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Player Magazine – Japan

The June 2016 issue of “Player” in Japan carried a 16 page article on Deep Purple consisting of Ian Gillan’s interview, Steve Morse’s interview, inFinite album review, and the live & studio gear review of Steve and Roger’s equipment.

The interview is pretty much a repeat of the many interviews published in relation to the release of inFinite, but here are some portions which may be of interest:

Ian Gillan interview:

Q: I think Birds of Prey is one of the key songs of the new album.
Ian: It is a dynamic song, multi-textured, like an orchestra. I love to sing it, but it is the greatest experience to just listen to the band play the tune. I think Birds of Prey would be a good theme song for the 007 series. I would love to see “007/Birds of Prey” in the theatres.

Q: The intro of Hip Boots and some lyrics of Get Me Out of Here seem to show your respect to the rock and roll songs of the 50’s, but would you agree?
Ian: Not really. We didn’t go into the studio to try to write 50’s rock and roll songs. We never go in with a pre-conceived idea. But we are influenced by the 50’s rock and roll, obviously. Jon was influenced by Jimmy Smith, Ritchie could play Chet Atkins’s style, and Ian had the big band swing.

Q: Any thoughts on Chuck Berry who passed away recently?
Ian: Well, once in 1971 or 72, Deep Purple played as his back band in a festival in Germany. He didn’t have his own back band, and just hired people wherever he went. And so he hired us that day. He wouldn’t even say what song, and start playing. I was watching from the wing of the stage, and the band could play for him just by listening to the introduction. I thought it was indeed a great band.

Q: So this is your last tour?
Ian: This will be our last large-scale world tour. But our creativity has not dried up yet, and there is a possibility of making another album. The Long Good-bye Tour is not a catch copy to sell tickets, we want our fans to know that the opportunity to see Deep Purple will be scarce in the future.

Steve Morse interview:

Q: Has your arthritis influenced the guitar play in inFinite?
Steve: There is no change. I play what needs to be played on the album. It doesn’t matter if it causes pain. Actually, on stage I do not feel the pain due to the adrenalin. I feel the pain when I’m practicing. However, I did change some phrasing. In the instrumental section of the Surprising where I’m over-dubbing, in one of the lines I did pick, pull-off, pick, whereas I would have done only picking if it were not for the pain which was very strong that particular day.

Q: Tell us about Deep Purple’s future.
Steve: All five of us will continue to make music and make records, although it may not be Deep Purple. Especially Don, he will be working on projects all his life, he is a workaholic. But this will probably be the last large-scale world tour. Maybe 10-20 years ago, it was a joke that old rock stars go on stage on a wheelchair, but not anymore. We should stop while we can still play well. After Europe and the US, we will definitely go to Japan in 2018. Made in Japan is a classic live album, and it is a great thrill to play in the Budokan. I would like to play there again.

Q: What will you do after Deep Purple’s tour is over?
Steve: It’s still not yet decided when Deep Purple’s tour will end, but I will keep on playing. There is the Steve Morse Band, and many other projects I would like to work on.

Q: Will there be a reunion of Dixie Dregs?
Steve: We have talked about it, but people’s schedules could not be coordinated. If it happens, it will not be a big tour, just several cities in the US. When I played in Japan for the first time, it was with Biff Baby All-Stars with Albert Lee. A Japanese fan came up to me with Dixie Dregs’
LP, and I was very impressed that someone so far away knew about the Dregs!
It is great to play with Deep Purple in Japan, but it would be interesting to play with another band. I may do something with Dave LaRue, Dixie Dregs’
bassist. I have also played with him in the Cruise to the Edge as Flying Colors. I jammed some new music with him, using guitar synthesizers. I may do some stuff when there is time off from Deep Purple.

Album Review
The album review is 2-pages long, but mostly covers the background of each song, which has become quite redundant. One interesting comment was that the reviewer calls Birds of Prey the 21st century Child in Time — with the caveat that this may be too much praise! But the last paragraph may be worth translating: “If Deep Purple never made another album, fans will keep on listening to infinite forever. In the half a century that the band continued to progress, their music is indeed infinite = never ending.”

With thanks to Akemi Ono for the info and translation.



6 Comments to “Player Magazine – Japan”:

  1. 1
    Tommy H. says:

    Steve can be really proud of what he has achieved with Purple and I think that if it wasn’t for him I probably would have never seen the band live.

    “I play what needs to be played on the album. It doesn’t matter if it causes pain.”

    Great guy, great, passionate musician!

  2. 2
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Hi to George G Martin… I hope I.G.’s answers satisfy your enquiries in regards to “Birds Of Prey”. But I’m doubtful the 007 movie makers will use the song… After all, the movie makers have steadfastly refused to use Blue Oyster Cult’s song ” Godzilla ” in their Hollywood movies of the same name. The only band that scored big in that department was Black Sabbath, when their song “Iron Man” was used in the Iron Man movie. The lucky bastards!.

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    I remember the Biff Baby’s All Star band, went to a gig in 1993 in Brisbane. Briefly met both Morse & Albert Lee, Sterling Ball was playing bass from memory. It was the first time seeing Morse playing live, brilliant! Went to a SMB gig the following year from memory, just before he flew off to meet the Purple guys for the first time, possibly! Not that he mentioned that at all, but it was not very long after, that we heard he had joined Purple! Cheers.

  4. 4
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    @3 MacGregor, you’re a lucky fellow, I wish I could have seen those concerts as well… Looking back, I haven’t seen anywhere near as many concerts as I would have liked to in my life. My circumstances just haven’t allowed for it.
    But I’ll tell you what, seeing concerts by both Joe Bonamassa & by John Fogerty was something I’ve treasured for years. Actually, even a few of the local cover bands that I’ve seen down the club have been pretty accurate in their approach, whilst adding a touch their own styles… It’s a pity that they don’t play any original material of their own…
    I love music. I admire anyone that can play well… However, Deep Purple & related bands etc, along with Blue Oyster Cult & Pink Floyd & Nazareth are probably my favourites. Excelsior!.

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    Sir Blackwood Richmore @ 4 – I suppose there are always concerts that we regret missing. My big regrets are missing Rainbow in ’77, Tull the same year, Rory Gallagher in the early 90’s & Page & Plant in ’96! Otherwise, I am satisfied with my fix over the decades! Cheers

  6. 6
    Jeff Summers says:

    Hang on…. DP played as back up musicians to Chuck Berry in 1971/72? That’s a little known piece of information and quite astonishing 👍

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