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Interviews

Deep Purple (Ian Paice)

by: ZOLTAN KONCSOK - 2005-10-26 22:19:37

email: zoltan(AT) metalexpressradio(DOT)com

Your new album is coming out on a new label

Your new album is coming out on a new label. Why did you part ways with EMI?

Well, nowadays a lot of people are moving from one major label to another. First of all, you need to know who youíre working with. A record company is an entity without face, but you need to know the persons youíre dealing with. The people who worked at EMI two years ago are no longer there. They didnít know which deal they have to offer us, what we had done at the past. And also their master is in Los Angeles, which is too far from us. At Edel it is totally different: people are excited and have the knowledge to do their job and to work with us. They had done everything we could ever expect from them so far, so weíre really glad with them. But letís see when the album will be released. (Laughs)

Was it the first time you were about leaving EMI or you already thought about it in the past?

I think nowadays itís not like the old days when you signed a record deal for 2-3-4 albums. Nowadays to sign a record deal for 2 albums is really amazing. So have to get ready for the change all the time, because you never know what will happen in the future. Youíre planning by one record to another. Of course, you must have the feeling that you will stay longer at a company. But these days, you just canít be sure.

How many albums have you signed for?

We have signed for two albums, which is great, because weíre sure that whatever happens, there will be another record. (Laughs) Nowadays, itís good to know.

Iíve only read good things about your previous album Bananas. How do you feel about the press reactions?

With Bananas, some people did not like it too much, but most of them enjoyed the variety of the songs of Bananas. It was really good to hear that. I think with Bananas it was more like a learning process. We tried something we never used before. This time, when we went into the studio, it was really easy to work. Which means, if you can easily work and record, then you can enjoy it much more. You can be more relaxed and songs are coming one by one. The musicians also like playing and are really excited to work again on new material, which you will hear on the album. And also you can experience the feel of creating something new. When you play a song first, itís an amazing feeling that will never ever come back. We had really good moments doing this new record.

Bananas came out in 2003, so you were relatively fast with a follow-up. Does it mean you are back in writing mode and we can expect Deep Purple releases more often?

Yes I think. (Laughs) We have to work, because time goes by. (Laughs) We usually release album in every couple of years. So in the gap between Bananas and the new one, we had done a pretty big tour. After that we took of a few weeks and there was 4-5 months for the recording of the new album. I think if you have the ideas, you have work and make the record. Thereís no time waiting these days. Probably weíll release the new one around 2007. But no one knows. (Laughs)

How do you see your writing style has changed throughout the years?

Not really. Writing style changed in the band by nature. Like what Steve could write Ritchie never could write and what Ritchie could write Steve never could write. And so on. So itís the chemistry of the band and the personalities as well. But it always comes out as Deep Purple. You donít want to do exactly the same thing you had done before. And music that became fashioned.

Which member came up with the most ideas for the new album?

Itís impossible to say. Everyone is doing different things. A lot of ideas come out when Steve and myself are jamming or some of the ideas come up when Don and I are jamming. But Roger comes up with his bass parts, and then Ian has his own ideas. So it's hard to say. It's kind of a bounce of musical ideas together. Especially with the Rapture. Ian got all 5 members in the studio. So it worked out together. The songs were recorded in one or two hour's time. But itís teamwork. There are different views from each people, but all comes in one. So it's difficult to say.

I really love the new album, which is traditional Deep Purple for me. What was the initial idea for the musical direction when you sat down composing new songs?

We donít usually have a direction before. We have an idea and we try to keep that opportunity, so we sit down and write the songs. The only thing that we usually do that we leave ourselves enough space for everything, for some keyboard parts, some guitar solos, whatever. In a 4-5 minute song, that we usually do, you can do that. It is the only direction we had in the past and have nowadays as well. But we donít go to the studio that we know what weíre going to do. We write the songs and at the end, when you know the page is full written, we know what we have done.

What would be your favourite song on the album?

I do have from the 12 we recorded, but I think 11 will be on the record, one will be kept for Japan. So from these 12 songs 4-5 I enjoy and the rest I like much. If you would ask in a few months time, I would tell you. For two reasons, I must tell you. First, that I got to know the album better and second, that we have to play the songs on stage. The completed work with a new album is that you give each song 4-5 months on stage, for living and developing. If you give me that 4-5 months, then I will tell you.

I think Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye could be an ideal choice for a single. Itís classic Deep Purple and my favourite at that...

Well, that is great that everyone is choosing another track as their favourite one. (Laughs) For us itís one of the most difficult things to choose a single. You know we all have our favourites, different song from different point of view. So itís really hard to decide unanimously.

This time the songs are in the 4-5 minute range, so it seems you donít really believe in radio airplay anymore?

Well, long time ago we tried for a couple of albums to write one or two songs, which we can say are radio friendly. But the radios didnít like it. So we decided not to worry about it. The funny thing was when we had Smoke On The Water and someone did a three minute airplay cut of it and the radio started to play it. So we had a radio single. (Laughs) But you know, we try to focus on our job, what we can control. Radio play cannot be controlled by ourselves, so we do not worry about it. We have our fans and a quite big market whom we can sell our albums, so it will not depend on radio airplays.

The song MTV is about classic rock radio, which doesnít really exist anymore...

Itís true in Europe, but in America, classic radio is still No.2. But the problem with these classic radios, that even if they invite you for a radio interview, they talk about your new stuff, but they usually play the old songs, not the new material, which is a bit frustrating. Itís really good to know that they play our songs and we have the money from that and has nothing to worry about. But if you have a new album, no one wants to play it, they just want to play your old stuff. Another thing is that we live in a video generation, where a good picture sells an average song. Music what comes in the ears and creates a picture in your mind by your imagination. Not a picture where you cannot really focus on the music. If I show you a really erotic picture then Iím sure you will not remember the song. It is the biggest problem nowadays.

The album is called Rapture Of The Deep, which is a phrase taken from Jacques Costeau. Whose idea was to name the album like that?

It was Ianís idea. Itís about diving, getting out from a wrong state. Rapture is another word for feeling happy. Itís like somehow, going to another world, not this world. So this song symbolizes somehow this feeling.

You did very extensive touring with Bananas and you played two shows in Hungary. Do you have any memories of those shows?

Well, the big problem with Hungary is that we never had enough time to look around the city and the country. Even if this is a very beautiful place. But the crowd is always been great there. Sometimes you go out on stage and you donít feel that great, but in case of a good crowd, you forget all of your problems and you could have a great show.

With each album you have more and more songs to choose from. What kind of setlist can we expect from you when you hit the stage on the upcoming tour?

The more records you make the more choices you have to make. Itís really hard to put together a list, because you have to play all the classic big songs, that is about 60% of the show and of course 4-5 new songs from the new material, because thatís why youíre there and touring. And thereís only a small space for less popular songs. So we have to find the right balance between the old and the new songs, but we have to somehow satisfy the crowd.

Will we ever see you doing Child in Time live again?

Never say never. Itís a very emotional and personal thing for Ian. Last time we did it was about 4-5 years ago, but at that time he got a very serious virus infection. I think this virus was somehow in connection with that he so much wanted to sing that song excellent that made tired his voice. You know because of those high notes in that song, which is not so easy to sing. He got very sick and since then heís afraid of singing that song. But it is his choice to sing. So if comes in one day that "Guys I want to sing this song", then weíll do it of course. But itís truly up to him. It is a very emotional song for him, actually his song. So he wants to play it, we will do it. No problem. So thereís no pressure on it. We will not force him to do it. (Laughs)

Youíre in the music business for a really long time. How can you keep it up?

You know why, because I donít have anything else to do. Music is my hobby. I do it, because I enjoy to play. But Iím not fanatic, I donít practise every time. So it happens that after a tour I go home and for about 4-5 weeks I donít play the drums. Iím lucky that my body is a good friend of mine, thanks to the nature. So I donít have to be a fanatic and play every single day. I really enjoy my hobby and Iím very fortunate that people pay for it. (Laughs) So Iím a lucky person, I can say.

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