DEEP PURPLE Singer Says JON LORD's Departure Was A 'Relief'

U.K. web site Metro Café have posted a short interview with DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan in which he discussses, among other things, why it took five years to record a follow-up to 1998's "Abandon": "We were reluctant to press on with it at the time because [keyboardist] Jon Lord's been leaving for five years," he says. "I mean, bless him, he's a monument in the band, but that was kind of unsettling. We didn't know whether to include him in the writing as he had his mind on other things. When Jon finally made the decision, it was a bit of a relief — we could all focus."

In response to why they decided to title the new album "Bananas", Gillan says, "We were in Australia four years ago and we saw a picture of this Vietnamese guy wheeling a bicycle and he had an absolute mountain of bananas. The picture was very evocative. It said to me: 'Exploitation, exploitation, exploitation.' I don't know why — he probably wasn't being exploited. My train of thought then shifted to: 'Hmm... probably none of those bananas will find its way into the EU. What do we get? Chiquita? Mmm. Yummy.' Then I started researching the EU regulations that are prescribed by the idiocracy, saying what size of banana we are allowed to eat and how much bend they must have. I thought: 'Who are the only people who can fulfil these requirements?' and the answer is those who deal in genetically controlled food and so really the only bananas we get are gray, rubbery, seedless and infertile. And my mind started twisting onto other things and I'm thinking of my freedoms being eroded. And I am so completely totally anti-EU and anti-Euro and as you can see the train of thought goes on and on and on. I'm not anti-Europe of course, I've got friends in every country, and I adore the culture and I respect 'vive la difference' but these rules aren't what the Treaty of Rome was about. I haven't chosen to use it as an ideogram, as a cheap trick: 'Bananas means we're all crazy, ha ha ha.' It starts off with that but it develops into many things." Read more.

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