DOUG ALDRICH Looks Back On His Songwriting Collaboration With WHITESNAKE's DAVID COVERDALE

November 9, 2022

In a new interview with Andrew DiCecco of VWMusic, guitarist Doug Aldrich was asked if David Coverdale allowed him "creative freedom" when he first joined WHITESNAKE two decades ago. Doug responded: "He didn't at the beginning. He wanted to play the hits on a couple of tours and started the band back up. I had gone and filled in with DIO in 2005 on some stuff — I went back with DIO — and David said, 'Look, make sure you come back home. Don't stay with Ronnie [James Dio].' And I just told him right then, 'Look, if we're gonna move this band forward, we've gotta come up with some brand new WHITESNAKE music.' So, he said, 'I don't know when it's gonna be, but you and I will be in the studio at some point. I can see it.' And I just took that as, 'Okay, I'll start writing,' and I'd start presenting David with music here and there, and he started to gravitate towards it and invited me up to write with him in 2006. I guess it was 2007, we had a great run of songwriting sessions, and we put together an album called 'Good To Be Bad'. It was just in the beginning he didn't really — I think he was burnt on the music industry as a whole — and once we started putting out albums, he started getting back into it, I guess."

Aldrich went on to say that the four songs on the WHITESNAKE live album "Live… In The Shadow Of The Blues" were the beginning of his collaborative process with David. "That was in 2006," he said. "That's the thing that's different about working with David; it was David and I sitting there, and we'd come up with an idea, and we'd program a drum machine, and I'd play bass on it and guitar, and he would sing on it. These songs were pretty much complete; the demos were really good. At some point, I'm sure he'll release them."

Aldrich was a member of Coverdale's outfit from 2002 to 2014 before leaving to spend more time with his family. The guitarist played on two WHITESNAKE studio albums, 2008's "Good To Be Bad" and 2011's "Forevermore", and appeared on several live releases, including 2013's "Made In Japan" and "Made In Britain/The World Records".

Aldrich left WHITESNAKE eight years ago, saying in a statement that he "had several recording and live commitments," so he "needed a more flexible schedule to conclude these before going full force as normal." He added: "Unfortunately, my schedule was not workable."

In a 2018 interview with Mulatschag TV, Doug described his working relationship with Coverdale as "a chess match," explaining that David wanted me in [WHITESNAKE], but I told him that I didn't wanna just play his old songs — I wanted to create new music. And one time I filled in for Craig Goldy on a [DIO] tour with Ronnie [James Dio], and Ronnie said, 'Man, I want you back in the [DIO] band.' And somehow it got on Blabbermouth that I was coming back to DIO," he said. "And David [called me and said], 'Douglas, what's going on?' And I said, 'Look, D.C., he [Ronnie] wants me back. I'm with you, man — I'm with you — but we've gotta do some new music; we've gotta write together and see if we can move this thing forward.' So I worked really hard on bringing him a lot of music over the years to inspire him. And he'd give me some things, and I'd work equally hard on his ideas to make them sound like what I thought they should. I worked hard at it, so that's why I have to stand up for myself when somebody says, 'Oh, yeah, David Coverdale just told you what to play.' Not a fucking chance, dude. I worked my ass off to keep WHITESNAKE alive. That's how I see it."

Aldrich was replaced in WHITESNAKE by Joel Hoekstra, who previously played with NIGHT RANGER.

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