Dutch radio station Radio Veronica has uploaded a brand new interview with legendary DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what made him decide to play the recent RAINBOW comeback shows:
Ritchie: "Besides money, I heard the [new RAINBOW] singer, Ronnie [Romero, who is originally from Chile but now settled in Madrid, Spain], singing on YouTube. Candy [Ritchie's wife, Candice Night] had played it to me. She said, 'What to do you think of this guy?' And I don't go on the computer very much; I'm too old for that stuff. And Candy is often going on YouTube or whatever, and she said, 'He's singing some of your old songs, the RAINBOW songs.' And I heard them, and I went, 'Wow! This guy is really good. He's exciting.' And there had been some talk about reforming RAINBOW with David Coverdale and a few others — Glenn Hughes… Although they are friends of mine, I wasn't urgently involved in it. I was hesitating for probably a good part of a year before I kind of decided I wasn't gonna do it — until I heard this singer. As soon as I heard the singer, he had such a good voice, so much vitality, and that excited me. I thought, 'Wow! He's singing all the old songs, but he's doing it so well — old hard rock.' It was exciting to hear."
On whether he received offers for more than three RAINBOW comeback shows:
Ritchie: "Yes. Many. But I wanted to see how the three went. If they were disastrous and we had accepted more, it was gonna be awkward. We might do a few more shows again."
On whether he enjoyed the three RAINBOW comeback shows so far:
Ritchie: "I enjoyed especially the last one in England. The first two were a little bit intense, because we hadn't played together… we hadn't done a lot of rehearsing, so the first two shows were a bit hectic and chaotic. But the last one in Birmingham was… obviously, we'd played two shows at that point, and that seemed to work, to me. And it was great to see all the old people… I mean, it was so weird how… I think it was twenty thousand people… It sold out in fifteen minutes. And I kind of wondered who they thought was playing, 'cause when I got to the auditorium, it was so vast that I thought, 'Maybe somebody else is playing this show tonight.'"
On whether it was difficult for him to put together a setlist for the first three RAINBOW comeback shows:
Ritchie: "No. [It was] very easy, in a way. We had about fifteen songs that were very obvious songs to play, like 'Catch The Rainbow'. And we incorporated a few DEEP PURPLE songs — 'Black Night', 'Smoke [On The Water]', 'Highway Star' — of which some of the fans said, 'Why did you do those DEEP PURPLE songs?' And I would say, 'Why not?' And they said, 'Well, we thought it was just gonna be RAINBOW. We would prefer to hear [more] RAINBOW songs.' Which I thought was kind of ironic again. I'm thinking, 'Wow! We just threw three songs in by DEEP PURPLE when they wanted more [RAINBOW].' And I noticed when they clapped, they weren't clapping so hard for DEEP PURPLE [songs]. They said, 'We hear that every year,' 'cause [the current lineup of] PURPLE goes around [on tour]. So the next time, if we go out and we do anything, I would do probably ninety-five percent RAINBOW songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."
The new lineup of RAINBOW made its live debut on June 17 at the Monsters Of Rock festival at Freilichtbühne in Loreley, Germany. Joining Ritchie in the group were Romero, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson, BLACKMORE'S NIGHT drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau (a.k.a. Robert "Bob" Curiano, ex-BLACKMORE'S NIGHT).