Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen's guitar playing draws from many influences, but he's quick to cite the legendary Jimi Hendrix as among the most important.

Collen's new band Manraze features a scorching cover of 'Fire' by Hendrix on their forthcoming new album 'punkfunkrootsrock.' It's a song that they've been playing live ever since the band first started rehearsing.

During our recent interview with the guitarist (the full version of which will appear shortly), Collen spoke about how he was influenced by Hendrix and said “at the time, it was very unique, no one had really done that before. And to be quite honest, they haven't really done it since.”

“You get a lot of these clones that totally miss the point. It was artistic expression, it wasn't just playing a Strat with a wah-wah pedal, it was a lot more than that. People do these Hendrix-style things and it's completely not valid, because I think what he brought, it was a complete blend. “

Collen elaborates further, saying “it's great to have no restrictions and that kind of freedom and I think that was, to me, what was great about Hendrix. He didn't really care – he would just go off. It would be jazzy, bluesy, the most psychedelic metal you've ever heard in your life and then all of the sudden, it'd be a really sweet song, a love song or something.”

Stay tuned for the rest of our conversation with Phil, which will be online later this week. In related Hendrix news, it was recently announced that the rumored biopic starring Andre 3000 has been shot down by his estate, who are refusing to allow his music to be used in the film.

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