got to keep on doing it"
Photo by Bernadeta Losy
interview - Stockholm, September 30, 2005
By Benny Holmstrom
Ian Paice was in Stockholm for a drum clinic, as well
as fielding interviews for Deep Purple's upcoming album, "Rapture Of The
Deep". The Highway Star met up with Ian to talk about the new album and a
few other things as well.
THS: What are your
thoughts and feelings on the new album?
IP: Obviously I
think it’s very good. I think that four, five of the tracks have the
possibility to become classic Deep Purple songs -- because we don't decide
that, the audience do -- but there is some very, very good stuff there. The
album was very easy to make and very quick; and when the recording is easy
and fast, it usually means that the songs are correct, that you are not
trying to create, trying to find something which is not in the song.
The whole thing -- writing, arranging, and recording the base tracks – was
three weeks, which is very quick. And in the same way that "In Rock" was
very quick, "Machine Head" was very quick. Those sorts of records tend to
have immediacy and a feeling that communicates to people who listen to them.
Whereas with some of the records which take a long time, you may end up with
perfect tracks, but you've lost a little bit of the soul and the heart which
you had when you first started to record it.
Because every one of these things has either take one, two or three, and
that’s when you still have the excitement to play something new. Once you
have played it fifteen, twenty, twenty-five times, to get it perfect, you
may end with five minutes of really perfect boring nonsense, as opposed to
that first take that was five minutes of pure magic, but maybe not perfect.
So everything that we kept was when we were still physically excited about
playing something new, and when the actual take wasn't perfect, it was good
enough that you could fix a little bit so it became perfect, instead of
going over and over to fix something which isn't there.
And so, to me, the record is very
immediate, and as I said four or five tracks -- you almost know straight
away, as soon as you've heard it once, you sort of know what it is, it’s
inside your head. But making a record nowadays is, you know, you’re in the
lap of the gods, whether it is accepted or not accepted by people, because
music is not the driving force it used to be for the public. They have many
other things that they do, whereas thirty years ago, for young
people music was everything. You know, waiting for the
next record, you waited for
the next big band to come to town. Now people travel, have internet --
they spend more money on bloody ring tones
than they do on records. So it’s
different, but all you can do is try to make the best record you can and
hope you connect with enough people. That the
album generates enough interest and income for
things to be able to continue. There are some records you
hope is gonna be ok. This one I know is ok.
I know, as with “In Rock” -- you didn't know what would come after that
IP: No, that’s beyond our control. What we do know is that if we
capture the energy of the band when it’s just creating something new, that’s
ninety percent of the job; the rest of it simply falls into place.
THS: You said there are a few tracks you think are good. Any in
particular you want to mention?
IP: Well, I think “Rapture Of The Deep” will become a very similar
track to “Perfect Strangers”. I think it has that sort of appeal. “Wrong Man”
is just a great rock 'n’ roll track. They're the only two we have tried on
stage so far, but I get the feeling that three or four more will happen that
way. But I think we have to play them live outside the studio to see which
ones it is going to be, because they need to translate into live songs, they
need to be songs we can play live. They don't leave the studio, sometimes;
that’s were they live, in the studio. Until we get into the rehearsal room
and practice another three or four of them, you never know.
There is another one, “Money Talks”, that I think can be a really great live
track. And one of the obscure ones, one of the strange ones could turn into
something wonderful. You never know, “Before Time Began” might turn into
something wonderful on stage. But, those two or three, I think they have the
spark inside them, which connect immediately to people.
THS: Were there any tracks during the recording which didn't make it
to the album?
IP: No, there were a couple of ideas that just got lost. But then
again, “Wrong Man” got lost. The idea for that came out of the “Bananas”
sessions, right at the very, very end. We had finished recording, we were
just jamming and I captured it on tape, brought it back to the studio and
said, “This is too good for us to throw away”. And there are a couple of
other things which we started jamming on earlier in the day before we got
into the process of recording what we
had done the day before. So some tunes got
forgotten, but they are still there, so whenever we go back into the studio
again, I'll bring them back in.
We have one
wonderful thing Steve [Morse] does, which is very fast, very rhythmic and has
the same appeal to me as the riff from “Wrong Man”. I'll bring that in next
time and we'll get a little bit of extra help from “Rapture” on whatever the
next record is, we get something to start with anyway. There are so many
ideas, we could have gone on for another three weeks and done a whole new
album. We could have done two albums, but we made one album, that’s enough.
But the ideas were flowing in, I must say… the ideas were just coming out,
coming out and they were great ideas.
There are 12 tracks on
the masters, but it’s only 10 coming out on the CD; the other two will come
out in different shape and form. There is always a spare track for Japan --
they always get an extra track, because their records are so expensive. If
they don't get an extra track, they can't sell anything, everything is
bought in the import market. I think whatever the other track is, it will
come out whenever the next pressing comes out, it will be out as a bonus.
THS: Yes, I have already heard the whole…
IP: The twelve, yeah?
THS: Not the twelve, the eleven;
heard “MTV” and the rest of the ten tracks.
IP: Ok, right, in that case it’s the other tracks.
THS: But I haven't have heard “Things I Never Said” yet.
IP: “Things I Never Said”, well, that’s a nice track too.
THS: Yeah, ok.
IP: Yeah, there is not one bad track there, but you get caught in a
situation were you have to hold one back for the Japanese.
It's not the track I would have
left off. We couldn't make our mind up which track had to go
off, so in the end,
we just left it to the record company. We all had different ideas, so you
know in the end four of us, maybe all of us, won't be
happy. Who knows?
like where a friend of mine thought “MTV” was the best song, but I thought
that would probably be the song I'd have left out.
IP: “Girls Like That” was that song for me. I thought that’s ok, but
I would have left “Girls Like That” off, but Don [Airey] thinks “Girls Like
That” is great; so there we go, we just gave up in the end. One day all the
music will come out, so it doesn't matter.
THS: How was it to work with Michael Bradford again?
IP: Easier this time than the last time, and the last time was easy.
THS: Because then he was the new guy?
IP: Yeah, Michael’s musical input was a lot less on this record. We
didn't need any of his ideas for songs, because we were just coming up with
so much, plus I think Michael's been very, very busy anyway, so I don't
think he was in a position to stop on any ideas that we may have liked. But
as I said, that wasn't necessary anyway. Michael’s contribution on this
record was one of, again, getting the work ethic correct, so that we would
work efficiently -- not crazy, but every day was a productive day. There
wasn't a bad day, where you went home or didn't achieve anything, they were
always great days.
Occasionally he would stick his head around the corner from the control room
and say “you don't need to do that bit twice, just do it once”. Because
you’re inside, you don't see the big picture. Those in the control room,
though -- he would go, “no, don't, don't need to”. He would just be adding
little ideas about the arrangement of things, “you don't need to do that” or
“that shouldn't stop there, you should add just little time there” and that
was basically his musical input on that level. But of course it’s the sound
he achieves that you've got him there for, you know, and it’s a good
THS: And the choice of studio; you also worked in his studio this
IP: Yeah, the studio is by his house. That’s the only negative. I
mean because it’s in his house. His family don't think he is away working,
they always phoning him up and doing things like that. I have never worked
in a studio that small with Purple, it’s probably the size of this room here
<indicating the lobby where the interview is being done>. Maybe a fraction
bigger, but not much. When we were recording the tracks, basically the drums
had the whole studio and all the other instruments were in isolation booths,
so that wasn't a big room. It’s a good sounding room. It’s a very hard
sounding room, so it captures the drums in a very natural way, it’s quite
easy. I didn't have to mess around with the drums at all, just hit them
properly and sound came out.
THS: What can people expect when you’re out on tour?
IP: It’s always like walking a tightrope between playing the songs
that you know people really want to hear and getting enough new songs in, to
let people know you actually are trying to show them a new piece of work.
And short of making the set get longer and longer and longer, you have a
very difficult job to do. Already certain songs from “Purpendicular” have
suffered, because there's not enough time to keep them in. So I would assume
that two or three songs from “Bananas” will suffer. That doesn't mean to say
that they never get played again, but you know, the idea of this next tour
is to sell “Rapture”.
The problem is that most bills are not two act bills, they
are sometimes three
and four act bills. And if you add a third act, that’s less time to go
around. If it’s three acts in the bill, you find the headliner can't do two
hours. There are times when the police say pull the plug and you can't play
anymore. And you can't start the concert at four in the afternoon, because
everyone is still at work. So you get stuck between, how do we get in as
much as we can of the classics the people would be very sad if they didn't
hear, and the new material that you think is important to show them. It’s a
really difficult tightrope, already the show runs an hour and forty, an hour
and fifty minutes -- and that’s with us being careful. If we would add, say,
three or four new songs, we would be looking at two and a half hours and we
can do it, but there isn't enough time in the evening to do it and that’s
the problem. So it will be a mixture of old and very new and a couple of
medium ones in the middle. But until it happens, I don't know anymore than
you do. We’re both in the clouds here.
Photo by Bernadeta Losy
THS: How was the
“Live 8” experience, I see it on the shirt there <that IP is wearing>?
IP: It was very, very good, but it was very good because we got a lot
of help. We found a company, God bless, but I can't remember their name now.
They agreed to supply us with a private jet for basically the cost of the
fuel to get us from Minneapolis to Toronto and back from Toronto to Chicago,
to do the night show. Otherwise, we would have been getting up at five in
the morning to get a commercial jet to Toronto, then another commercial jet
down to Chicago and racing straight on stage. It would have been almost
impossible to do. But they supplied this great little jet for us and it was
an hour one way and an hour the other way. So it was easy, we got up at a
sensible time, got to the gig in Toronto about an hour before, played a very
good three songs, went down very well and then I literally drank another
hour flight back to Chicago.
These people made a very, very difficult day very easy. They were great and
I'm sure somewhere, if you look right, you will find the name of the company or
if you ask Ian [Gillan], he knows what it was. They were brilliant,
fantastic people. The show was great as well, because we weren't on the
biggest one, but probably one of the friendliest ones. I mean, such great
artists. Roger [Glover] and I, we were like a couple of kids, we got to meet
Gordon Lightfoot, who was one of our great heroes when we used to live
together in London in the early seventies. We used to put Gordon Lightfoot,
a Canadian folk-musician, on [our stereo]; there he was, this much older guy
now. But the voice, you totally felt, "oh that's him,
that's him". We felt like when kids come up and meet us, you got "oooh, it's
fabulous. We had a
THS: Have you gotten used to looking over and seeing Don on stage?
IP: Yes, now I have. It was strange for a little while, looking
across and not seeing Jon [Lord]. But at the end of the day, it’s what’s
happening musically that’s important. And as Jon was slowly falling out of
love with the road and taking himself and his mind to another place, it was
important that when he did leave, we had somebody coming in who was full of
the fire playing with us. Don’s been there every night, he really does a
great job. And no, he is not Jon Lord, but he doesn't want to be Jon Lord,
he wants to be Don Airey. Both those guys are irreplaceable in their own
rights, so you don't try to replace them, you find other great players who
have their own distinctive personality, which is what we did with Steve
what with have done with Don. And now, I sort of expect to see Don in there.
But every now and again, it still doesn't surprise me when Jon turns up and
I see two of them there, it's fine too.
THS: It took two years between “Bananas” and “Rapture Of The Deep”,
so can we expect something in 2007?
IP: I would think so, I don't think we’re going allow time to
dissipate, the way it did between "Purpendicular" and "Abandon."
THS: You mean “Abandon” and “Bananas".
IP: Yeah, it will be much more of a sequence of events, you know.
Sensible tour, little holiday, new cd, sensible… Otherwise, you know, it
gets out of kilter, it’s too long between records and you sort of forget how
to do it. You've got to keep on doing it.
© The Highway Star 2005