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Go on stage and have fun

Simon McBride; photo © Martin Knaack CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Simon McBride spoke to the Scars and Guitars podcast at the beginning of June (i.e. after the start of the tour, but before the announcement of Steve’s retirement).

At the end of the day, for me, with this gig, there’s been lots of people saying, or asking me will I play like Ritchie or will I play like Steve or will I do this like Tommy or Satriani or whatever. So that thing initially kind of confused me a little bit; I didn’t know what to do. It was only when I was talking to [DEEP PURPLE keyboardist] Don Airey about it, and he just said, ‘Forget about it all. Just be you. Play your own thing.’ That’s it. Which I did. And I kind of started to relax a little bit and just be myself.

When you start to think about who else has been in the band, you get a little bit confused what to play or when to play or what to do or ‘should I play this like Ritchie?’ or ‘should I play it like Steve?’

Everybody has their own opinion on the guitar players in DEEP PURPLE and which ones worked better or whatnot. I [am] respectful to everybody who’s played there, because they’re all good players — every single one of ’em — so whether it’s Ritchie or Tommy or Steve, I just kind of [am] respectful to what they’ve done in the past, and I just do my own thing most of the time.

There’s certain things you have to play. Like ‘Highway Star’, for example, I’m not gonna play anything different to what’s there in the original, because why the hell would I? [Laughs] That’s my attitude. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

To be honest, everybody’s been so nice and so cool and so kind, especially on the social media stuff where it’s all been very positive. You get the odd negative one, but I don’t read a lot of it anyway. But it’s really cool that people accept me, because it is a legacy band and they’ve been around a long time. I really appreciate that people are digging what I do, and I feel it every night onstage. Some of the shows we’ve done, some of the audience reaction has been incredible.

We played a show in Macedonia. We came off. We did an encore and stuff. And then 20 minutes later, the audience are still shouting,” he recalled. “I’d never heard this my entire life — 15, 20 minutes of 10 thousand people shouting for more, just constantly, and they wouldn’t leave. Even Don Airey and Roger Glover were standing there in shock, going, ‘We haven’t heard this in a long, long time.’ I’m not saying that’s all for me; I’m just saying that’s just for the band.

I’m very [happy] that people like what I’m doing because it is always hard stepping into a band where you’ve had [laughs] Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani and Tommy Bolin. They’re not small names by any means, so it’s always very… I think if you just play and have fun, that comes across and people respect that and people will really see.

I’m 43, so I kind of grew up in that old-school playing method anyway. ‘Cause I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, so I guess I’m still part of that older generation, if you wanna call it. So the way that I play would still fit very well, whereas maybe some of the new, modern players wouldn’t fit. I don’t know.

Yeah, the response has been brilliant. I can’t complain at all. And I thank every single person that has said a nice thing about me.

Listen to the interview:

Hurry up, we’re being told that this podcast issue might disappear at the end of August for corporate reasons.

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the info and quotes.

21 Comments to “Go on stage and have fun”:

  1. 1
    Dan Russell says:

    Thank you Simon for fitting in and blowing it away. You’re home now.

  2. 2
    Andrew says:

    Seems that Simon has fitted in well with his back to basics playing style but sorry to suggest that it’s time for Deep Purple to leave the stage now with their legacy still intact.

  3. 3
    Peter J says:

    Great guitar player…

    A very good choice, the band’s performances this summer were fantatstic, not only Gillan but the 5 of them. And I’ve watched tons of videos and been to 3 gigs myself.

  4. 4
    Ole Jacobsen says:

    Looking forward to seeing tem in Leeds in October (hopefully with Simon McBride). I would not be surprised if Deep Purple continued even without Ian Paice in the band. I’s a business, the continuing touring and new music reaches new audiences and sells the old albums. Even Blackmore would applaud (the incoming money) I would think! See NMS for this article regarding the brand (not band) Kiss. 🙂 https://www.nme.com/news/music/paul-stanley-says-kiss-could-continue-without-him-and-gene-simmons-its-bigger-than-any-member-2974977

  5. 5
    mike whiteley says:

    I agree with @ 2 & 3.
    The band found a fine replacement in Simon and things are certainly sounding good. Finish out 2o22 and let The Long Goodbye reach it’s end.
    To borrow from The Spanish Archer, “Let’s not drag it out/Like some Cagney death scene”.

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Paicey is the one member whose loss I believe the band could never survive. Not because he is the last one from the original line-up, but because his swing sets Purple apart from any other hard & heavy merchants. And that is incredibly difficult to replicate with another drummer. I could only think of Simon Phillips coming near.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    If they record a new album with Simon, I’m happy for this to continue a while longer – I’m just curious how new music under the influence of his songwriting would turn out.

  8. 8
    Noe Nunez says:

    I guess the future challenge will be to make a new album with Simon, the current live set was there laid out for him and he did a great job , knowing Deep Purple for so long I would not be surprised if they make another record, let’s wait and see ; )

  9. 9
    Nick Soveiko says:

    Uwe @7: Don’s last solo album might provide with some insight into how it might sound – there are several tracks in there co-written with Simon

  10. 10
    Aireight says:

    I’ve slowly been going over DP Appreciation Society mags from early 2000s, looking for two things. Someone had asked if anyone had ever thanked Steve for saving the band, which I found (and had done). The other was editor, Simon, who’d responded to the thought of Gary Moore being in the band. He said something to the effect of, “he’s okay, if you can stand his voice, which I can’t”. This may be the closest we get. It would be great to at least have an official live album with him. After all, it seems to me that Steve deserves to be the last true guitarist of the band.

  11. 11
    Mike Nagoda says:

    It’s funny – I understand now all the people who say “DP is not DP without Ritchie” and couldn’t accept Steve

    I feel the same way about Simon – I’m having a hard time coming to terms with Steve leaving the band- I grew up with him, he was my DP guitarist

    To me, DP just isn’t DP without Steve Morse in the band – maybe that’ll change as I grow to accept things as they are now, but that’s how I feel atm

    I guess that’s a testament to Steve’s legacy in the band, 28 years certainly let him make his mark

    If I read between the lines of his statement, I noted that he said he could not commit to touring, but said nothing about recording.

    I’m hoping the guys will finish the album they were working on with Steve, and have it be their last, have Simon be their touring guitarist – they could even move recording close to him so he could be with his family

    It would be the best way to go out and keep their promise to Steve to have him be Purple’s final guitarist in a sense

    I know it’s a dream, but I do find it telling that Steve said nothing about recording with the band in the future (and only touring)

    One can hope.

  12. 12
    Patrick Hughes says:

    Simon is an incredible player. I have probably watched him for 25 years from the Empire in Belfast. He blew the doors off the place all those years ago and him getting this opportunity with Purple is so well deserved. A true talent.

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Purple with Simon will be more of a shit-kicking affair – Steve was lots of things, but never shit-kicking.

    Yeah, I remember Simon Robinson’s dislike of Moore – I found his vocals mostly unbearable too and his always attention-clamoring guitar playing – where every note seemed to be of equal, intense importance (in contrast to Ritchies extremely nuanced, dynamic, light & shade, yet dramatic playing) – is an acquired taste, just ask some Thin Lizzy fans, he left little room for others.

    Thankfully, Simon is nowhere near as obnoxious as Gary, there is even a touch of Bernie Torme’s flash and aplomb + happy-go-lucky attitude in him.

    Much as I love Steve and am eternally grateful for what he did for the band, this is yet another interesting turn of events. Deep Purple might finish their career with yet their hardest rocking album in a long time.

    I don’t have issues with anyone in the lineage (Ritchie, Tommy, Joe, Steve, Simon) at all. Name another band that has had as many unquestionably great, yet different guitar players?

    I listened to Mark IV live recordings extensively yesterday. And the thought struck me how much Tommy played those Blackmore riffs in SOTW, Lazy, Burn and Stormbringer (Highway Star was the weakest performance of a non-original number by Mk IV) as if they were Bolin riffs. Not obsessed with accuracy in replication, loose, even a touch sloppy at times, but with unmistakable swagger! People hated him for it at the time, but I thought and think it just lovely. Simon is a bit like that, cocky in his self-confidence and not overawed.

    I’m sitting on the edge of my seat what will happen.

  14. 14
    Andy says:

    Mike Nagoda@11 I feel somewhat similiar, I’ve been following Steve’s career since the Dregs’ What If album. I actually bought it on 8-track! At the same exact time, I also discovered Purple. I think we were extremely fortunate to have Joe and then Steve replace Ritchie. Nobody can replace Ritchie, just as nobody can replace Steve. I also believe I heard an interview at some point where Steve stated that he wanted to be the last guitarist in the band. I’m not familiar with Simon, but I hear great things. Hey Purple is our band, lets give them a chance to evolve yet again.

  15. 15
    Dr. Bob says:

    Never say never about Steve. The band is scheduled to be in his home state of FL next Feb and if they are going to record in Nashville then I would not be surprised by a guest appearance.

    The string of their last few albums were really successful because they sounded like Don & Steve moved the band in a progressive rock direction. If they record with Simon I wonder if that will move them in a blues rock direction. I hope so.

  16. 16
    Andrew says:

    Paragraph six is not a very appropriate comment really. Could have been left unsaid or radically rephrased. Best to be 100% respectful to predecessors at this stage of proceedings.

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    @ 6- yes Uwe I agree regarding Ian Paice, that feel he has is a one off so to speak. The band Rush are not able to continue without Neil Peart, his feel & technique is irreplaceable. Look how Sabbath changed without Bill Ward, we have commented on that scenario before though. There does seem to be a history of drummers staying put in many bands, Nicko McBrain for the Irons, Nick Mason for Floyd, Phil Collin’s for Genesis, Alan White with Yes. Most of those drummers I mentioned are also an integral component of the band in other ways.
    Drummers eh, who said they are easily replaced & I am not talking about the need for someone to change the light bulbs either. Cheers.

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    No disrespect intended, Anthony, Paicey is my favorite drummer in the world and I love the man as a person too. He‘s Purple‘s most vital part these days.

    All I was trying to say is that only Simon Phillips comes close in feel and groove to me. A drummer buddy of mine once said about him: „He sounds as if a young Ian Paice had gone to music school.“

    But it‘s also a biological fact that bad news about Roger and the two Ians might reach us every morning when we wake up. That is not in anyone‘s hands and I‘m sure the band lives with that realization.

  19. 19
    Rev. Harry Longfallis says:

    Uwe #6, the only other drummer I know of who could (maybe) pull it off is Clive Bunker, the original Jethro Tull drummer. But even he would be a step down from Ian Paice.

  20. 20
    Cahyono says:

    Tribute band nowadays
    Dp classic had died in 93

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    @ 19 – I was watching a few older live Tull videos a few nights ago, Clive Bunker is wonderful on the kit, he always had a great feel. I think he is still active & recently appeared with Martin Barre’s band if my memory serves me well. He isn’t a hard rock drummer though as you said. Cheers.

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