[ d e e p P u r . p l e )
Ian Paice, Interviews
The Highway Star


from Japanese radio, July 1991

Q: What's the difference now Joe has joined?

A: The thing that's different is that Joe has the ability to sing anything well, and because of that it opens up more possibilities than there were before. I mean, Ian was a great rock & roll singer, David was a great blues singer, but Joe has the ability to do any and everything, so where there were certain limitations on what we could do before, at the moment anything we can think of he can do, which gives us a lot more. The excitement that can happen on stage becomes more varied because we can do something totally off the wall - sometimes Ritchie will start something, a piece of music that has never existed before, and Joe will sing something, he has the ability to ad lib and be totally spontaneous about it and create a song from nothing. We couldn't do that before, so it just gives us more things to do."

(Simon's note: "and the cock crowed thrice. If I start now I'll never finish! Let's pass quickly on.")

Q: Deep Purple are still a hard working group I think.

A: Yes. Out of all the countries in the world, Britain is probably the hardest place for us to work. We still have a hard core of fans there but the musical direction in England is so far from what we do. We're stuck with all this dance and rap rubbish and that's what the kids are prepared to listen to. I love living in England, but as far as music is concerned it's a wasteland.

Q: Most of the old bands like Sabbath and Heep are declining now, so Purple is quite an important survival now, do you agree?

A: What we have in hard rock at the moment is a very limited perspective of what rock is all about. From the HM and trash thing it's quite limited in what they're trying to do. What they do is just one __bit_ of what we were doing, what Zepp and Sabbath did. The picture is bigger than that, there's room for a lot more variety in hard rock, different emotions, so I find it now a little limiting. If somebody can be around from the late 60's, early 70's period and, I don't want to sound big headed, but show them how it should be done. If we stop all this knowledge seems to disappear and it will stay narrow and confined. It would be nice if Zepp could be around. It's great that Pink Floyd is still around. Dave Gilmour has a wonderfull grasp of what is right _for now_.

Q: Do you think the works like April, Child in Time and Lazy are out of date nowadays?

A: I think it's much more difficult now to get someone to listen to 8, 9 or 10 minutes of one piece of music, so this is a time when songs are much more important. What we try and do is to get as much into the song as we can on the record and accept that that's it for the album. When we take that to the stage then it can be as it was, you can extend it, have fun, put a long solo in it, but records are a different thing now. It was a lot freer 15 to 20 years ago. What is acceptable to record companies and radio is a lot more closely defined.

Q: Did you change the concept of the reunion albums compared to the earlier ones?

A: Not drastically. What we realised was that we sort of got lost in the technology of the 90's, trying to do things we weren't good at and other people were - making super high quality technical records at the expense of the performance. On S&M we made a concious effort to start making records again like we did 20 years ago. All be in a room, play it together and try and get it right! I think we got about 50 % of that back, the next one will be even liver and hopefully the sound will reflect that more. The magic is getting five people to perform at the same time.

The prime example is Made in Japan. By today's standards, it's not brilliant quality, but that's not important. The atmosphere and emotion of the night is still obvious to people who listen.

Q: Can you describe the members of the band?

A: Well, Ritchie is the simplest. A black and white character. It's good or it's bad; I will or I won't. He's there or he's not. There's no middle ground. He's still a terrible practical joker and at times he can drive you crazy, at other times you love him.

Jon is a lot more introvert than people think. They see a very polite gentlemana, but he tends to keep a lot of his emotions inside. He let's it out through his music. He's a very restrained man.

Roger is just a hippie, a leftover hippie. He lives his life for artistic things. Joe, I don't really know that well. He seems to be a party animal, enjoys his life to the full. When it comes to music he's a total professional. Me, you'll have to ask somebody else!

Q: What do you remember of your work outside the group?

A: The funniest band was Whitesnake. David's not a funny guy but Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden were a constant source of laughter. Touring was so much fun, I can't remember the bad times even though I know there were some. Neil is a straight guy and these two used to take him to bits all the time. They used to do it to Coverdale as well, take the piss out of him.

Q: What do you do on your days off?

A: In the winter I watch football, summer I play cricket, and I like to go sea fishing. I have a holiday house in Spain which I share with Jon. It's relaxing. And horse racing.

(Taken from Darker Than Blue 42, Dec. 1991. Simon's comments: "Now you see why he doesn't do many interviews - we'd all be out there lynching him! I really can't believe those comments about Ian G not being able to improvise - and Ann's had to go and have a lie down to recover having read them!")

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