Def Leppard's Joe Elliott has a problem with the "silly, silly term" that is heavy metal

Joe Elliott of Def Leppard performs at GIANTS Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.
(Image credit: Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott says he has "an issue with the term heavy metal" which he describes as "silly".

Despite being one of the leading lights of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement, Elliott doesn't think his band fall into the heavy metal category at all.

Elliott, 64, tells the Rockonteurs With Gary Kemp And Guy Pratt podcast: "I have an issue with the term 'heavy metal' because everybody outside of rock always thinks if you're a heavy metal band, it's like bad news. You get this impression that everybody's a moron.

"If we're heavy metal, then so are The Rolling Stones because it's two guitars, bass, drums and a singer. 

"It's a silly, silly term. I like 'rock'. When you start pigeonholing, it gets on my tits, to be quite honest, because can't we just all be just a rock band or a pop band or be both?

"AC/DC are a blues rock band. UFO and Thin Lizzy were not heavy metal. Motorhead – even they had a blues influence to them. Queen were never a heavy metal band, but they had a couple of heavy metal songs, thanks to Brian May.

"I think we were pretty much the same way. It was rock. Absolutely heavy rock, for sure."

In July Def Leppard hit the road for a run of North American stadium shows with Journey. Support at each of the stadium shows will be supplied by either Cheap Trick, the Steve Miller Band or Heart. Full dates below.

Def Leppard x Journey tour 2024

Jul 06: St Louis Busch Stadium, MO*                           
Jul 10: Orlando Camping World Stadium, FL*
Jul 13: Atlanta Truist Park, GA^                                   
Jul 15: Chicago Wrigley Field , IL^                                
Jul 18: Detroit Comerica Park , MI^                                
Jul 20: Nashville Nissan Stadium, TN^                         
Jul 23: Philadelphia Citizens Bank Park, PA^                 
Jul 25: Hershey Hersheypark Stadium, PA^                 
Jul 27: Pittsburgh PNC Park, PA^                               
Jul 30: Cleveland  Progressive Field, OH$                    
Aug 02: Toronto Rogers Centre, ON$                            
Aug 05: Boston Fenway Park, MA$                            
Aug 07: Flushing Citi Field, NY^                                     
Aug 12: Arlington Globe Life Field, TX^                      
Aug 14: Houston Minute Maid Park, TX^                     
Aug 16: San Antonio Alamodome, TX^                             
Aug 19: Minneapolis Target Field, MN^                             
Aug 23: Phoenix Chase Field^                            
Aug 25: Los Angeles SoFi Stadium, CA^                           
Aug 28: San Francisco Oracle Park, CA^                           
Aug 30: San Diego Petco Park, CA                               
Sep 04: Seattle T-Mobile Park, WA*                           
Sep 08: Denver Coors Field, CO*

* with Journey and Cheap Trick
^ with Journey and Steve Miller Band
$ with Journey and Heart     

Tickets are on sale now.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.