DEEP PURPLE producer Michael Bradford, who has just completed work on the band's new album at a Los Angeles studio, has posted the following recap of the recording process to his official web site, www.chunkystyle.com:
"What can I say about the album? Well, I can say that these guys play like monsters! They've been on tour for two years, so they're tight, but having a break before recording meant that they were well rested and ready to play. They had it all — chops, power, skill and timing. Ian Gillan's voice is amazing, and he really stretched out his pipes on this album. The youngbloods out there would do well to check out a real band like this one, that has honed their chops by playing live and jamming together, not working out their moves on MTV. As Marvin Gaye said, 'There's nothing like the real thing.'
"We spent about three weeks in December, rehearsing the material that the band had brought along. Some new ideas also developed out of the jamming process. Roger told me that many of DP's biggest songs started out as jams that were then developed. Everybody had ideas and riffs to try, and we had a tape recorder running so that nothing got lost. Rehearsing lets you work out the ideas in a no-pressure situation, so you're free to try, change and discard ideas without the oppressive 'studio clock' running.
"We also had some great meals, drank some great wine, and generally enjoyed the process.
"Satisfied that we had the goods, we moved the whole thing over to one of LA's finest studios for January, and part of February. Recording the well-rehearsed material went smoothly, with the band playing a track on a given afternoon/evening, and Vocals for that song then being cut the next morning. Ian can sing morning or night, which is very cool. Many singers are either/or. I know some who won't sing before midnight.
"We cut about 14 songs, some of which were developed on the road, and some of which were written during the month. I engineered the sessions, along with my trusty second engineer, Chris. After cutting the basic tracks and vocals, we started doing overdubs, like solos, percussion and keyboard textures. One song will even have a live string section, courtesy of my good friend Paul Buckmaster, who has worked with everyone from Elton John to TRAIN, and who grew up near Ian Paice as a boy. Small world, indeed.
"The band has stretched in many directions. But the sound has gelled in an amazing way. Some of the songs are classic 'rockers' in the best DP tradition. Some others are more progressive, but they also rock like crazy. One song is even in two different time signatures, but Ian came up with a solid melody that keeps the whole thing grounded. Ian's also doing some great multi-tracked vocals ala Brian Wilson. The studio is a different world than live, so we took out the big box of sonic crayons and had some real fun. We took advantage of great vibes, a great studio and the best that modern technology has to offer. However, there is no doubt that it's a DEEP PURPLE album. This baby really rocks! You should have been there!
"The album is scheduled to come out in August. I know that seems like a long time, but it's a global release, and record companies need a lot of time to set up an album in the press and at retail so that people will know it's there. Most major magazines operate at a three-month lead time, so an article or review written today wouldn't come out until May or June! Even a band like DP can risk falling through the cracks without adequate setup, because so many records come out these days. As a producer and as a fan, I want music out as soon as possible, but this business isn't like it was when I started out 20 years ago. Hopefully, you will agree that it was worth the wait in the end.
"For those who were worried that I was going to make the band do rap or nu-metal, you can go back to sleep now — this is not a band who chases trends. I've worked with everybody from Kid Rock to Anita Baker. I record them each according to what their situation calls for. DEEP PURPLE has been developing their sound and identity for more than 30 years. It was my privilege to record this stage in their musical life. I wouldn't have missed it for the world."