DEEP PURPLE: Story Behind New Album Artwork

DEEP PURPLE fan site The Highway Star is reporting that a DEEP PURPLE fan by the name of Erik Solum recently sent an e-mail to renowned cover artist Ioannis and asked him about his work on the artwork for DEEP PURPLE's new album, "Rapture of the Deep". According to Erik, here what Ioannis had to say:

"This project was one of the most difficult I have ever worked on as there was a lot of confusion and indecisiveness on the project from the art standpoint.

"This caught me off guard as I have worked with DEEP PURPLE now close to eight years, 'Abandon' being my first cover with them and my artwork.

"The cover drawing is by Tom Swick. It was a color cartoon that Roger Glover saw in a magazine (New Yorker, I think) and thought it was an interesting idea to develop further. My firm submitted about a half dozen concepts including some when the album had a different title.

"When it came down to deciding on the cover, Ian [Paice] liked the cartoon as is, Roger wasn't sold on it and while in Switzerland preparing for the July part of the summer tour, me and him worked on another six concepts for the cover which I liked very much. I think those will see the light of day perhaps as another act's cover they are that good.

"Returning from the tour, Roger headed down to my design firm, and showed me how he had layout the cartoon that Ian liked for the front cover. We then worked 8-9-hour days for about a week or so and designed together the packaging for the new album which includes a two-disc LP, two digipaks (10 and 11 song versions) complete with 16-page booklets different from the CD version, three CD jewelcases with a 16-page booklet (10- and 11-song versions and a Japanese version) and a promo poster. We created 17 pieces of original art (with the origin being the cartoon) that I'm really proud of. The cover, though, is really all Roger's design; he picked the color, font, title art, and had the cartoon version done as a simple B/W.

"For me, this was the same as the way they asked me to work on 'Bananas'. Roger saw a picture in a news paper with Ian in the Far East, gave it to me along with the picture that their manager Bruce Payne had taken and asked me to design around it. The difference this time was that me and Roger worked together as art directors, which was a blast. We are talking about doing a book project together and will hopefully work on the 2006 tour merchandise late next month. As for the port hole cover, I think it was submitted from the German label from a local agency, Roger thought it was the worst and was pissed when that was posted as the final as we were finishing the real cover!"

As previously reported, DEEP PURPLE's new album, "Rapture of the Deep" is scheduled for release on October 21 via Edel Records. The band spent five weeks at a Los Angeles studio earlier this year recording the follow-up to 2003's "Bananas" with producer Mike Bradford. The album is described by keyboardist Don Airey as "a lot heavier" than "Bananas". "We recorded it in the same studio that use to be used by KORN, and it's got a wonderful sound," Airey said. "It's got a real, immediate drum and organ sound. I was really happy working in there."

"Rapture of the Deep" will be the group's first release since their split with the EMI label.

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