Legends without power steering
Deep Purple with new album and concert in Oslo Spektrum
Its been 30 years since the heavy rockers Deep Purple saw the day of
light this year. One week from now the band's new album "Abandon" is
released, and on the 4th of October they're on stage at Oslo Spektrum.
By Mode Steinkjer, Dagsavisen, Oslo. 14 May 1998
- The fans can celebrate the 30th anniversary if they like,
personally I hate birthdays, vocalist Ian Gillan says.
Deep Purple's primal screaming vocalist has been a little to and fro
over the years, but with drummer Ian Paice, organist Jon Lord, bassist
Roger Glover and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore he was part of the
group's so called "Mark II"-lineup. Beginning with the 1970 album "In
Rock" they made their place in rock history with classic songs like
"Child in Time", "Speed King", "Woman from Tokyo" and not least rock's
most practised guitar riff - "Smoke on the Water".
24 albums and several tens of millions of album sales later, Ian
Paice (50) and Ian Gillan (53) are not ready to leave rock's main
building. In Oslo they maintain their roles as stars by loudly
commenting the room service at the hotel: - Nice ass...
THE THREE GREATS
- On the tour we'll play five numbers off the new album, the rest
will be old classics and a few surprises. It will be good, according
to Gillan, who thinks its natural that the three greats from heavy
rock's prehistoric times are on tour this summer, three decades after
the beginning: Deep Purple, Black Sabbath with their original lineup
and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in a partially reunited Led Zeppelin.
- I think we've survived because we create a certain magic. We're
not on power steering, like all the new artists who create music by
pushing on a button. And young people come to hear us. Suddenly we see
lots of teenagers at our gigs. "Hey Carla", I said to my daughter
who's fourteen, "who let all those kids in?" "Dad, you don't
understand a thing. Deep Purple are cool again", was the answer I got.
I think it boils down to people beginning to find interest in music
history again; rock, blues and jazz. But the idiots in London doesn't
understand, that is the music business. To them bastards like us are
irrelevant, according to Gillan.
The history of Deep Purple is messy, with many musical divorces. The
saving was the break with the gradually dictatorial guitarist Ritchie
Blackmore in 1993. Since then, Deep Purple's well grown up members
plus the new guitarist, Steve Morse, have been behaving like
overexcited kids. This is how the new album sounds, too, with fresh
edges and with classical Deep Purple-themes in all tempo variations.
- It was so easy to record "Abandon". We met in the studio, jammed,
worked out ideas and got the flow needed for good songs to come out.
Just like when we recorded our classic albums, before a certain person
started controlling everyone and everything. Now the chemestry between
us are back, Gillan says. "