DAVID COVERDALE: 'I've Always Challenged Myself As A Singer'
June 27, 2021
During an appearance on acclaimed guitarist Joe Bonamassa's hit interview series "Live From Nerdville", WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale spoke about his evolution as a vocalist. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've always challenged myself as a singer. And, of course, those [early] songs become more challenging as you get older. Just like you — you don't wanna go over the same thing. You wanna fire up the Formula One and see where you go. Audience and band are an immense part of that that helps inspire and motivate you to express at your best and go to places that maybe you didn't go to before. Mine was trying to emulate, as a relatively young guy, before it was bastardized with cigarettes and alcohol, I had this pure British choir boy voice. And I was closer, when I sang with sheet music of a Spencer Davis record, to Steve Winwood — believe it or not — than my other heroes, which started with Joe Cocker, who was the first white singer in the U.K. as singing and sounding like an African-American guy. My God, it was like Ray Charles in a Sheffield persona. But to me, they were just miraculous, and still are. But I didn't know any of the technical stuff. Like, Howlin' Wolf's mic could not handle the power — the sheer power. He was a big man, so there'd be a distortion as well as all gritty. But there'd be that extra distortion that the mic added to the recording. And I would try to recreate that. And the only way I could do it was literally using my whole body, the whole diaphragm. It's a huge physical effort to pull up this big bastard of a voice that I've been blessed with."
Coverdale, who turned 69 last September, recently confirmed that he plans to retire from touring after the band's next batch of concerts around the world.
Although Coverdale will no longer perform with WHITESNAKE, he is still planning on writing and recording fresh material once he has retired from the road.
Early last year, WHITESNAKE was forced to cancel its U.S. tour with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE and NIGHT RANGER so that Coverdale could undergo surgery for bilateral inguinal hernia. Eventually, all of the shows were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coverdale had both his knees replaced with titanium in 2017 after suffering from degenerative arthritis. He later explained that he was in so much pain with arthritis in his knees that it hampered his ability to perform live.
WHITESNAKE had been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released in May 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.