Steve Morse, KOZZ Reno, November 1995

From: "James D. Strange" 
Subject: Steve Morse Interview
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 14:56:59 GMT

        This is an interview from last August or September broadcast
by KOZZ in Reno, Nevada. Steve gave this interview live in the studio
a few hours before his gig with the SMB. <---- (Another official

        I'll try to fill in the detail AMAP. I cut all the station
identification crap and did a bit of clarification where necessary.

        Steve brought his guitar into the studio and gave most of the
interview while casually plucking on his guitar. Of course his casual
plucking is completely friggin' amazing...but to the interview.

-------------------------Steve Morse Interview------------------------ 

KOZZ: Glad to have you here. Just got off the plane apparently?

SM: Yeah, literally

KOZZ: Live and in our studios Steve Morse playing live tonight at Easy 
Street. And basically just the best guitarist in the world in my 
opinion and in many other's opinion. So why don't you tell us what you 
are doing now.

SM: I've gone around the world already with Deep Purple playing gigs. 
After that we went into the studio and are still working on a new album. 
I've finished my guitar parts and it is going to be a very new album. 
This hasn't  happened for years and years...all the original member's 
except for me.

KOZZ: What style are we talking about here?

SM:'s Deep Purple with a touch more eclectic I'd say. They 
filter the ideas I bring in. (Laughs) Some of the stuff I brought in I 
said "This is probably too wierd but..." and they'd say "We love it!"

KOZZ: Now who's in Deep Purple now?

SM: The original guys know...Smoke On the Water. Ian Gillan 
singing, Roger Glover playing bass and producing. You know he's been that 
way all the time. Jon Lord the keyboard player. He's been on every single 
DP tune. Ian Paice the drummer. He's been on every single DP tune. [Not 
true. IP did not play on "This Time Around".-Ed.]

KOZZ: So just basically Ritchie Blackmore is gone. What about your solo 

SM: This year we released Structural Damage. It has the same breadth and 
spaciousness as High Tension Wires which is one of my favorite efforts. 
So we are here in town. We love playing in Reno. Reno is not a typical 
gig. It takes an extraordinary promoter to say "We want you guys here." 
It is not a typical Rock n Roll town.

KOZZ: I remember the last time you were here you said on stage 
"Wow...this is really a happening place. I din't expect Reno to be like 
this." The audience was really thrilled. I guess you didn't know what 
Reno would be like.

SM: A lotta times we go to the Southwest and not go to Reno because 
everybody here is appealing to the tourist audience. 

KOZZ: You have your guitar right here. I think people want to hear you 
play. Why don't you give us an example of something you might be doing 

SM: OK...that's litterally putting me on the spot.

KOZZ: Sorry.

SM: That's OK. Let's see...dave does the setlist...he might know. (Begins 
shredding on the guitar. I mean shredding!) That's a little bit 
of...that's one tune we'll be doing. (More shredding from various SMB and 
Dregs tunes.) You have to imagine a backbeat and stuff.

KOZZ: How about a little Cruise Control?

SM: Cruise Control? (Shreds a bit) That's really a Bass thing...

KOZZ: What really inspired you started?

SM: Every kind of music that I heard that had anything to do with Rock.

KOZZ: Like the Beatles? You know..."I want to get a guitar and be like Paul."

SM: wasn't them. It just that the guitar was a much more 
interesting instrument then say...the clarinet which is all we had 
around back then. (Laughs)

KOZZ: So what about the Dixie Dregs? Are going between them and DP?

SM: Well...I had a pretty extensive trial period with DP. I had to draw 
the line somewhere. It was the end of the Dregs tour. So we just put it 
on hold for a while. 

KOZZ: This is facinating. All the time you are talking to me you are 
playing your guitar.

SM: (In a dejected voice) Well...I havn't played it since yesterday.

KOZZ: you are practicing then.

SM: I have to make sure my fingers still work. Normally I take about an 
hour to warm up.

KOZZ: We are going to play a song from the Dixie Dregs called 
Ghostwind. Can you tell us a bit about this song?

SM: It's a really wierd, eerie, huanting song that came about as a result 
of me spending the night in a haunted house. That is what they said. I 
didn't know the house was haunted. But I couldn't sleep all night. I just 
came up with this tune. It seemed like the right title for the song. It 
was a dark, stormy night.

KOZZ: Edgar Allen Poe? Here we go with Ghostwind. (Cut to song)

KOZZ: Just was talking to Steve a few minutes ago about all the people 
he's played with. One of them was Eddie Van Halen. Eddie said "I've 
learned all there is to learn on the guitar". You said that was an odd 

SM: Well...I don't think that's the way he feels now. As you get older 
you learn how much there is to learn. (Laughs) He is a very talented guy. 
He has the natural talent. For sure. I know that just watching the way he 
plays just rhythm guitar you can see a lot of the artistry there. The 
deeper you get into it, the longer you are a musician the wow!

KOZZ: The more there is to know? Just layers upon layer of...

SM: Yes, exactly

KOZZ: What is your favorite kind of guitar to play or do you have a favorite?

SM: [I think he misheard the question here.-Ed.] A fair kind of guitar 
player is one who is kind to people and young players and extends a 
helping to people.

KOZZ: You were talking about guitar workshops you have been involved in. 
What is that about?

SM: Well, they are called guitar seminars of guitar clinics and are 
free to the public and usually sponsored by local guitar shops and the 
company that makes my guitar Ernie Ball. We have a couple this trip. I am 
surprised we didn't have on in Reno. The company just decides where and 
when. I really like doing them. People  who can't get into a drinking-age 
club and, you know, a lot of this music happens at clubs. Because of that 
we do the guitar clinics. We play music and explain things. Like someone 
will ask "What is the lick you played in this tune?" and I'll...(Play a 
spontanious run on his guitar.). Or "What position did you play the intro 
to this song?" And so on. People will ask questions and I'll demonstrate 
it right there. I'll give the a reality check answers on music.

KOZZ: Do you find that you really have to have a certain amount of 
natural musical talent or do you think anybody cane become a really 
excellent guitar player?

SM: I think what you have to be able to do is hear music in your head. 
Imagine what the music sounds like. If you have that vision, that 
audiovision then you will know if you are on the track or off the track. 
What you need to do. It helps if you have good work habits and are able 
to be objective and keep a clear head all the time. All that stuff helps. 
And good instruction is very improtant for most people. The more you know 
the easier it becomes.

KOZZ: Steve Morse played with a lot of people including Kansas.

SM: (Plays the guitar theme to Carry On Wayward Son.) Uhh...played that 
one a lot!

KOZZ: I bet you did. Do you get tired of playing "Cruise Control" and all 
the ones people always request?

SM: No. Maybe if we play two shows in a night. It is sometimes a lot. You 
know.."Man that was a great show! Let's go get something to drink. 
Oh...there's another one." If there is enough improvisation in the music 
then you don't get tired of it.

KOZZ: As far as other people who listen to you your playing seems so 
perfect and precise. Does it bother you when you make mistakes or do you 
hold yorself up to that level or are kinda easy going about it? 

SM: Well I keep a hari-kari (sp?) sword next to the amp in case I...(Laughs)
Sure it bothers you to make mistakes. But if you are not making mistakes 
then you are not really trying. If you are only playing stuff that...well 
if you are playing a solo and you are only playing stuff that you know is 
going to work then you are not really soloing. Soloing is where you are 
epressing the angst you have with in the 90's. But you 
try to manipulate it so it is musical and people get off on it rather 
than saying "Oh, here is another guy whining about life." You can express 
it in such a way that you are saying what you want but it's in 
terms that makes people feel good.

KOZZ: We are going to play a tune called "Too Many Notes". Do you want to 
tell us something about that?

SM: Yeah. It is a sort of busy arpeggio exercise. It is a very 
classical...(Plays some shredding minor and diminished arpeggios). It is 
busy all the way through. We'll be playing that tonight. It is a fun tune.

(Cut to song) [This song is completely amazing! Holy shit! Sit down 
Yngvie! And it is very tasty too!-Ed.]

KOZZ: 105.7 KOZZ (Cheers come up from the background) That was hot! Steve 
Morse playing along with himself!

SM: Playing with myself, huh? (Laughs)

KOZZ: (pause) A play on words there. This is just really a thrill. Thanks 
for coming Steve. Do you want to play us out?

SM: What are you going to play?

KOZZ: We've got "Aftershock".

SM: Aftershock? Ok..the intro on that one is fun. I'll do that. (Shreds. 
Cut to song. Following "Aftershock" is a cool tune called..."Highway 
Star". A fitting honor to DP and DP fans!)

                             ~   ~
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