ROGER GLOVER On DEEP PURPLE's Longevity: 'It's All About The Music'

December 11, 2023

In a new interview with Outlook India, DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover spoke about the band's longevity. He said: "We've actually stuck to our original intention of concentrating on the music. It's all about the music. Along the way, the digital world has invaded us, but we still record in exactly the same manner, and we still write in exactly the same manner. So that's who we are. Take it or leave it."

Glover also said that DEEP PURPLE's musical focus has always been on creating something fresh and not trying to recapture any of the band's classic offerings.

"One of the rules of life is you can never go back," he said. "Everything has its time. And the music that was made in the '50s had its time. It can't be recreated. You can do parodies of it. But everything has to move forward. Everything has to change. Even as you drag the past with you, because the influences are always there, it's always going to be a new thing. You can't recreate it."

Last year, DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Don Airey told Rolling Stone magazine that there is no concrete plan for him and his bandmates to stop playing live shows.

"We started the farewell tour in 2017. It was due to end in 2019," he noted. "But the thing is, when you're a musician in a band, you think you're in control of it, but you're not. The business is running you.

"Of course, there was so much demand for the band to continue from the promoters and agents that we said, 'Okay, we'll do one more year.'"

Regarding when he thinks DEEP PURPLE will finally call it quits, Don said: "The words of T.S. Eliot [the greatest English-language poet of his generation] come to mind: 'This is the way the band ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.' I think we won't know it's the last gig. We won't have a clue that this one is going to be the last one. That's how it's going to end. It's going to be no big scenario.

"I like what Buddy Guy said. He said, 'Musicians don't retire. They drop.' You do have thoughts about being in the garden and bouncing the grandchildren on your knee, but it's part of your blood system, playing and touring. It's an addiction. I hope I keep playing for a while yet."

In a separate interview with Brazil's A Rádio Rock, Glover spoke about PURPLE's plans for the coming months. He said: "Well, we've just undergone a big change, because our guitarist Steve Morse had to retire from the band because he was looking after his very ill wife. And so we have a new guitarist in the band called Simon McBride. And it's a whole experience; I mean, it's a different band."

He continued: "In a way, we have to embrace change. You can't do the same thing over and over again, and we've had several changes, of course, over the years. And this one is particularly exciting. 'Cause we've been working on a new album; we should have a new album out by next year. And we can't stop writing. That's what we do."

In July 2022, Morse officially left PURPLE to care for his wife, Janine, who is battling cancer.

Morse's announcement came four months after the guitarist said that he would be taking a hiatus from the band, in the hope of rejoining his bandmates once his wife's health improved. He was then replaced on the road by McBride.

Morse effectively took over Ritchie Blackmore's DEEP PURPLE slot in 1994 and had since been in the group longer than Ritchie.

McBride, who is guitar player, singer, songwriter and a band leader all in one, hails from Belfast in Northern Ireland — a place that resonates of the best music traditions like Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher, as well as bands such as THIN LIZZY, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS and obviously U2. His biography tells many stories — from his band touring with no sound engineer, driver, or roadie, playing 30 shows in 35 days, to him regularly sharing stages with PURPLE singer Ian Gillan and Airey.

DEEP PURPLE's latest album, "Turning To Crime", came out in November 2021 via earMUSIC. The LP contains DEEP PURPLE's versions of great rock classics and musical jewels — including songs originally recorded by Bob Dylan, FLEETWOOD MAC, Bob Seger, CREAM and THE YARDBIRDS — carefully chosen by each member of the band.

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