RAINBOW's JENS JOHANSSON Compares RITCHIE BLACKMORE To A Cat: 'You Never Know What He's Going To Think'

October 1, 2022

Ritchie Blackmore introduced a new RAINBOW lineup in 2016 that included singer Ronnie Romero, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson, BLACKMORE'S NIGHT drummer David Keith, bassist Bob Nouveau (a.k.a. Robert "Bob" Curiano, ex-BLACKMORE'S NIGHT) and backing singers Candice Night and Lady Lynn. The lineup played sporadic shows and issued a series of singles, including "The Storm" and a newly recorded version of "Black Sheep Of The Family". The band has not played a live show since 2019, with Blackmore since returning to BLACKMORE'S NIGHT.

In a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Johansson was asked whether he agreed with Romero's recent comment that there are no future plans for RAINBOW. "I don't know," he said. "You never know. At the moment, of course, with the pandemic, everything went completely right down to zero, all activities. I think he's back to doing some stuff with BLACKMORE'S NIGHT. To be honest, that's where his heart is. If he has to focus on one band, that would be the number one priority. I was always joking that BLACKMORE'S NIGHT was 'the' band and RAINBOW was his basement band. [Laughs] Like a project. Whenever we would do European gigs with RAINBOW, it was somehow that the gigs would be placed around when certain castles were unavailable. [Laughs] It was like, 'Sweden Rock has 40 to 50 thousand people.' They'd say, 'No, it's on the wrong weekend. This castle is available, so fuck Sweden Rock.' That was the attitude that BLACKMORE'S NIGHT is the priority, which I think is cute.

"It was a lot of fun," Jens continued. "But most people understood that this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Ritchie, he's a little bit like a cat: You never know what he's going to think. The next month he's 'No, I don't want to go out.' Then it's 'No, I don't want to go out. I want to go in.' You can't predict which way he's going."

The latest incarnation of RAINBOW released two new studio recordings in 2017, but they weren't original compositions; one was an instrumental song called "Land Of Hope And Glory", which was a reworking of the 1902 British patriotic song of the same name from Edward Elgar's "Pomp And Circumstance March No. 1", while the other was a re-recording of the RAINBOW classic "I Surrender", which was written by Russ Ballard and was first released by RAINBOW in 1981.

"Waiting For A Sign" is included on "Memories in Rock II", which was released in April 2018 via Minstrel Hall/Soulfood. The set also contains a double CD of the June 2017 U.K. RAINBOW concerts, a DVD containing over 80 minutes of interview footage with the band and crew, an additional backstage clip and a video for the 2017 studio version of "I Surrender".

Blackmore stepped away from his Renaissance-inspired brand of music with BLACKMORE'S NIGHT in 2016 to perform a handful of shows with a brand-new lineup of the band he had formed after quitting DEEP PURPLE.

Although Ritchie initially said that he had no plans to make new RAINBOW music — explaining in early 2016 that he wanted to "just get back to playing the old songs one more time" — he later revealed to Japan's Burrn! magazine that he had changed his mind.

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