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The coolness of first take

Steve Morse in Quebec City, June 4, 2011; Photo © Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

Guitar World magazine has an interview with Steve Morse:

GUITAR WORLD: Now What?! is Deep Purple’s first studio effort in eight years. Why did you decide to make the album now?

Actually, I was one of the guys asking the same thing! My vision was every tour we’d do another song and just release it on the web site. I’d say, “Don’t even try to sell it, because things are different these days as far as how people listen to music.” But the rest of the guys were like, “Well, this is what we do, this is what we’ve always done. So let’s do the best studio album we can.” And Bob [Ezrin] agreed. So I got into it wholeheartedly.

You cover a lot of stylistic ground on the album. There are plenty of straightforward rockers, like “Hell to Pay” and “Weirdistan” but also mellow, jazzy cuts, like “All the Time in the World,” and more epic tunes, like “Above and Beyond.”

I think we just naturally do that, because Ian Paice is one of those drummers that can play swing-type stuff as smoothly as rock. So it leaves room for a lot of different feels. “All the Time in the World”: the verse in that is kind of slinky and relaxed but still has a little bit of swing to it. And “Above and Beyond” was me sort of pushing the band musically in a certain direction. I was imagining an orchestral background mix with sort of a Zeppelin-y heaviness. And chord-wise I guess it’s a little more proggy, more like the kind of thing I might have brought into a Kansas writing session. Lot of different triads over the tonic, which sort of stays the same. So there were a lot of different ideas.

One of the great guitar spots on the album is the intro to “Uncommon Man,” which begins with an extended, unaccompanied solo from you. How did that come about?

That was Bob, pure and simple. I don’t think I would have thought to do anything like that. But he came to one of our shows, and afterward at the studio he said, “I want you to do something like you did at the concert.” And I said, “That was improv.” So he said, “Well, then do an improv. You’re rolling.” We were all in a circle looking at each other, and I just started playing like I would live. And Don [Airey] has super-incredible ears, so he heard what I was doing and just followed along. Then when Don started leading with the chords, I had to listen and try to follow him. And if you listen to the song, there’s one chord where I didn’t quite get it. There are a couple notes in one of the runs that don’t completely match. I meant to do that! [laughs] But it was just one of those moments where it was the entire band doing the take and there was no way to fix it. It was literally a moment in time. And I love when we keep takes, especially when it’s the first take. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s really cool to have those spontaneous moments.

That was just a preview. The complete interview will appear in Guitar World August 2013 issue (the one with Jeff Hanneman on the cover).

Thanks to Andrey Gusenkov for the info.

14 Comments to “The coolness of first take”:

  1. 1
    kraatzy says:

    A very very great album – I am still waiting for another new one …. can´t get enough



  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    Many of the great moments in music are often ‘live’ first take situations. It does capture the real element of what is going down. The more you tinker with it, the less ‘real’ it becomes. King Crimson springs to mind, they recorded many a track live in the studio & what was there was left there! I have never been too critical of a little mistake or noise or something, that is left in the final recording! It gives it a human element. Everything clean & straight is too unreal for me in many aspects! Cheers!

  3. 3
    Errol Arias says:

    “It was literally a moment in time. And I love when we keep takes, especially when it’s the first take. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s really cool to have those spontaneous moments.”

    WONDERFULL , is really wonderfull to know they still have the guts to show us the value of the spontaneity in this new album after all this years of touring and recording.. A True Gem : Five professionals showing us the magic of the interaction, alive in the studio.

    I hope , i really hope they play all this incredible new album alive… “Now What?!” really is worth the effort

  4. 4
    Ivica says:

    Don Airey first musical star NW ? ! This is normal ,NW ?! is a memories to the great keyboard player and band founder Jon Lord.
    Steve Morse excellent playing, NW ?! Transferred concert energy
    Blackmore always be the first guitarist of Deep Purple, but Steve has his great place in the history of this great band, I think he is the most responsible and what band this long lasting, high quality play.
    NW!? there are plenty of memories of the past
    “Out of Hand” recalls the “Perfect Strangers”. “Apres Voues “solo at the end memoris of the duels guitar-hammond-Jon- Ritchie ,live perfomarns Stveve-Lord of “Speed ​​King”.
    The guitar intro in “Uncommon Man” similar concert intro Steve in “When a Blind Man Crieses”,” All the Time in the World” in the wake of the solo “Sometimes I Fell Like Screaming”
    Steve played virtuos solo “Hell to Pay”, the best in me, solo in”Vincent Price” amazing 86 seconds guitar sound
    God bless you Steve

  5. 5
    Liberato says:

    Steve played virtuos solo “Hell to Pay”, the best in me, solo in”Vincent Price” amazing 86 seconds guitar sound
    God bless you Steve hi hi hi

    a joke

    listen carry on … jon , gates of babylon , stargazer , child in time , burn , mistreaded , maybe next time and more , and more and more from blackmore !


    long live the only , the one , the best , the king ritchie Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaackmore !

  6. 6
    al says:

    good support from Lars :

    METALLICA’s Lars Ulrich On DEEP PURPLE Not Being In the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame: “(It’s) One Of The Crimes Of That Whole Institution”
    Hot Flashes
    Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 18:12:18 EST

    Longtime journalist and press officer Peter Makowski has posted an interview he conducted with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich talking about his love for DEEP PURPLE. Conducted last year, it has been posted again (here) to celebrate Deep Purple’s 19th studio album NOW What!? Ulrich talks about being a fan of the band, seeing them for the first time, favorite album tracks, songs he’d like to cover, the late Jon Lord, and more. A portion of the interview can be read below:

    Makowski: You wrote beautiful eulogy to Jon Lord on the Metallica website, you were obviously a friend and a fan.

    Ulrich: “Thank you. I’m not sure that the people in today’s hard rock world really truly understand how innovative this guy was. He wasn’t just another keyboard player on the side of the stage. In 66/67 when Hendrix, Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore were taking the electric guitar to a new level, by using banks of Marshall stacks beefing up the sound, Jon Lord was one of the first guys in hard rock to take the keyboards through the same process. He took a fairly standard instrument like a Hammond organ put it through amplifiers and Leslie cabinets and introduced a whole new way of forcing the sound out of the keyboards. Ritchie Blackmore said the other day that Jon formed Deep Purple; he was certainly the instigator that made things happen. If not the musical leader Jon was the spiritual leader of the band. He was a pioneer and I think that somehow that’s gotten a little lost in the last few weeks. People are talking about, obviously, what a gentleman he was and what a fantastic band member but he really did something nobody had done before with the sound of the keyboards and I think that’s probably the biggest thing to remember him for.”

    Makowski: What’s your overview of the Mk 3 line up?

    Ulrich: “Burn feels like a very heavy Ritchie Blackmore record, whereas as Stormbringer with GLENN HUGHES influence was a little more R&B. It’s a different band. (Ian) Gillan was always out front doing stuff. If he wasn’t singing he was playing bongos, he had a presence. Songs like Space Trucking was always Ian Gillian’s time to get the whole audience to clap along, he was an active frontman. With David Coverdale when he came in you could feel that he was young and more just the singer. I would never say that one’s better than the other, they complement each other. You could say that Deep Purple peak years were 72 and 74. In 73 you hear in the live recordings and see in the videos that Ian Gillan has already mentally checked out and in 75 you can see that Ritchie’s mentally checked out.”

    Makowski: Which is your favourite Purple line up?

    Ulrich: “(Laughs) Man, that’s like asking which one of your kids you like the best. I can’t answer that. To me they’re almost like different bands. You could say that the Mk 2 line up was edgier, harder. Mk 3 was more soulful and vocally with two singers was stronger. I can’t say which is better; you can only say that they’re different.”

    Makowski: Why do you think Purple haven’t been inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame?

    Ulrich: “What you’ve got to understand is that a lot of the people that have run the selection process are critics. And Deep Purple as you know were never a critic’s band especially in America, because their influence was probably felt more in Europe. It’s only a matter of time. Rather sooner than later. We’ve already lost one member. The fact that LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH are in and Purple is not is one of the crimes of that whole institution. We’ll get them in soon enough; I’m working on it.”

  7. 7
    MacGregor says:

    Good comments from Ulrich. He has always been a big fan of the band, good to see some constructive statements regarding the Purps. Cheers.

  8. 8
    Chris Mallinson says:

    a few mentions of Steve Morses solo on Vincent Price on these messages,but i have to say that the bit i turn up the stereo for is Steves absolutely beautiful solo on on the album version of “All the time in the world”,its a gem.

  9. 9
    gustavo from Argentina says:

    in this album we can find Dire Straits parts, ELP parts, KING crimson, Yes………but this fine salad of tunes makes one of the fines works of the grest band we hear:Deep Purple. LOng live this monsters of rock!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. 10
    cyclone says:

    @6 there are many pro band members out there that have the same feelings about DP…..why the critics don’t get it is beyond my brain.

  11. 11
    purrfect stranger says:

    That is so cool of Lars to say such fantastic things about Jon and Purple. But seriously Lars Mark 2 or Mark 3? There is no comparison. Listen to Made In Japan, Highway Star or Child in Time In Rock, the second child is better than the eighth, honesty is the best policy. Just dont tell your kids that, they might not get anywhere in life if you do and they may not get inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of the Mountain King.

  12. 12
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    @5 Liberato,

    You need to take the Black wax out of your ears and broaden your banjo horizons….

    my·op·ic/maɪˈɒpɪk, -ˈoʊpɪk/ [mahy-op-ik, -oh-pik]
    1. Ophthalmology . pertaining to or having myopia; nearsighted.
    2. unable or unwilling to act prudently; shortsighted.
    3. lacking tolerance or understanding; narrow-minded.

    But seriously….


  13. 13
    purplepriest1965 says:


    Actually, I m trying to harbour some Dutch cheese from there. 🙂

  14. 14
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    @13 purplepriest1965,

    I am laughing my arse off! Your dry wit always appreciated. :>


    P.S. Lang leve Steve en Ritchie!

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