WHITESNAKE Guitarist Discusses Making Of 'Forevermore' In New Interview

Sweden's Metal Shrine recently conducted an interview with WHITESNAKE guitarist Doug Aldrich. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Shrine: I was looking at the WHITESNAKE web site and going through all the pictures from the studio [from the recording sessions for the new WHITESNAKE album, "Forevermore"] and you all look so relaxed and like you had a ton of fun.

Doug: We did! I think it really reflects in the sound on the record. It's a little more loose, overall, in a good way, I think. I think it was set up that way by David [Coverdale, vocals] in the very beginning of this record where he said "Let's involve everybody as much as we can on this record!" "Good To Be Bad" was more David and I holed up away at his house, whereas this one, David rented a special house for us to work at and everyone could come and it was great.

Metal Shrine: When did you start writing for the album?

Doug: We started… well, really I started at the end of 2009 working on ideas on my own. David had said that he might wanted to make a record and maybe it could be more acoustic-based. I started working on a lot of acoustic stuff and the first song we wrote was in January in 2010, which was "One Of These Days" which is kind of acoustic based and then little by little we started getting into some heavier stuff. Somebody else told me that maybe the record's not quite as heavy as "Good To Be Bad", but they enjoy it more, so I think that's kind of how I feel too.

Metal Shrine: I think it's got a bit more of the classic WHITESNAKE sound. I've been listening to it for the last couple of days and I've got some favorite tracks on there. Especially the title track, "Forevermore", where David sings really good and there's a really cool melody to it.

Doug: You know what? That was the last song that we wrote. That was at the very end. I said to David, "I've got this idea for an acoustic thing that could potentially turn into a real epic, because there's so many places that song could go." It could've been a heavy song or do one verse and then when it got to the chorus, you'd bring the band in. There's a lot of different ways to do it, but I showed him the basic stuff and the melody that he sang was pretty much exactly the melody that he did. Obviously he had real lyrics to write, but his melody was so cool. The first chord to that thing is major and then it goes to a minor chord on the second chord. He just hit that note right away and his tone is so huge, so then the song just kind of stayed on its own until we got control of it and then it got heavy. We've taken a couple of weeks off, so I haven't talked to David about it, but we did do a straight acoustic version of "Forevermore" and it's just amazing. I hope you get to hear it! It's super good and no drums or electric guitar and it's just really cool.

Metal Shrine: How do you work together? Does he bring stuff like melodies and riffs as well or is that mainly you and he brings the lyrics?

Doug: No, no! It's very organic. A lot of the stuff that is more guitar-based, the heavier stuff, I might give him the basic ideas but then we work on it together and he goes "Hey, let's work on that part!" or "Let's work on this a little bit and try this!" David's a great musician! He plays guitar great and he plays keyboards great. He plays a lot of percussion too, believe it or not. For some songs he said "I have this idea, take it away and see what you can do with it!" and I just take it away and do my best and see if I can develop it. I know what kind of sounds he's looking for and one of the songs that turned out really cool was "Fair Thee Well". He said "I've got this little melody thing and I don't know if it's WHITESNAKE or not but I want to see what you think!" He played it for me and I said, "Honestly, I don't know until we work on it. We should just see where it goes." We took it downstairs to the studio and started working on some guitar parts for it and then we found a drum beat that was nice and a bass part. I said, "I don't know if this is a WHITESNAKE song or not, but it's really cool!" But once he started singing on it properly, it was like "Yes, it does sound like WHITESNAKE!"

Metal Shrine: The title of the album? You said the song "Forevermore" was the last one. Did you have that title before the song came?

Doug: No, it was interesting… we knew the song had potential to be special, but it wasn't until David texted to me one day, and I was back in L.A. working on stuff, he texted me, "The song we worked on last is gonna be called 'Forevermore' and wait 'till you read the lyrics!" and I was like, "Oh, that's so cool!". So next time I went up to Lake Tahoe, I was basically going back and forth to Lake Tahoe every week, and when I got up there he showed me the lyrics and it was beautiful. I don't know who it's about or what it's about exactly. I have my own ideas, but that's what I like about his lyrics, they're open for anything, but I could tell it made the song complete and it was very special. Like in any of these songs the lyrics are a massive part of it. I mean, you can have a great melody and stuff and a great chord, but without a great lyric it doesn't mean anything! You need a great lyric, so I was blown away by it and then he said, "I'm thinking of titling the record 'Forevermore'!" and it's perfect. It's one of those things where David is so clear about making these types of decisions and it's great to have a leader like that. I might not have thought of it, but it's obvious. "Forevermore" is a great way to title the record and it really encompass the feel of the songs. Maybe it encompasses his whole career and hopefully it will last forevermore.

Metal Shrine: True. Were there a lot of leftovers from the recordings? Stuff that you decided to let it be?

Doug: There was a few. Then a song like "Whipping Boy Blues" was kind of a leftover from "Good To Be Bad" and it was the second song that we wrote for this record and it used to be called "Crazy About You", because the lyric went "Crazy About You" and we had a version of it but it wasn't blowing either of us away, but David said to me at the end of "Good To Be Bad", "What do you think, should we work on that song and include it on 'Good To Be Bad'?" and I said, "I don't think so. I think we should come back to that and I think we've got enough things that are like that already." Then we got together this time and started working on it and I was a little hesitant, but then we kind of found the chord progression and it started to make sense and then the lyrics started to make sense and it just turned into a really cool song and it's probably one of my favorite songs on the record now. It's just got that old kind of bluesy thing to it and I really enjoyed it. Once I got it done guitar-part wise, David worked on his parts and I was really happy with how it turned out.

Read the entire interview from Metal Shrine.

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