Deep Purple are a legend in the music world. Everybody knows their famous hits like „Smoke on the water“, „Child in time“ or „Perfect Strangers“. The band went through many personal changes over the years, but never lost the feeling to create great music. After eight years of waiting they are finally back with their new album „Now What?!“. Their new output shows a modern production, but also many references to their 70’s era. Deep Purple are also touring again and giving a concert here in Luxembourg at the Rockhal on 1st of April. For this occasion we are proud to get the opportunity to conduct an interview with them.
Hello and welcome to Luxembourg! You must really like our country as you‘ve played already a lot of concerts here in our little Luxembourg?
It has a vibe all it‘s own. Neat streets, nice people, obvious prosperity, and some real rock fans.
Eight years your fans had to wait for a new album, the longest gap between two albums since the reunion with „Perfect Strangers“ in the 80‘s. Were there moments you thought that this album won‘t see the light of the day?
There was a time when I thought that „Rapture“ was going to be Deep Purple‘s last album but with some delicate pressure from Bruce Payne our manager, Max Vaccaro at Edel Records, and encouragement from Bob Ezrin, we managed to come up with the goods, albeit after a lot of hard work.
After all these years in the music business and writing songs, where lies your source of energy to make such a fresh sounding album like „Now What?!“?
Love of Music, the joy of playing live, the sense that hard rock really has a message for the modern world, oh and the money.
During the recording sessions, how much was recorded live in a room together?
All of it apart from a few keyboard and guitar overdubs, and obviously the vocals went on later. We recorded 15 backing tracks in 6 days much to our own amazement.
For „Now What?!“ you hired the legendary producer Bob Ezrin and I must say the sound of the album is superb! How is it to work with him?
He really is old school in his approach, and it had been a long time since I personally had worked with anyone so uncompromising in the business of record production excellence. So his modus operandi (mainly shock and awe) came as a bit of a surprise to the system but as a good surprise.
I must say that, despite all the personal changes, the actual band line-up sounds really tight. What‘s your secret?
Lots and lots of gigs. Very few bands work as hard as we do. We are sometimes 200 days a year on the road.
Over the last years there was a huge comeback of the vinyl record. How do you see that development? Do you think that people have the desire to listen to an album as whole again, instead of just a few songs?
It is one that has surprised me actually, but there is something about reading the sleeve notes, taking in the artwork, whilst listening to a record that makes for a very satisfying experience, and vinyl sounds better than anything else, for heavy rock at least. I like the bit where you have get up off your chair to turn the album over to side 2 – its like an interval at a concert.
We thank you very much that you took your time for this interview and we wish you good luck for the rest of your tour.