METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to Radio.com about his love for DEEP PURPLE, the band that he will induct on April 8 during the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony at Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center.
Ulrich said: "When I grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark in the '70s, DEEP PURPLE was the biggest rock band. They were three big bands at the time: LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH and DEEP PURPLE. And DEEP PURPLE, in Scandinavia and Germany and so on, were the biggest; people were just more aware of them. LED ZEPPELIN had a tendency, or were probably more appreciated in the United States. And BLACK SABBATH, obviously, were super heavy, but I just didn't get to them until a few years later."
He continued: "DEEP PURPLE were an incredible live force. They were known for their instrumental… I mean, they were really, really technically efficient, and every night when they would play a show, it would be different than the night before and the night following. They had all these three- or four or five-minute songs on their records that would turn into ten-, fifteen-, twenty-minute songs live. You never quite knew what was gonna happen. Ritchie Blackmore, the lead guitar player and this kind of legendary, impulsive, unpredictable character would always take the band in different directions and there was a lot of kind of interesting push and pull between the players. I mean, there were nights when they would almost get into a jazz place. I mean, it was like a totally different thing."
Ulrich added: "ZEPPELIN was a little bit more blues based. SABBATH was also… it had kind of a heavier, blues type of thing. DEEP PURPLE just came from some place else, and there was a technical efficiency that was just unparalleled at that time. And then, obviously, a string of singles — from 'Smoke On The Water' to 'Strange Kind Of Woman' to 'Woman From Tokyo' to 'Space Truckin'' and then 'Highway Star' and all the rest of them that were huge, huge hits… And their musical legacy, what they spawned, between the members of DEEP PURPLE to RAINBOW to WHITESNAKE to all these bands that… Ian Gillan's solo band… I mean, their legacy just continued to sort of grow and grow over the last thirty years. And they're actually still playing… different lineup and so on. But the DEEP PURPLE family tree is spreading far and wide all over the world still."
DEEP PURPLE is finally being inducted into the Rock Hall alongside CHEAP TRICK, N.W.A., CHICAGO and Steve Miller. HBO will broadcast the show on April 30.
To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2016 nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1990.
At their own induction in 2009, METALLICA's James Hetfield included PURPLE on a list of acts they wanted to see in the Hall. "We're somewhat of a heavy band and we have a small list that we'd like to also put some nods out and maybe plant a little seed, it's a band called DEEP PURPLE, THIN LIZZY, TED NUGENT, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, MOTÖRHEAD... who we would love to invite through the door now."
The DEEP PURPLE members that are being inducted are: Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.