Producer Michael Bradford, who has worked with such varied artists as KID ROCK, UNCLE KRACKER, TERENCE TRENT D'ARBY and ANITA BAKER, recently spoke to ElectricBasement.com about his collaboration with DEEP PURPLE on their upcoming "Bananas" CD, the group's follow-up to the acclaimed "Abandon" (1998).
"The most impressive thing about DEEP PURPLE is that they can really, really play their instruments," he said. "No loops, drum machines, samples. It's all them. Plus, they have the dexterity to take their music anywhere they want it to go. They're not limited by technique. Finally, they have a sound when they are playing together that is greater than the sum of its parts. That's the difference between a real band and just a bunch of people playing the same song. Most young bands seem to be put together based upon their 'look', and then they try to get a sound. I guess that's the influence of MTV on the music business. On the other hand, those bands don't seem to last very long, and 30 years later, DEEP PURPLE are still playing arenas and stadiums around the world."
With regards to the album's "unconventional" title, Bradford had the following to say, "I believe that every album title sounds a little silly until the album is a hit. Then it sounds like genius. I guess they could have given it a title like 'Metal Maniacs', or 'The Impossibility of Possibility' but that would be a cliché for them at this point. Fans who don't like the title are probably comparing it to albums that they already know and love, like 'Machine Head', or 'Burn'. I wonder if they would have liked those titles that much if those albums were weak. The problem with being a band with as much history as DEEP PURPLE is that you are constantly being judged by that history. There is a song on the album called 'Bananas', and it's got the most balls-out playing on the entire record. I doubt that it will affect marketing either way. You've got to call it something. Peter Gabriel called his first three of four albums 'Peter Gabriel'. George Foreman named all seven of his sons 'George'. If you buy albums based upon the title, then you probably have some pretty crappy albums. I've heard a lot of bands that obviously spent their entire creative juice on a clever album title and a clever band name, and had no ideas left for the songs." Read more.