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Waxing poetic for Illinois

Roger Glover; Photo © 2005 Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

Illinois Entertainer has a cover story on Deep Purple with interview from Roger Glover, who seems to be the go-to spokesperson for the band on the upcoming tour. The nice bit is also that the anonymous interviewer(s) seem to know their Purple marbles.

IE: Most fans and music industry insiders consider Machine Head to be the apex of Deep Purple’s recorded legacy. How do you feel about that album now after 40 years?

RG: Obviously with that album and Made In Japan (which was from the Machine Head era), and Made In Japan was really the album that broke “Smoke On The Water” in America especially, it was great to have that in your history. You can be very in intimidated by that success. There are a few bands that might say ‘How can we top that? How can we better that?’ but we actually don’t think that way. We feel we should just make the best music we can at the time and that is all there is to it. Before Machine Head came out we didn’t know it was going to be the album it became. And we certainly didn’t know “Smoke On The Water” was going to be the song it was going to be. So, it was not in our hands, really. It was entirely up to the public. You don’t try to write a classic; you just write. Every now and then someone will come up to us and say, ‘ How come you guys don’t write songs like “Highway Star” anymore?’ Actually, we do. They just don’t sound like “Highway Star.” If they sounded like “Highway Star” we would just be a copy of ourselves. The thing to avoid is to become a parody of yourself. All you can do is what is in your heart at that time. No one knows what the future of a song is going to be when you are doing it. You can’t predict that.

And on the unsung hero (for many), but widely acclaimed for the few, member of the band — Ian Paice:

IE: The rhythm section of Ian Paice and Roger Glover is one of the more ferocious in Rock ‘N’ Roll’s history. What’s it like for you to play with Ian Paice night after night?

RG: Well, thank you! When I first joined the band I remember being totally blown away with Paicey’s playing, and with the others. I actually didn’t really know who Deep Purple were back then when I first worked with them. I was knocked out with the musicianship, especially Paicey. He seemed effortless. A lot of the drummers bash the hell out of a kit, but as Paicey says: ‘you can only hit a drum so hard; it won’t get any louder. It just makes you play not so good.’ He has that ability to play more like a jazz musician; more like a big band swing drummer. He hits the skins in such a way that they really crack, as opposed to hitting it really hard. That gives him a lot of fluidity. He’s a very fluid drummer; and a groove merchant. Once he hits that groove, it’s great. He plays with a kind of swing that no other drummer I know has. A lot of drummers these days play like drum machines. It’s very difficult to get your personality over with drums. I can take Paicey at any time. I can tell his style. When I first joined the band he came to me after a while and said, ‘By the way, I don’t follow; I lead.’ And I said: ‘OK, I got the picture.’ From that point on, I have just tucked in with him. It’s a magic feel, you know? When I was growing up and in school I would see bands and I was always blown away by the power of a bass and a bass drum locking in. And that was something I could never quite achieve until I joined Purple. Still, to this day, my mind will wander back to those days and I will get the same kick. The power you get when you are really in tight with the drummer. I get that with Paicey. It is a joy to play with him.

Read more in the Illinois Entertainer.

Thanks to Andrey Gusenkov (deep-purple.ru) for the info.

3 Comments to “Waxing poetic for Illinois”:

  1. 1
    Jocko Johnson says:

    That was a great read.

  2. 2
    stoffer says:

    Great interview and really good interviewer?!, excellent questions not just the same old same old (tell us about SOTW). We will be at that show in Elgin, ticket sales were slow at first but have picked up considerably and looks to be a good one.
    Can’t wait……cheers

  3. 3
    John says:

    Thanks for the shout out on IE’s Deep Purple August issue cover story. Our author for the story is Bruce Pilato. And he is indeed a huge Deep Purple aficionado. Thanks!

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