Mark Dean of MyGlobalMind webzine recently conducted an interview with DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
MyGlobalMind: Today you are in Belgium on yet another tour. What drives you? How do you still remain focused, enthusiastic and passionate about touring and playing music?
Ian: Well, I have been touring since I got my first band in 1962, so there is no problem there. We are basically performing musicians, so that's what we do. It's really, really exciting up there every night. I get to look forward to it from about lunchtime on show days five days a week. There is no problem maintaining enthusiasm. There is a big challenge up there; you never know quite what is going to happen during a show. It's is fresh every day, and I am lucky. I am with a bunch of fine musicians and the band is hot, so it's a natural state of enthusiasm.
MyGlobalMind: With the increasing reliance of people on the Internet, is there any misconception that you have read about yourself?
Ian: No, not really. I have heard that my Wikipedia entry is completely incorrect, but then again, so is everyone else s. I haven't bothered about that. Internet is a good and convenient device for us for easy communication. It has lots of value. I don't know, really, how relevant it is in terms of making music. Nowadays, it is very important as far as selling music is concerned. It has two different aspects, one of which is very important and one of which is not important at all. That is the side and part of the business that I never really took much interest in, as I mentioned before, about commercial values and that sort of thing. We just do what we feel is good. An album represents an artist, or a band, or a group of musicians at any given moment in time. You just produce the music that you feel good about and hope that the audience shows some interest in it.
MyGlobalMind: Looking back, what are you most proud of? A business venture, something musical or your charity work?
Ian: I don't know. It's all relative, isn't it? It's a question of your own perception or how other people see it. I don't know if pride comes into my life very much. Mostly pride is personal to stuff, I guess. I haven't really thought about that. "[The] feel-good factor?" I don't know there's a lot of stuff. I think that when you are a kid, you have stuff that is your favorite. You have your favorite, your favorite color… I remember filling in all the questionnaires when I was a young musician. They wanted to know an anecdote and I didn't have any because I had no experience. They wanted to know your favorite car, your favorite football club, pet, color… actors, favorite musicians… It was quite easy to say who it was, but as time goes on, you have a more balanced perspective. I am not trying to be evasive but pride… I don't know.
MyGlobalMind: I read that you agreed to join BLACK SABBATH after a heavy night out with Tony Iommi. Looking back, how do you view the period that you spent with BLACK SABBATH?
Ian: That was the longest party that I ever went to. That lasted about a year— the recording and the tour. I was at a loose end, I had no band and they had no singer. It worked out pretty conveniently for all of us, really. Yeah, we went out and got smashed one night — Tony, Geezer Butler and I. We ended up under the table and had to be swept out. My manager called me the next day and said if you are going to make career decisions, maybe you should give me a call first. I said that I don't know what you are talking about, but apparently I had agreed to join BLACK SABBATH the night before. It was one of those things and I had a fantastic time. I have great memories of it and I am still in touch with Tony. We do a few bits and pieces together. I'm just following his progress on tour in America at the moment.
MyGlobalMind: Have you any ambitions as yet unfulfilled?
Ian: Well, I can tell you the truth, I never had any ambitions in the first place. All of this has been a joy, it's been a life of absolute luck and fortune. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Things that have happened have been mostly opportunist. Something has come along and I have made a decision and I have always liked to take the scenic route in life. I am not so keen on the rock and roll highway. If I see something interesting, I generally would wander off and take a look, and life's been good to me. So… ambitions, no — I never had any ambitions in the first place. I am just a lucky guy.
Read the entire interview at MyGlobalMind.