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Ian Gillan, Interviews
The Highway Star

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...

- 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. "

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