Ritchie Blackmore has been around for a very long time. Deep Purple released their first album in 1968, and Blackmore quickly gained a reputation for being a one of the best guitarist around. Deep Purple became huge, but Blackmore quit the band, two times, when he didn't see any progression in the band. When he was not in Purple, he played his guitar in Rainbow, but now he is back with something totally new - Blackmore's Night. This is a project where he has been joined by his wife Candice Night, and together they have released the more or less acoustic "Shadow Of The Moon"...
- Since the early seventies I have always had a soft spot for music from the renaissance, but it wasn't until 4-5 years ago I began thinking about recording something like that myself. I listened to this kind of music a lot at home, but didn't really think there was any interest for this kind of music outside my own house!
Does this mean that the material on "Shadow Of The Moon" is songs written years ago?
- No, not really. All the material has been written over the last 2-3 years. Whenever I got some spare time from other projects I wrote a some of this material.
So, what can you tell about the content on the album?
- Some of the ideas is based on music from the 16th century. Four of the songs that is. They are based on music from Tielman Susato. The rest is basically my own ideas, but Candice wrote all the lyrics. I never write lyrics.
Did you find this project very difficult to work on?
- No, not really. In fact this is probably the easiest project I have worked on. It all came very natural and I never had that frustration with finishing the last couple of songs. In fact we had some leftovers when the album was done. The record company wanted 12 songs, but we gave them 15.
How was it to work with your wife on this project?
- No problem at all. It seems that we just can't get tired of each other, ha ha. We have a lot in common. There is only on one subject we are different: She doesn't drink. I do...
I was surprised to hear so much acoustic guitars from you, we are used to see you with a Fender Stratocaster...
- That's right, that's me on stage. But during the last 8-10 years I have played more acoustic than electric when I'm back home. In fact I hardly touches the el-guitar when I'm home these days.
A few words on Deep Purple. Why did you leave the band?
- It wasn't fun anymore. I have always said exactly what I mean, and sometimes it doesn't pay to be that honest. people I know call me brutal honest. I though Purple was only there for the name. It was like: "another day, another dollar"!
So how was the spirit in the Purple-camp on the last tour you did with them? Prior to the tour you had told the others that you would leave...
- It wasn't any problem at all. I doesn't socialise with the other bandmembers when I'm on tour. I prefer to be by myself, and I like to travel alone. I think this is something that I have from my childhood. Travelling with the band gives me a sort feeling that I'm out on an expedition with my class from school. It's like travelling with cheep. I also have a form of humour that is quite different from people in common. The fact that I'm always on my own has nothing to do with the others, although I know it seems a bit odd.
© Jan Dahle, Scream Magazine no 36, Norway - August 1997