Blackmore's Night

Metal Hammer Poland - Interview April 2006

The Metal Hammer magazine, Poland April 2006 edition shocked many fans the last few days because of their frontcover showing Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan together. Don't get too excited as it's most likely just an April's Foolsday Joke done with the help of Adobe's Photoshop. Here is a translation of the interview with Ritchie & Candice and partly the interview with Ian Gillan.

We have been familiar with the fact that Blackmore is recording a new album. The first single "I'll be there/Just call my name" was released in November. It brought much more riffy music that was present on previous Blakemore's Night album. But they couldn't make us forget about the renaissance music. We were talking to them one late afternoon…

MH: We've been waiting for your new record for three years. It seems to be quite a long time. What took you so long?

Candice: Yes, it took us much more time than we intended. The period of recording was longer than while making previous albums. But don't forget that our fans could at that time listen to few new things. On our romantic collection there were new Christmas songs. Last year our new DVD came out which was very important for us as it is the very first.

Ritchie: So you see, we always remember about our fans.

MH: What can we expect this time? In one of your last interviews you promised that we will hear electric guitar.

Candice: yes, Ritchie's guitar is present in most of the songs. You'll probably love such songs as "It doesn't matter", "St. Teresa" or "Just call my name". But we've got some other surprises as well. First of all, we did a new version of purple classic "Child in time" combined with the medieval "Mond Tanz"; which is from our very first album. Those two we've been playing at our venues for quite a while. And because we've heard many positive comments from our audience, we decided to record it in the studio.

For Ritchie it was the opportunity to play another interesting solo. But we've planning to put one more surprise on the limited edition. The song is much more "mine" I may say, it is personal. Yes, the limited edition will also be released.

MH: I know that you've done your version of Ralph McTell's "Streets of London". Correct me if I'm wrong, but the song was performed by Sinead O'Connor and Bruce Springsteen. How come that you've done your version of this particular song?

Ritchie: Some time ago, a friend of ours from Estonia - it's near your country, isn't it? - Anyway, he started to hum this melody and I fell for it from the very beginning. And when later Candice sang it, I knew I want to record it. A short story. You'll see.

MH: It was a big surprise that you invited Joe Lynn Turner to cooperation. How did you meet after all the years?

Candice: We had worked together. For some time we've been in touch. And whilst some meeting he told us that that if we wanted to play with him it would do if we just called him and he would be waiting and would agree with great pleasure. And when we wondered about the new songs, the idea of "Street of dreams" had emerged, so we called Joe. It was a great time working with him.

Ritchie: "Street of dreams" is one of my favorite Rainbow tunes. You know, one of the best things in Blackmore's Night is the fact that we can play whatever we want. Covers, medieval music, renaissance music, anything. If I put forward such things in Deep Purple, I wouldn't have a chance to play such songs. They would tell me: "Why can't we write our own stuff?" And now we've got the whole music at our own disposal. Joe? I always considered him to be a great voice and I proposed him the cooperation with no second thoughts on our own song after all.

MH: Do you have any further plans with Joe?

Ritchie: Maybe. I guess he moved to Estonia (he laughs)

Candice: With his girlfriend (she laughs)

Ritchie: Frankly speaking, everything is possible.

MH: Recently I've had the following dream. I'm at your gig at some old, gloomy castle, the concert is coming to an end, as the last encore you play "Rainbow eyes". Candice's voice, your guitar and a violin. Is there a chance that one day my dream will come true?

Ritchie: That particular one may come true. Will you play the violin? (He laughs). Recently we've been discussing the song. I think that Candice's voice is perfectly in tune with the song.

MH: It has been two years since our last meeting. What kind of music have you been listening to most often? Or maybe you've discovered something new? What has inspired you recently?

Ritchie: That's a tough question, you know. We aren't familiar with the situation in the music business at the moment. I' m listening all the time the music from the old times, sometimes Dylan... I've noticed some time ago that if I do not play or practice at the same time I do not listen to any music. If I do not create I tend to talk to people a lot. I prefer talking to people rather than listening to the music.

Candice: We take the inspirations from the journeys, for sure. Last time when we've been to Ukraine our fans were giving us cds with the local sounds. It happens that sometimes we've got to much music and to little time to listen to it. So, we're inspired by the old music as well as the music we've been given. The first song from our new album "25 years" is inspired by Balkan music.

Ritchie: Remember, that the significant factor is the place itself. The mysterious castles, medieval towns.

MH: Salt mines. Remember Wieliczka?

Ritchie: Surely, we do. Such places are very inspiring. It's a pity I had so much trouble with the guitars. The fact was pretty embarrassing. The guitars went out of tune in a short period of time; each one which was given to me by my roadie was out of tune. I had to change instruments every ten minutes. It was like a horror. You know, the depth and the cold did their job. Fortunately the audience was patient. Each time when I took a new guitar they applauded. All in all, Wieliczka is a fantastic place and we felt there damn good.

MH: Will you be visiting our country this tour? Your first venues are passing by Poland…

Ritchie: We would like to visit Poland again. It is a very special place to us, after all Candice has Polish ancestors and we always want to play as often as possible there. But every, now and then we encountered some unclear problems connected with coming to your country. Now I hope we will be much often in Poland. Some things have changed recently.

MH: Ritchie, we have got an album with fifty recordings that you did in the sixties. I'm not quite sure if you are familiar with the album, it is called "Getaway". I have to admit the material is very interesting and it is a great record of your musical activity at that time. What did those years give you?

Ritchie: Yeah, I've got this album. I've got nothing to do with the release of it. All the compositions were recorded in the sixties and the seventies. What is strange in two or three songs it isn't me who plays the guitar. It was a great surprise that they wrote I play the guitars while for sure I'm not playing there.

MH: The early days. Was it the period of time in which you wanted to conquer the musical world?

Ritchie: It is some true in it. But I rather wanted to prove something. I'm not the life and soul of a party I'm rather an introvert so I wanted to express myself by the means of musical instrument- guitar. From the very beginning I used to be fed up with school. I wasn't able to express myself in mathematics or English. I couldn't follow up the rules governing school. My perception of the world was far more different from the one, teachers used to have… So the guitar was a kind of escape to me, the way to prove that I'm not worthless. I left school at the age of sixteen. Yeah, I didn't understand why the obligation of learning all the things existed.

MH: Candice. Last year you were a guest on the last Helloween album in the song "Light the universe". Whose was this idea?

Candice: With Helloween it was a great fun. Much more that were from the same label. "Light the universe" is magnificent song. It clutched my heart as soon as I heard it. The musicians introduced the song to me, because they wanted to know my opinion. And, as they later admitted they hoped I would sing it. Of course, I agreed to it. The cooperation was interesting, because we were working in NY on "The Village Lantern" while they were recording in Germany. So, the cds were flying back and forth above the ocean.

MH: And how's your collection of witches and hags?

Candice: I've got them all, of course. They are gaining the control over our house, step by step. I have ceased buying them recently, but fans bring me them to the venues as a gifts. I treat them with much attention and always and I always take them to our house. There I place them in a special room. I love everything connected with fantasy.

MH: I heard that last year you met with Tony Edwards, the very first DP manager? What were you talking about?

Ritchie: Tony is the guy that joined me with Jon Lord. He was our great supporter; he gave us the money for a start. Had it not been for him, you wouldn't have heard of DP. It was fantastic to see him; after all I owe him much.

Candice: One day he came to our gig and was sitting by my father, while we were playing "Child" he nudged my father and said to him "You know, I haven't heard that one for over thirty years". He is a remarkable chap and thanks to him we met DP.

MH: Who is your favorite in the World Cup?

Ritchie: Poland!!!(He laughs) I have troubles with my friends, you know, because they can't understand why I favor Germany, it has been so since Beckenbauer times. It was the style. Simply, I like their way of playing. But I think, they might fail this time. And my English friends are talking about English team all the time! Sure. But if they take Beckham to Germany, they have nothing to count on.

MH: Thanks for the interview on behalf of your polish fans.

Ritchie: Thank you and see you in Poland. We'll do everything to visit your country this year. In fact we're waiting with anticipation to play for you.

The interview done by Witek Terlecki, Metal Hammer Poland April 2006
[translation by marcinn, lifted from the Deep Purple Hub]

We talked to Ian Gillan not about DP, but about his solo album Gillan' Inn. This album is not a typical compilation of various songs, but it is rather a journey into the past.

MH: Your friends - musicians took part in the sessions. What was your reason to invite them? On the other hand we haven't got any musicians from Ian Gillan Band or Gillan except Janick Gers...

Gillan: That's true... Gillan band no longer exists... And I wanted other musicians to appear, different than those who recorded it for the first time back in the seventies and eighties. If I invited DP to perform SOTW, it would be a sheer nonsense. So I invited people with whom I've worked over the last twenty years, who at the same time are my friends. You couldn't say that about John McCoy or Mick Underwood- with whom I haven't been on good terms after Gillan Band ceased to exist - many things has emerged since that time. That is the exact reason I didn't invite Ritchie Blackmore. I just wanted the process of recording to be a good fun, and the people who took part in it were able to create such atmosphere in the studio.

MH: We will skip to the beginnings of the 90's now. You did fantastic albums – Naked Thunder and Toolbox, and then you joined Purple. What would you do if the albums attracted attention?

Gillan: Interesting… It doesn't go about money or success but you need to feel satisfaction from your work… I had many doubts about joining Purple. It wasn't a comfortable situation for me. Two or three years earlier I was thrown out of the band, so why the hell do they want me to come back now? The answer is obvious. The company threatened that they would tear the contract into pieces if I didn't come back. So the pressure from, let's call it, business side was enormous and I didn't feel like coming back at all… Finally my "supporting group" (that is my wife, my manager and tour manager) spend a whole day on convincing me to the idea of return, claiming that it would be the best move "as far as your career is concerned". "It won't be easy because of Ritchie, for sure, but you have to deal with it somehow. Don't be nervous and keep your temper. We know that you don't get along well and we also know that it won't improve". So, it has been resolved that I had to be calm all the time and do not provoke Ritchie. But it turned out that he couldn't stand my calmness because he loved to fight...

MH: Let's remind our readers – it's winter 1978 – surprisingly Ritchie Blackmore is knocking at your door and asking you for a short chat and he suggests you joining Rainbow. Imagine such situation takes place at the moment...

Gillan: (long sigh) It has been such a nice interview so far... Ok. Listen... You divorce your wife, then you marry another woman, you start enjoying life again – and you never come back to the previous wife. In our case certain bond was broken, other things were inevitably destroyed. Most of them are a private matter and I won't tell you about them just because I respect Ritchie. What has left to me, to all of us, are the memories of magnificent, fantastic guitar player, who was a part of DP in the most important periods of the exsistence of this band. The master of riffs, the guy with his own identity, his own unique inimitable sound. He will be remembered for ever. The same I feel about Jon Lord who like Ritchie followed his own direction, though our parting with Jon wasn't as dramatic... Ritchie is not in the band at the moment and I've got great memories left. I hope his fortunate now – and it is all I can say. But now if he knocked at my door... My parents would remind me to be polite… And probably in such situation I would remain polite... And that's it.

The interview done by Roland Bury, Tomek Szmajter, Witek Terlecki, Metal Hammer Poland April 2006
[translation by marcinn, lifted from the Deep Purple Hub]