Μοιραστείτε/Share
   

Each time that we get to do an interview with Ian Gilan, it’s an absolutely unique experience as the legendary singer of Deep Purple has always a lot of things to say. Naturally, he didn’t forget to add a few comments about Ritchie Blackmore. So, a couple of hours before Deep Purple’s fantastic performance in Athens, we found ourselves backstage and we present you this exclusive interview for all our readers…

Many thanks go to Sally Day and Steve Campbell!

Interview: Yiannis Dolas, Sakis Nikas, George Anasontzis

 

Rockpages.gr: Ian, when we last saw you in Berlin you were in the process of writing a book…

Ian Gillan: I think I am gonna start writing it again… I took a year off… things were changing. I couldn’t get any further than 3 or 4 chapters. I said: “What am I doing? I have no experience over this”. So, I decided to step back and think about it. But, I think about it every day and it’s about time to start working on it now…it deals with many things and the world is such a changing place. It is relative to many current things… my country is completely insane! It is run by complete idiots!

Rockpages.gr: That is actually the situation in most countries in the world…

Ian Gillan: Yeah… You know what… I’d rather have Silvio Berlusconi run my country than those bureaucrats. What the hell (laughs)! In England, if you had your trousers once around your ankles -and you get caught- you are ruined as a politician. If you think about it, we don’t need good government, we need good management. It’s a sick state of affair.

Rockpages.gr: When you have to meet these people as the frontman of a legendary band, how do you feel? 

Ian Gillan: It’s just business for me. You see all those people are there just for the photo… you have to recognize that no matter how much conflict there is in the world… even during the Cold War, which went on for a long time and it was more scary than what happens these days… the threat of mutually assured destruction. But there were always exchanges among the enemies… art, sports, ballet, dance… that kind of things. It was common to go and see in London the Moscow Ballet Dancers and vice versa. I believe that in art you kept a few diplomatic doors open. After a while, I think that they realized that music is the only thing in the world that you don’t need a passport to take with you! For me the politics is a complete different world… for instance, I may be a British citizen but that doesn’t mean that I endorse what Tony Blair did in Iraq. As time goes by, something else will come in the way and the previous conflict or incident will be soon forgotten. That’s the way it is. We are doing a song called “The Battle Rages On” and I’ve been thinking lately about Darwin’s theory of evolution [about the survival of the fittest]. It’s evident… at least, to me… that all that matters is survival… we need to survive. If you need to make an alliance with an enemy in order to survive, you will do so. But, take a minute to think about it… really… is it about survival or supremacy? It’s the driving force that haunts humanity. We all think that our own culture is the best… we are here in Greece, the place where everything started. The democratic way of thinking and acting…

Rockpages.gr: That was a long time ago…

Ian Gillan: (laughs) Yeah, I know what you mean… but, it was a pretty good thing. You remain immortal… your civilization and what you left behind. You can always judge a civilization by its legacy. There are so many Greek words in our language and that says a lot! I think that the Roman Empire was phenomenal… there is this wonderful Monty Pythons play… hilarious! There were some empires that were not sustainable… the French or the Spanish Empire… they didn’t leave much in comparison with the Greeks, the Egyptians or the Romans. Maybe, it was the time… That’s why I am taking so long to finish my book… there are always a lot of things to think about! Thank God for the internet… it saves time for my research. 

Rockpages.gr: In what category would the book fit?

Ian Gillan: Political thriller. It’s an exciting, adventure story that it takes place in the Southwest of England. It’s a great place to write about… all things happen there… we have a thing in England called National Health System. It started in the late 1940s and it was a wonderful thing. Everyone was able to get free health care. What could be better than that? The idea was great… now the system is breaking down… the hospitals all over England are filthy and you get really more diseases when you are in a hospital than if you stay out of it. The railways have turned into a caricature of what they used to be… we invented the railways. In the 60s, they proclaimed that this was the era of the motor car. So, they decided to abandon the railways… simple as that. I can go on forever…

Rockpages.gr: Back to the 21st century and Deep Purple. Are there any plans of a new album?

Ian Gillan: I think it’s about time. Although, you can’t put the words “plan” and “new album” in the same sentence, when it comes to Deep Purple. I can smell it coming… there has been the occasional talk… we are thinking about October-November… that’s a good month for writing the new record.

Rockpages.gr: That means you don’t have any written material…

Ian Gillan: We never go into the studio with written material. We’d probably start recording next year. It shouldn’t take long… if you struggle to finish a song after 20 minutes, then forget it… destroy it… start something else. Otherwise, it becomes contrived and unnatural.

Rockpages.gr: Have you talked about which direction you will take with this new effort?

Ian Gillan: Again, we never discuss that. You see… I don’t decide on Wednesday what kind of music I will listen on Saturday. You know, what I mean… it depends on the weather, it depends on the mood, and it depends on the company of people that you have with you at the time… lots of things involved. You can play rock n roll, flamenco guitar… even pop music. It’s a spontaneous thing and music really captures the mood. It’s the same thing with writing… I remember being really influenced and inspired by the location and the environment when I was writing the songs for “One Eye To Morocco”. If you are somewhere in a beach or a sunny place you tend to write happy songs while if you are living somewhere in a big city you write more aggressive stuff. But, I can say that we are now in the mood of making another Deep Purple record. It will be a last-minute thing, though… no planning, at all! We never plan anything… when we arrive at the studio… the first day… we make some tea, talk for a while, get comfortable with the environment etc. We definitely talk about football for a little while and then probably we are getting into the writing mood. Most likely, we start jamming… everyday for six hours… at least. The engineer of the record is responsible for capturing the most interesting parts of those jam sessions. Then, the band sits down and listens to the stuff that the engineer has recorded and we discuss about the possibility of turning those riffs into proper songs. After 2-3 days, we return to those tapes again and no one probably remembers the riffs and in a way we revisit the music! If something grabs our attention then we start working on it more seriously and try to develop the whole idea into a song. It’s great… everyday, there is actually a different song or two. The whole thing… from start to finish should not take more than 4-5 weeks maximum. But, we haven’t gotten a thing until we start.

Rockpages.gr: Let’s say that you were not the singer of Deep Purple and you were just a fan of rock music. A friend of yours says: “Hey, Ian…which Deep Purple album I should not listen to? Which one is not good enough”? What would you say to him?

Ian Gillan: Without any doubt, I would not suggest “Who Do We Think We Are” or “The House Of Blue Light”. There are some good songs on those albums but the whole vibe is not right… neither one captures the spirit of the band. There are more… individual songs in there than a band effort. I guess “The House Of Blue Light” is the least favorite of mine.

Rockpages.gr: Now that you mention “Who Do We Think We Are”, would you like to tell us the one good thing and the one bad thing that comes in your mind regarding that recording experience?

Ian Gillan: Well, the one bad thing is that the bloody banjo player never showed up! He was treating everyone with disrespect… and I mean everybody in the band, not just me. We were literally sitting and waiting for weeks for the bastard to come in the studio and join us. The band and the crew were just sitting and waiting. It was a very insulting behavior. The best thing, actually, about the whole session was some stuff that we did when the banjo player… when Ritchie wasn’t there. Basically, fooling around in the studio… Jon Lord singing lead vocals on “Smelly Botty”… a cabaret impersonation… that’s for sure! It was good fun… and Rome was nice… we drunk a truckload of wine and the food was delicious. I can’t complain… it’s an amazing life we live. It’s a team thing… you’re not supposed to be in a band if you are not thinking as a team player. Since the rain stopped and the sun came up, it has been a band thing, again! Loyalty, support… those are the important things and they reflect in the music, too…




 
  Μοιραστείτε/Share

Copyright 2003-2012 Rockpages.gr      Site Map     Contact