Def Leppard is commonly associated with the new wave of British heavy metal which sprung up in the early ‘80s. Yet, frontman Joe Elliott has revealed that he doesn’t like the metal label, calling it a "silly, silly term."

"I have an issue with the term heavy metal," the singer confessed during an appearance on The Rockoneurs podcast, "because everybody outside of rock always thinks if you're in a heavy metal band, it's like bad news."

Elliott went on to explain that the term heavy metal carries a certain lowbrow quality. "You get this impression that everybody's a moron," he remarked.

READ MORE: Top 50 Classic Heavy Metal Albums

The frontman also noted that the label got overused over the years and has commonly been given to bands that don't fit the genre, including his own.

"UFO, Thin Lizzy were not heavy metal," Elliott declared. "Were Motorhead? 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, and I think we were pretty much the same."

How Does Joe Elliott Classify Def Leppard's Music?

From Elliott's viewpoint, Def Leppard has always been a "heavy rock" band, with the ability to slide in harder or poppier directions when appropriate.

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

"It's a silly, silly term," Elliott continued, driving home his distaste for the metal moniker. "When you start pigeonholing [bands], it gets on my tits to be quite honest."

Def Leppard Albums Ranked

From their metal-edged debut to their pop breakthrough to the recent records, we rank every single LP.

Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso

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