Thu, Mar 06, 08

By Alex Emery (

March 7 (Bloomberg) — Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan comments on the hard-rock band’s career over 40 years and plans to record a 19th studio album next year.

Gillan made the comments during a Feb. 19 interview at his hotel in Lima before performing a two-hour show the next night for 10,000 people at Lima’s National Soccer Stadium, part of the band’s 13-concert, eight-country Latin American tour.

On the 2005 “Rapture of the Deep” CD:
“We moved on with this record, which I still call an album, because an album is a collection of songs or photographs or experiences which represent one specific time in your life or with a group of people. And I think it should be the same with a rock band.”

On radio stations:
“(Bassist) Roger Glover was at a classic rock station in Buffalo, and he couldn’t get a word in edgeways. There was no recognition at all that we were existing in today’s world — it was all in the past. Classic rock radio stations should be sprayed with some detergent that won’t affect the rest of us and give us all some peace and let us all listen to something contemporary.”

On what keeps the band going after 40 years:
“There’s an evolution there. It’s a strong family, built on the right principles. We’ve got the music at heart and that’s the glue that holds us together.”

On the current lineup and sound:
“It’s evolved. (Keyboardist) Don (Airey)’s background is different to Jon (Lord)’s, equally well-trained but in a different field.”

On the band’s best-known album, 1972’s “Machine Head”:
“People have asked me: `Are you always going to be in the shadow of Deep Purple?’ And I reply: `No, I’m always bathed in the sunshine of Deep Purple.’ We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to include “Smoke on the Water” and “Highway Star” and “Pictures of Home” and some of the more obscure songs that never got played on the radio like “Mary Long” and things like that we bring in from time to time.”

On performing with the late opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti:
“He invited us to do a show — the first was a charity for the orphans of Afghanistan and the second time for the orphans of Iraq. He wanted to sing a Deep Purple song with us and I thought `I want to sing one of his songs.’ I told him: `Tell you what, I’d love to duet `Nessun Dorma’ with you.’ We did it and developed it and it was magic. Grown men were crying at the arena.”

On future plans:
“This is a three-year tour and finishes in Russia and then Germany in November. I guess we’ll have Christmas off and then I hope we shall then go into the studio and make another record and do it all over again.”