RITCHIE BLACKMORE On Renaissance Music, State Of Today's Music Industry

The MySpace Interview recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW, BLACKMORE'S NIGHT) and his fiancée/BLACKMORE'S NIGHT singer Candice Night. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Q: As a child, what did you aspire to be and when did you discover your talent with the guitar?

Ritchie: I wanted to be a trumpet player like the people I was listening to growing up. But then my father bought me a guitar and said "If you don't play this, I'll break it over your head." So I started taking lessons, but got bored with them and then just started teaching myself. I always related more to the guitar than I did to people.

Q: BLACKMORE'S NIGHT is quite a departure from the classic rock which typified the first 30 years of your career. What was the appeal of a renaissance-era style sound?

Ritchie: I had been listening to renaissance music since 1971 when I first saw the BBC's "Wives of Henry VIII". I first heard David Munrow and the early music consort of London and was immediately drawn to that music. It was so honest, something you dont find in todays music. I loved the sound of the pagentry music, the sackbutts and crumhorns and shawms. It was the rock music of that day. Even while writing DEEP PURPLE songs — for example, "Smoke on the Water", the riff is done in fourths and fifths — a medieval modal scale. It makes it appear more dark and foreboding. Not like today's pop music thirds. We were even doing some renaissance based ideas in RAINBOW, like "Temple of the King", or "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves", so you could say that the renaissance music has been an influence in my music from early on.

Q: How much of a muse has Ms. Candice Night been in relation to the creation of music for BLACKMORE'S NIGHT?

Ritchie: It's good because she's always around and when I come up with a musical idea; it's not like you have to call the band up and they clear their schedule and clock in and clock out. We are around each other all the time and are able to work on these creative ideas daily. Although she had never heard this music before I introduced it to her, she has an incredible ear and is able to pick up on songs very quickly and immediately play them on the renaissance woodwinds. She picks up on them much quicker than I can. So we are a good balance for each other. I also really enjoy feminine melodic vocals and her voice is reminiscent of some of the female voices I like, Maggie Reilly, ABBA; the tones are very pleasing. It's perfect for this type of music.

Q: In your opinion, what is the state of today's music industry?

Ritchie: Serious but not hopeless. The mediums are changing because the independent thinkers are looking for other places to obtain music since you can't seem to find it on the radio, or on TV anymore. That's only tailor-made for 16-year-olds. So, people who are looking for something different won't listen to mainstream stations because they know that it's not there. There are some amazing bands out there, but you won't hear them on the radio or see them on TV so you need to look outside the box to find them. It's worth the searching, though.

Read the entire interview at this location.

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