DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell spoke to Canada’s Calgary Herald about the band’s forthcoming studio album, which is expected before the end of the year. Campbell, who has been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma for the last couple of years, said: “I actually believe that this is the best record the band has made during my tenure. I actually didn’t have a lot to do with it, so I don’t know what that says, that they’re better off without me?”

He continued: “It’s 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.”

Campbell also acknowledged that DEF LEPPARD does not need to make new albums these days to attract fans to the band’s concerts. “But we do it for two reasons, really,” he explained. “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.”

He added: “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.”

A recent advertisement for DEF LEPPARD‘s upcoming U.K. tour with WHITESNAKE revealed that DEF LEPPARD‘s eleventh album will be a self-titled affair.

DEF LEPPARD returned to the road on April 15 for a Canadian tour, followed by Europe in May and June. A U.S. tour with STYX and TESLA will kick off June 23 in Tampa, Florida.