Def Leppard’s Rick Savage: “The bass player is the bridge between the rhythm and the melody... without you the whole thing will fall apart”

Rick Savage
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)

Few rock bass players have embraced their unique position within a band as well as Def Leppard’s Rick ‘Sav’ Savage. But then again, he’s a lot more than a bass player, contributing to the songs’ often grandiose harmonies live on stage, co-writing many of their biggest tracks and even going as far as tracking some of the guitars – something which bass players are rarely afforded the opportunity to do – over a career spanning four and a half decades. 

It’s this vantage point that gives him a greater understanding of the bass guitar’s role in the context of a group, acting almost as the mediator between melody and rhythm. That’s as apparent now, on this year’s 12th studio album Diamond Star Halos, as it was on 1987’s best-seller Hysteria.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).