Legendary hard rock vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE) recently spoke to VirtuosityOne.com about his latest solo album, "The Usual Suspects", and his past work with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE, among other topics. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
VirtuosityOne.com: There is a strong RAINBOW vibe throughout ["The Usual Suspects"] which is something I have been hoping you would revisit for a long time. What brought about having that sort of vibe back again?
Joe Lynn Turner: "People in the music industry, journalists, radio programmers and fans kept saying I should try and make a definitive melodic rock album. All my solo CDs have tracks reminiscent of RAINBOW on them but I have been told that this one is the most complete package. The idea to do this happened very naturally and the songs developed that way also. Nothing was forced."
VirtuosityOne.com: You have worked with a lot of good guitarists — Blackmore, Malmsteen and Pitrelli — yet it's good to see you also collaborating with the younger generation with guys like Joe Bonamassa. What do you look for in a guitarist?
Joe Lynn Turner: "They all have 'that (special) thing.' It's an intangible quality. Very hard to describe but very easy to pinpoint and hear. Joe is an incredible guitarist. You can only feel it through your ears...the 'it' factor that I am talking about. Hear it and feel it!"
VirtuosityOne.com: If we could travel back to the RAINBOW days, how was it getting that gig and maintaining that it until Ritchie got the call about reforming DEEP PURPLE?
Joe Lynn Turner: "Obviously it was like living a dream! I had some success with FANDANGO in the USA but with RAINBOW we had a worldwide audience. RAINBOW welcomed me with open arms from the beginning. Everyone was part of the team and we all worked well together. Helping RAINBOW achieve major commercial success for the first time in the band's history was also something I was and always will be very proud of. When Ritchie told me he was going to reform PURPLE I was also told that this was a temporary reunion. So, that would give me time to do a solo album. I was hoping after the initial DP reunion album ('Perfect Strangers') that RAINBOW would get back together. It was ironic that I ended up joining PURPLE several years later!"
VirtuosityOne.com: You worked with Yngwie on "Odyssey", a great great album. What are your memories of making that album?
Joe Lynn Turner: "Thanks again, I have heard from many fans that it is one of their favourites from Yngwie because the songs are so strong. It was his most commercially successful album in the states thus far when it was released. Yngwie had some great music tracks and titles and I came up with the lyrics and melodies. We worked together really well. The live shows were great also....especially in Russia."
VirtuosityOne.com: You collaborated again for his "Inspiration" album, how was it to hook up with Yngwie after the turbulence that went on after the split?
Joe Lynn Turner: "It was really good. I was very pleased that he had called me and we laughed about the past and he revealed how he had gown up a lot and we put any differences behind us. There was always a side to Yngwie I loved. He can be an extremely charming and funny guy. We had no problems on 'Inspiration'. In fact, it was really admirable that he let me choose what tracks I wanted to do and they came out great! One of the better cover CDs out there!"
VirtuosityOne.com: Do you still keep in contact with Yngwie?
Joe Lynn Turner: "Not really. Every once in a while I will get a message from a mutual fan or contact. While on the HTP tour someone said to say hello to pass on his regards. I told them to send Yngwie all the best and heard back that he said, really they said that he was pleased."
Read Joe Lynn Turner's entire interview with VirtuosityOne.com at this location.