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Roger the romantic

goldmine-2020-09 deep purple

A little lull in the news is interrupted by an interview we’ve missed when it came out in September issue of the Goldmine magazine. Ian & Ian talk to Martin Popoff. The freshly released Whoosh was obviously discussed at lengths, as well as this bit on In Rock:

GM: To take you back 50 years with a historical question, over the years I’ve asked everybody this except for you: why is In Rock such a heavy record? It’s essentially music that previously hadn’t existed.

IP: By the time we had done the third record, with (vocalist) Rod Evans and (bassist) Nick Simper, there was an unconscious realization from definitely Ritchie and I, and somewhat Jon (Lord), that our music was actually getting harder. And because we were playing live so often, and we were getting better at it, the ideas were becoming slightly more aggressive. And we needed a different sound at the top. Rod Evans’ voice was lovely, but he wasn’t what I would call a rock and roll voice; it really wasn’t. So when that change came and we got Ian and Roger (Glover) in, not only did we get that voice, we got a couple of songwriters in. And so the shift was sort of inevitable. The amalgamation of those five musical influences, and the way that the musical dynamic was shifting, we had to make a statement and say let’s make sure everybody realizes this is a big shift from the first Deep Purple. I wouldn’t say it was a conscious thought, but there was a deliberate effort. In Rock was very, very hard. And then we heard Mountain’s first record, and we went back and said, “We’ve got to do some work.” (laughs)

…And the symbiotic songwriting relationship that Big Ian and Roger enjoyed for so many years:

GM: What would Roger’s preoccupations be in terms of lyrical subjects versus you? I mean, if an outsider was to try to pick apart what a Roger lyric is verses an Ian lyric, what does Roger concern himself with more than you?

IG: Well, Roger and I have worked together since ’65. And it’s like the odd couple, I suppose (laughs), in that sense. Roger did virtually all the lyrics on the last album. And here, the gates just flung open. I just started scribbling one night and I didn’t stop and there it was, all finished. The first one I wrote was “Drop the Weapon,” which is because I was very moved about kids dying on the street, shooting each other, stabbing each other in London. It’s getting worse and worse. And it was a kind of metaphorical arm around the shoulder: “Hey kid, you know, your pride can take a hit. Let’s drop the weapon. There’s other things we can do.” That came out, and it was just stream of consciousness, and before I knew it, it was all finished.

But to answer your question, I think Roger’s style is more romantic. He’s a much nicer person than I am. In fact I complain about it all the time: “I hate you Roger, ‘cos you’re just too nice.” And, well, he’s the nearest thing I ever had to a brother. He’s more poetic. And he’s very good at narratives. I’m probably more aggressive than Roger, and probably more cryptic. Roger is much more straightforward when he’s telling a story. I tend to bury meanings in two or three layers. Of the songs we’ve written, over the years… I mean, I’ve written 500 or more songs now, and probably half of them are with Roger. Of the songs we’ve written, you know, he’s probably written 30% and I’ve written 30% on my own and the rest we’ve written together. We don’t actually count. If somebody has a good idea, we go with that.

Read the whole thing in Goldmine.

Speaking of fresh releases, The Dead Daisies will take the cover of the March issue of the magazine:

goldmine-2021-03 dead daisies

Thanks to Yvonne for the info.

Comment to “Roger the romantic”:

  1. 1
    Finn says:

    “He’s a much nicer person than I am” – so true.

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