by Andree Schneider & Lars Wehmeyer
Andree Schneider (AS): Did you expect the current
tour to be that successful? You are playing to capacity crowds in
almost every venue.
Roger Glover (RG): I never expect anything. No
expectations, and then there's no disappointments. I had no idea,
really. I guess it's a pleasant surprise for all of us. I think in a
way it seems obvious looking back because we've done a lot of
television. We've done more television this time than I think ever
before. Partly because we have a new record company and they want to
prove themselves so they've been pushing it. Some fans have come up to
me and said "It's not good you're doing this television
lip-sync" - yeah, maybe it's not good, but, you know, television
is television, it's a law onto itself, really, and it is great
promotion, whatever they think about what the band should or should not
be doing. It's obviously a good idea. Because, even so, people in the
world'll go "Deep Purple - oh yeah, they're still around?"
Lars Wehmeyer (LW): That's what people tell me all the time.
AS: Who had the brilliant idea of doing a tour
together with Alice Cooper?
RG: I don't know. No idea. Agents somewhere?
AS: Not Bruce Payne? I thought Bruce Payne would
RG: Well, I'm sure he had a part in it, but I
don't know who actually came up with the original idea.
AS: After the shows, do you sometimes hang out
with Alice Cooper and his band, or is everybody doing their own thing?
RG: Pretty much Alice Cooper disappears after his
show. There's been a couple of occasions where some of the band have
stayed behind. But usually they go. We talked to all the band, we
talked to Alice and stuff. And actually, he is called Alice, he changed
his name to Alice. Because I asked the band, I said "What do you
call him?" They said "Alice!". I think we're planning to
get together possibly I think in Munich, we're having a bit of an
after-show get-together to celebrate the end of the last date together.
AS: The new and unconventional set-list on this
tour is a joy for nearly all Deep Purple fans. The great thing is that
the new songs are received very well by the audience. I know that
you've always considered the previous set lists to be too static. Did
you successfully insist on your opinion this time, or how did this
courageous set list come into existence?
RG: Yeah, it was all my idea. I told
the band exactly what to do and they did it. (pause...big
grin) Actually, we've been talking about it all last year.
Last year was a kind of inbetween-year, and we didn't really have
time to rehearse, so we just go out and do shows, it was pretty
static. But we all felt that we needed to inject new songs, that's
why you do albums really, to get new songs. We knew it was going
to happen. But it's very nice that they go down so well. I think
probably because they were recorded so quickly and so spontaeously,
they translated into stage numbers really quite well.
LW: "Before Time Began" was, in my
opinion, the strongest song from the new album during the show - it gave
me goose bumps and I was reminded of 1996, when I heard "Sometimes
I feel like screaming" live for the very first time, it was a
similar "Magic Moment". Do the songs sometimes have a similar
effect on you when you're on stage? Do you experience "Magic
Moments" during your shows?
RG: Yeah, I suppose yeah. I thought "Before
Time Began" would be a good stage number, and I wrote an email to
the band about two weeks before the tour. We started talking about what
songs, and so on. And I said, I thought, "Before Time Began",
we should definitely really try that. We tried most of the songs, some
of them didn't work, as well as we'd like to, but "Before Time
Began" just clicked. But not everyone likes it. I've seen reviews
where people say they don't like it. You can't please
everyone. Actually, we don't set out to please anyone, really, except
AS: I think it's a great idea to have some visual
highlights in your stage setup. The last time this was true was during
the "The Battle Rages On" tour. The
"Rapture"-stage setup, with the huge light show and the
projection screens is very modern - who had the idea for this setup?
RG: Hmmm - there was some discussion, that because
we were touring with Alice and he has such a visual show, that we
should do something, not to compete with that, but at least stand up to
it. The first suggestion I heard was we use a string section or a guest
musician. It was just based on music rather than theater or show. But I
didn't like that idea, we'd done that, it's kind of nothing really that
special, and logistically difficult to do. It means you carry, who
knows, eight or ten extra musicians, or at least three or four,
something like that. I always thought screens are always a good idea
because especially when you play in big halls, people get to see a more
intimate side of the band. I remember Ian Gillan saying years ago:
"You know, standing on stage, I get to see Ian Paice's foot. And I
get to see Don's fingers on the keyboard. No one gets to see that. And
they should see that". In fact we're I thinking of having an
extra camera now on Paicey's foot - I don't know if we get around to
that. Gradually, from that idea, Louie Ball, and Lee, our production
designer, got together, and when we got to London to rehearse it was
more or less set up and done. I don't know whose idea it was, it was a
general band discussion, really.
AS: Are there any plans to produce a live-CD or
-DVD following this tour?
RG: No plans at the moment, but I think it would
probably be a good idea.
LW: you could probably some of the footage from
the projection screen as basis for a DVD
AS: Do you record it every evening?
RG: No. Not to my knowledge. I guess someone's
recording it somewhere, but we're not officially recording that stuff,
no. People in the audience have their own DVDs, I'm sure they're
recording with cameras and stuff.
LW: Beside your work on stage, you also work very
hard to have a good and close relationship with the fans - which you can
see since you're sitting here with us. Where do you get the motivation
after an exhausting show to talk to people, give autographs, have
pictures taken, or to even do an interview at such a late hour?
RG: Well, you talked me into
it. You bribed me with beer, followed the bus, you were sitting
here waiting when I come in - I can't get away! (laughter)
I don't know, as a band we've always treated the fans fairly well.
I remember our last tour assistant when we were on the bus in the
states, and she'd been with us for a couple of weeks, and she said
one night "I've worked with lots of bands, I don't know any
band that treats their fans better than you do". A lot of bands,
especially young bands just don't consider the fans, but without
the fans, nothing would be. We wouldn't exist without fans, so I
always give them a good time - I'm a fan myself, so I know what
it's like. When I meet someone who's my hero, it's a thrill. It's
been a couple of times, not recently, where I've met someone and
it's been a real disappointment because they've turned to be, really,
well, not nice people. And the most famous people I've ever met
are usually the nicest.
AS: For example?
RG: Vincent Price. I was told about Vincent Price
the other day, what a lovely guy he was. And Twiggy, the whole
Butterfly Ball thing, was lovely people, very professional, very
together. I think I've told you this story before about Bruce Welch,
RG: When I was fifteen, in school, and we had our
first band, and we were just learning, we had about two-and-a-half
chords down at that point, and it was all very basic djingy-djingy
stuff, and "The Shadows" were a huge band in England - Cliff
Richard's backing band. They had a hit in their own right,
"Apache" was their first hit. When that came out, that
changed my life, as it changed nearly evey boy's life at that point,
and probably girl's too, I don't know. We found out that Bruce Welch
who was the rhythm guitarist of "The Shadows" lived a couple
of miles from our school. And so three of us trecked there one day
after school, I don't know where we got the address from, but all of a
sudden, there we are looking at this house. It was not really that
special house, it was a semi-detached house, quiet street, and quite
nice by our standards. We were sort of looking: "He has walked
through that door! He, Bruce Welch has actually walked through that
door! There, his windows, he's opened those windows", you know, it
was just a magic thing looking at this house. And within a few minutes,
a car pulled up, and Bruce Welch stepped out. And we all sort of hid
behind the wall, he saw us, and he said "Hey, kids, what are you
doing?" - "Nothing, Sir, nothing" - "Come here!
What are you looking at?" - "Oh, we're fans and all",
and he invited us into his house, and we went in and sat there in his
living room for about one hour or so, and he played some music, he
played his latest favorite hits of the day, gave us a drink of water
and an apple each, and after an hour he said "Right, it's time to
go" - he was just absolutely the gentleman and it left a very very
deep impression on me, that someone that big could just be so ordinary
and kind. That was a good lesson to learn.
The ironic thing is that not
that many years later, probably nine, ten years later, I found myself
in the same position of being in a huge band and kids coming up to me
with tears in their eyes and shaking because I was the most famous
thing they'd ever seen. I was totally humbled by that because I didn't
feel that I deserve that kind of attention. But then I thought about
Bruce Welch, and I thought "He was such a nice guy to me, let's
carry it on".
AS: Wenn you have a day off during the tour - do
you enjoy it or do you feel bored, especially in the evening?
RG: Hmmm - no, I enjoy it. I try to enjoy
everything, there's no point in not enjoying something. This is a
pretty grueling tour, it's been actually really a lot of heavy work, a
lot of travelling, so a day off really is kind of
necessary. Frequently, I found myself doing absolutely nothing, just
going out for a walk, having a nice meal - and I'm generally enjoying
AS: All of you are still very fit, and I have
great respect for your achievements on stage. Beside the fun that
you're obviously having, it is also a very hard job. It has just been
announced that you will be on tour for another two years, that's a
very long time. Don't you ever get fed up with that?
AS: That's good for us! (laughter)
RG: You do bring up a good point. It's a lot
harder work than people think. People think it's a life of glamour,
excitement and parties and fun, it's not like a real job. But it is a
hard job. It's a hard job to keep focused, it's a hard job to keep
yourself in shape. We don't really try to keep in shape, I guess the
fact that we go on stage for a couple of hours every night really kind
of helps. I was about to say something, but I can't remember what it
was - forget it.
Andree turns the tape
RG: Now I remember what it was that I wanted to
say: Years ago, in Rainbow, Don Airey and I were at a launderette at
about one o'clock in the morning in the outskirts of Kansas city or
something, tired as hell, watching our washing go round and round. And
there was this sort of silence between us which was broken when Don
said "Oh, the glamour!" (laughter). Two days ago, we arrived
in Trier, at about seven in the morning after an overnight bus ride,
and I went and had a bit of breakfast, and I thought I'd go to bed now
and get a few more hours of sleep, and I saw Don heading out for a
launderette. Actually, I needed to get to a launderette too, so I went
with him. And we got a taxi and we found a launderette in Trier and we
were sitting there and I reminded him of that "Oh, the
LW: Is there a particular reason for the oriental
touch and sound of the title song "Rapture Of The Deep"
(beside the fact that it just sounds great, of course)? This oriental
inspiration was also present in other, older songs - is there any
particular place where you take that inspiration from?
RG: I don't even think of it as oriental, I
suppose you could say it's oriental in nature, but to me it's just
music. Don came up with that riff, and its working title was
"Turkish Delight". And when he first started playing it,
Paicey started playing a beat to it. When we got to the recording
session, Paicey and Don had been jamming around, and we actually didn't
look at it for a couple of weeks. I remember Paicey saying "Don's
got this pretty weird idea, we should have a look at it
sometime". So two weeks later we did have a look at it and spent a
very interesting afternoon working out the arrangement. But it's not a
choice to go oriental. We don't make those sort of choices, we don't
think that much, actually, we don't premeditate anything, we don't
start an album by having a meeting saying "Right, what direction
are we going to take?". It's really an adventure for us, as well
as it is for the people listening to it. We have no idea what it's
going to be like when we start.
LW: I read in an interview that you were pretty
upset that "Things I never said" didn't make it onto the
album. Who took this decision and why was it taken?
RG: The thing that upsets me is not that it was
"Things I never said", but it was the fact that one was left
off the album in the first place. To me, when you do an album of twelve
songs, there are twelve songs to be on the album. It's really a
business thing that is based largely on the japanese market where they
charge so much for CDs they always want something extra for it. It's
very difficult once you've finished the album and someone says
"Well, you gotta pick two to leave off". It's really a
horrible situation, and no one could really decide. I don't know
actually who decided which was the one to leave off. I wouldn't have
left any off, but then again I'm not a business man, but it's not
something I like. To me, if there's going to be an extra it should be
just a live track or an out-take or a jam, but then of course you can't
win because all the completists out there will want everything you do
anyway, so no matter what you do, you're going to piss someone off. I
just didn't like the idea when we finished the album suddenly we had to
cut some of it. It wasn't "Things I Never Said" -
"Things I Never Said" actually I think is a better song than
maybe one or two of the others that were on the album, but that's in
hindsight. It's worked out to be a great live song, but, you know,
there's the tour edition coming out now which includes all the songs
plus all the extras, so it's kind of, ah, I don't know, it's business
stuff. I hate that. That's why I was upset really. It's the nature of
AS: You will get a golden record with the tour edition.
RG: Maybe - I've heard rumours.
AS: I have a close contact to record company...
RG: I know - you seem to get more of the stuff
than I do. You heard the album before I heard it.
AS: Yes - I think that's ok. (laughter)
Talking about the album, I really like the album. Are you happy
with the sound or the production of "Rapture Of The Deep"?
AS: Have a beer! (laughter)
RG: I think Michael Bradford is a really fine musician,
a great writer, a lovely bloke, and I think he's generally done
the band good service. However, (pause)
and I have to also say that every production that I've done I'm
also unhappy with, so, I'm no more happy with this album than I
am with any album that I've been involved with, really. It's just
a question of the mix, I think. I would have mixed it differently.
I would have done different things. But then, you know, I have to
relinquish my role as a producer. I have to say "Ok, he's the
boss". And that's difficult. I had to actually staple my lips
together because I didn't want to say too much. To be a producer,
you have to have the trust of the band. And as much as I may not
like some of the mixes, I have to live with them. That's the way
AS: It must be frustrating for you as a producer
RG: Yeah, it is.
AS: Have you decided whether the next Deep Purple
album will also be recorded with and produced by Michael Bradford?
RG: No, we haven't decided. We got a two-year tour
to go through first, we don't think about another record yet.
LW: I read in the "Bass player's question
time" on your homepage that you also have a fretless bass - do you
ever use it on stage, or did you use it on the album?
LW: I was thinking "Clearly Quite
Absurd" would sound well with a fretless.
RG: I tried a fretless bass on it. It wasn't mine,
Michael Bradford had one in the studio, Michael Bradford has a lot of
guitars, he's a guitar collector, he's an amp collector, and I thought
that as well, and I did try it. Unfortunately, I'm not that good a
player, you've got to be really spot-on with pitching, and although it
sounded quite promising, I realized it was going to be too much trouble
to go over and over and just get it so it is actually spot-on, so I
abandoned that idea. But, yeah, I thought that too. The fretless bass
I've got is an acoustic bass and he actually sounds more like a double
bass and you'll probably hear it on my next solo album because I use it
at home quite a lot. But it sounds more like a double bass, it's more
like a jazzy sound than an electric bass.
LW: How did you like the exhibiton of Evi Ivan's
paintings in Cologne?
RG: What can you say if someone spends a lot of
energy painting your likeness - she's a very good painter, I find her
very inspiring as a painter, I like the freedom that she throws the
paint around, sureness. I think it's just a great honour to have that,
least I could do is go and have a look at it. I'd never actually seen
the paintings in reality, I'd only seen prints before, and I actually
was amazed at how large some of them were. I'd only seen them in a
small format. She's a lovely painter and some of her paintings, not of
the band, some landscapes and stuff are truly inspiring. Great.
LW: I think it's very nice of you to actually go
there and see the paintings.
RG: She's a lovely person. Anything I can do to
help her get some success or recognition is the least I could do.
LW: We talked about your "corridor
photos" - there's another photo on your web page that I like very
much. It shows a million cameras pointing at you - did you take that photo
LW: Do you remember where it was, or in what
RG: It's somewhere in the far east, I think it's
either Kuala Lumpur or somewhere like that, I can't remember exactly,
I'd have to probably go through my journals to find out.
LW: I think it's really intriguing that you're
actually putting the visitor of your site into your position. You get to
change views. All of a sudden you're looking at the cameras from the
other side. I think that's really fascinating.
RG: It's an interesting thing just to have that
many cameras pointing at you. The first time it happened is quite
unnerving. You get very self-conscious and stuff. I've lost the point
of being self-conscious now, I am what I am, take it or leave it, that
I suppose comes with experience. I suppose when I was younger I tried
to live up to the image that I thought I should be projecting, that of
a hard core musician, hard rock band, you know, and someone
intelligent, trying to say the right thing and of course ended up
stumbling over my words. I learned to relax in front of cameras, but it
is an usual situation to be in, to be faced with that phalanx, that's
the word, a phalanx of cameras - lovely word.
LW: Especially for the visitor who's usually not
in the situation, it's very unusual.
RG: Every now and again you find yourself in
bizarre situations. The first time we went to Poland, I got a taste of
what it must have been like to be in the Beatles, because they went
nuts. We had a police escort, there were people hanging out of
balconies and windows and just getting to the gig, there were thousands
of people in the streets, sort of trying to catch a glimpse of
us. That's a bizarre situation to be in, I can't imagine what the
Beatles went through, that kind of world attention, or Michael Jackson
for example, anyone that famous, must be really surreal at times. I
don't envy them. I've always felt very grateful that Deep Purple have
achieved some great popularity in the world but we were always fairly
anonymous, we were pretty much allowed to be ourselves, going to
supermarkets or going down the streets, no one usually bothers me.
AS: There have been rumours in the past few months
that Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes
would put Deep Purple Mark III back together. Of course, this was
complete nonsense. Still, I would like to know whether you had
discussions about these rumours, or whether you just didn't care at
RG: It's the first I heard of that rumour
(laughter). It would be pretty difficult I think to put a rival Deep
Purple back together again, not the least of which is the ownership of
the name. They wouldn't be able to call it Deep Purple. There is one
Deep Purple and that's the one that's in existence right now. It
wouldn't surprise me if Ritchie and Jon got together and did something,
I think in fact that would be probably a good idea, but it wouldn't be
Deep Purple, it would be Ritchie and Jon. But I don't know anything,
I've not heard of anything, we've not had any discussion about that.
LW: Final question: Following the show in
Dortmund, you mentioned that you are planning a new solo album, and you
also mentioned just now. Would you like to tell us any details about
that project, a follow-up project to "Snapshot"?
RG: There's nothing really to tell, I constantly
write songs, well, I constantly start songs, I don't always finish
them. I think Snapshot was a really good experience, I enjoyed making
that very much, it was great to get some of my old songs out instead of
sitting on a shelf somewhere. One of the songs was written in 1978, and
it's been hanging around ever since, I never knew what to do with it
until I did Snapshot. That was the "Bargain Basement". And
there's lots of songs and stuff. While I'm sitting at home, I don't
write Deep Purple songs. It's almost impossible to write a Deep Purple
song, because Deep Purple songs evolve out of all members of the band
together, it's a kind of chemistry, it's a playing thing. But writing
at home is different, because I'm home, because it's quiet, I usually
pick up an acoustic guitar, it's usually a more introverted song, a
sensitive song, I guess I'm naturally more a singer and song writer.
Andree changes the tape again
RG: So you're changing tapes for the last bit of
the last question.
AS: Yes. Do you know which people will be involved
in the project? Same as on Snapshot?
RG: I would certainly start out with
that intention, yes. I enjoyed working with Randell Bramblett very
much, I enjoyed working with Joe Bonadio, the drummer, very much,
all the other musicians, Joe Mennonna, the guitarists - I was very
lucky actually, I had some gerat performances from people I'd not
met before, so certainly I would start off with that. Probably the
one thing I would do is include my daughter more.
Andree & Lars: That's a very good idea!
RG: I want to do some writing with her because
she's actually more experienced now. She's in a band and she's done
some recording with other musicians, and she's actually evolved into a
fine singer. She has a particular kind of voice, I wanted to write from
her point of view rather than have her just sing my songs. So, as
difficult as it is, because she lives in London, I live in a suitcase,
to get together, we did manage to get 24 hours together in which we did
two songs so we've got two songs and we want to do some more stuff
together. I also want to sing more myself. I don't want to sing the
whole album, I certainly think Randell has a killer voice, but I would
like to do maybe two or three songs than just the one. What can I tell
you about the songs? I don't know, I think maybe in some ways they
reflect my private life which has gone through some upheaval in the
last couple of years, and the songs tend to be kind of written from a
point of view of experience. Actually, I'm trying to change a little
bit now because I played some ideas to some of my family and my mother
said "They're all sad!". So I'm trying to write not such sad
songs. But you can't talk about songs really, you have to listen to
them. It's hard to talk about them. It's like trying to describe the
Mona Lisa - "Woman with a smile" doesn't quite make it.
AS: Yeah, ok that's all, thank you very much again!
RG: I'll go to sleep now...(falls over and begins to snore)
Fotos: Woody Woodstock, Manfred Stoffer, Andree Schneider, Franziska