Rock of Ages

B-Sides gets rocked with Def Leppard, while local rock & rollers the Trip Daddys return with a new CD after a cancer scare

Can you give us a hint?

No! You'll have to wait and see! We're going to dig back and do some stuff that [guitarist] Vivian Campbell [who joined in 1992] has never played on before. Different things. You do demand, really. The worst thing in the world is if you start playing a song and no one's reacting whatsoever. People go, "Dude, why don't you play 'Wasted'?" And we keep going back to this...we play it, and you can hear a pin drop. [Laughs] Obviously when you have a new album out, you have license to play a bunch of the songs. But you really gotta satisfy the people that are there as well. They'd be pissed if you didn't do all the goodies.

Are there any songs that you never want to play — ever again?

"Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Photograph" or "Rock Of Ages," we always try to not play these at rehearsals. 'Cause it's like pulling teeth. But the minute you play them in front of people, it's a totally different vibe, there's a different reaction. All of a sudden, it's fine, it's great. But rehearsing them it's a different story. You go, "Oh my God, it's like watching paint dry."

What are the new songs sounding like?

We started when we were on the last tour. We've never written songs or recorded [that way before]. We were backstage at some of these gigs, in a trailer. We'd start getting these songs together. It was really good, 'cause you're still in tour mode. There's an energy — and verve, if you like. There's something happening while you're on tour that's very different [from] when you get off tour and sit around for three months and all of a sudden go, "Oh, what do we do again?" You haven't got direction. To put it in a nutshell, it sounds like Hysteria songs done in the style of High 'N' Dry, with no ballads. If that makes any sense.

That makes total sense.

We've got one slow song, but it's definitely not a ballad. It's really kind of weird. When I listen back to the stuff, that's what hit me. We've gone minimalist on the production — it's not all glossy big vocals and like, humongous [makes roaring sound] drums. It's more like a real band. But the songs are more in the vein of Hysteria.

Annie Zaleski 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights. $19 to $69. 314-298-9944. Andrew MacPherson dave white

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