In a new interview with Finland's Chaoszine, DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan was asked if he and his bandmates will take part in any meet-and-greets with fans on their upcoming world tour. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've got a different view on that. The rest of the guys do these VIP meet-and-greets. I'm not really in favor of them myself. I like meeting the ordinary fans, not the wealthy ones. It's a commercial procedure, that element.
"We've got to learn to live with this thing," he continued, referring to the pandemic. "I think everyone's heard that said a hundred times. If we didn't meet people because we think they might have a cold or might have the flu or might have some political views that we don't agree with that might infect us, we have to stop living, if we end up like that.
"I have to, yeah, sure, meet people, embrace them, shake hands, give them a hug. That's living, as far as I'm concerned.
"I think this pandemic is finished now, in small patches," Gillan added. "And I think it will just fade away this winter. I think it's run its course. Like anything else, it's mutated enough times to weaken it. And I think we've just gotta learn to live with it, as so many people have said.
"So, yeah, let's get on with it, shake hands and rock and roll."
DEEP PURPLE's next studio effort will be an album of covers titled "Turning To Crime". Due on November 26 via earMUSIC, the LP will contain DEEP PURPLE's versions of great rock classics and musical jewels — including songs originally recorded by Bob Dylan, FLEETWOOD MAC, Bob Seger, CREAM and THE YARDBIRDS — carefully chosen by each member of the band.
Produced by Bob Ezrin, "Turning To Crime" arrives only 15 months after "Whoosh!", DEEP PURPLE's 21st studio album, which received acclaim by critics who praised the creative strength of a band that continues evolving with every release, and prestigious chart achievements (third consecutive No. 1 in Germany, No. 4 in the U.K., and topped the U.S. Independent Album and Hard Music Albums charts).