Steve Morse interviews April / June 2011

Steve Morse  on The Songs That Built Rock tour
, doing a new album and Ian Gillan dancing barefoot….

April 18th, 2011

interview : Justin Tedaldi

Where did this idea come from?

I’m not exactly sure, because like many people, there’s probably a misunderstanding about what we’re doing, thinking that it’s going to be an orchestral version of the band. I sort of felt that, too [originally] … When we played the Olympia in Paris [in 1996], we had guest musicians from France that were really good, and did what they were doing. So we had a horn section, a guest soloist and backup singers, and everyone liked it because it was something different. One of the things we’re trying to do is give people a reason to come out, and play some nicer places. It also gives us an in to nicer halls that wouldn’t allow a, quote, “rock and roll show.” If you have a bunch of people carrying a violin cases, I guess it opens the door, you know?

Is this going to be similar to the shows that Metallica did with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra?

– I don’t know exactly how they did it. We’re trying to keep the energy up and not change to fit the orchestra. It’s us doing our thing, and then some arrangements with horns and strings.

Do you guys still keep in touch with Jon Lord on creative contributions, particularly with this upcoming tour?

– Well, he’s welcome to come anytime. We love when he does, because he always sits in and plays a little bit. He doesn’t say, you guys should do this or that, because he knows the people in the band too well (laughs).

How’s it going so far with the new album?

- The material’s sounding really good, actually. We’re giving a little time to Ian Gillan to get caught up on his lyrics and stuff, rocking out.

Roger Glover and Steve Morse Deep Purple live

Out of curiosity, why does Ian Gillan perform barefoot?

– It’s hard to say. It could have been just a manager. Like maybe one time he came out and his feet were hurting and he came out with bare feet and the manager says, “What are you doing going out in bare feet?” That guarantees that for the next X number of years, he’s only going to go out in bare feet, just to prove a point that he doesn’t take advice from anybody. I think he’s just more comfortable doing that; he’s a very visceral person.

Do you know how long he’s been doing that for?

– No. But I can tell you, when we played Live 8 in Toronto, it was summertime. The stage was black plastic — dark gray, but it acts like black in the sun. It was the end of the afternoon, and we were going on right before Mötley Crüe. You don’t get a chance to check things out; they just switch bands and then — bam! — you’re on. So we just kind of ran out, and we started “Highway Star” right away. And I looked over and Ian was walking out, and all of a sudden he started dancing. And I thought, “That’s weird.” Then he just dances offstage. Then he comes back onstage with his shoes on, and he’s not dancing (laughs). [He] was being burnt from the stage; that cured it.

Steve Morse on the new album
June 03, 2011
Interview : John Barna/Gloucester County Times

“We are sort of set up for it,” Morse said of a new recording, one he offered would “keep to the band’s roots” of blues-influenced heavy rock. But no recording dates have been set up. “A (new) recording for a band like Deep Purple is like charity,” Morse suggested. “There is no compelling business reason.”
What about slipping in a new song here and there on tour?
“We used to do that. You Tube has derailed that concept. The first time you do a new song, it’s immediately pushed out on You Tube.”

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