge. Look out for a full interview with big Joe right here very soon.