WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale has given his first in-depth interview since announcing a North American reunion tour with THE SCORPIONS and DOKKEN, set to kick off on Jan. 29 in Jacksonville, Florida.
The question-and-answer session, the first part of which was posted on the singer's official web site, features questions asked by the members of Coverdale's message board and covers primarily the group's reformation and the band's future plans.
When asked if WHITESNAKE was back to stay or simply for the duration of the 2003 tour, Coverdale responded, "I sincerely hope that I will be working under the name WHITESNAKE for at least 5 years… Physically, I'm confident that I'll still have the voice, and the legs, to perform confidently. And, if my feelings toward record companies change, or if their overtly gluttonous attitudes change, who knows?! I do know I will record the forthcoming shows for a live 'Greatest Hits' package, probably an in-concert DVD as well. I have a bunch of pretty potent songs currently gathering dust on the shelf at home, and I'm sure I'll end up playing them to the new guys —see what they think of them — and if they feel they should see the LIGHT of day, and, of course, if they would like to be a part of a new WHITESNAKE studio record, and how we could get a new album to as many people around the world who would actually want one… I do know that each of the new musicians has original music in them — they are all songwriters in their own right — and as I have repeatedly said, I always prefer writing with a partner, or partners, MUCH more than solo… 'Tis a lonely ol' existence!!! But, as of this time, I have no immediate plans to record a studio album. I am concentrating on preparing to tour right now — that is the prime motivator for me. Then we'll have to see what happens."
In response to a question about his statement from a couple of years back — "I've had enough of hiding behind the identity of a band. I've wanted to work under my own name since the end of WHITESNAKE in 1990 and certainly at the end of COVERDALE/PAGE" — Coverdale said, "The circumstances have changed…or, at least, mine have. At the beginning of 2002, I believed I was about to get involved with a major record company and sign a worldwide deal, and, for whatever reason, it fell through. So, I felt sorry for myself for a while, and wondered what I should be doing with my career. Should I look for a band to join??? Not really. I like being my own boss. Seek out a collaborative project, similar to the COVERDALE/PAGE thing? But with whom? Jeff [Beck]??? Edward [Van Halen]??? And then it came to me, comfortably and naturally. Why not just put my energies into touring with a new, revamped, revitalized WHITESNAKE — some new, inspirational blood — and, if all goes well, eventually sell my creative, er, 'bits and pieces' directly to anyone who is interested, thereby maintaining an independent profile. But, of course, first things first. Get the band together, and get out on the road. Test the waters, and see if there is still any interest. After all, I have made significantly better living from touring than I have ever made from record sales, and most certainly, I have had more 'fun'. I asked my partner, my beloved wife, Cindy, and she gave me her blessing to move forward with the idea. I have also been very happy being a father to my son, Jasper, for these past 6 years, and he just can't wait to get on Daddy's bus!!! I didn't want to make the same mistakes I had made when my beautiful daughter was born. I hardly saw her through the early, important, bonding years, because I was working away from home so much, promoting WHITESNAKE. She was actually born in 1978, while I was making the 'Trouble' album. Anyway, as I was saying, no sooner had my assistant, Michael, made some calls, putting the word out I was interested in working again, we were inundated with offers from agents all over the US, and ALL of them strongly recommended that I work as WHITESNAKE, and that as WHITESNAKE, I would stand a much better chance of getting substantial work. So, it was a modest case of 'reality check' time, DC. WHITESNAKE, was, is, and will probably remain my most acknowledged public identity, so why not?! I meant what I said at the time — I always do — but, it really wasn't such a difficult decision to make. I may even be able to do some things as David Coverdale —unplugged stuff…whatever — on the strength of my working under the banner of WHITESNAKE. And, please, I must ask you, don't group me in with other artists. Other artists do what they feel, or want to do. Whatever they desire, or want from life, is not necessarily what starts my engine on a cold, winter, Tahoe morning…I have never woken up and thought, 'I really must put a modest, little band together, and do a tour of Siberian blues clubs!!!' Sorry, that ain't me, and has never been. I wish whomever it is who does that every success, but, it isn't me, and if that is what you expect or want of me, I will no doubt disappoint you, unfortunately. I must say, though, I have a feeling I will make [my last solo record] 'Into the Light' ultimately successful, or introduce it to more people over time."
On the subject of his previous statement that he would not be releasing any new music because he was disappointed in the state of the music industry, Coverdale said, "With respect, I think anybody who pays any attention to what is going on in the music biz can tell from a mile away that all is not well there. In my experience, the last several years, with all the 'corporate takeovers', it has produced an uncaring, unmusical shift in the industry. There are many people involved in the music business that have no feeling whatsoever for 'music'. They deal with profit margins, and quick ones, or you are out on your arse. There doesn't seem to be any significant artist development anymore. They look around, see what's turning the young 'uns on, and sign a shitload of that particular 'style' of performer. And, as soon as these kids don't sell records, they're 'released' from their contracts, and find themselves hugely in debt. 'Tis most unfair, and soul-less. I am not surprised that many people are downloading 'free' music. CD's are too expensive. and not as 'quality'-orientated as they used to be. I find one, maybe two, at the most three, decent songs on most of the CD's I buy. You know, the ones produced to be 'hits' for radio, and video, or specifically for movie soundtracks. Or even worse, for TV commercials. I have just recently passed on a request to use 'Here I Go Again' for a breakfast fiber cereal. What are they trying to say?! Here I go again…to the toilet??? How in God's name would I be able to sing that song in concert again?! Would everyone in the audience be thinking, 'Oh…isn't that the song from the cereal commercial???' No, thank you. Sorry, but I want more for my money, I'm a consumer too, mate!!! It appears to be all 'business', right now, with minimal emphasis on 'music'. Strange times… Hey, I'm not being naïve, here. I am totally aware that it has always been a business, but, at this particular time, it is ALL business. It breaks my heart to hear people say that they HATE the music that's out there now. I have never in my life heard so sweeping a statement as this. There has always been some saving grace to help fans of quality music keep their collective chins up, but not now, apparently. It is screamingly obvious that it is time for artists who feel they have any integrity left, to make a stand as independents, and to be able to afford to do that, they will have to work live, and people will have to go out and support them, or guess what?! We'll all end up sitting on our distracted, fat arses at home, being force-fed genetically-modified music on TV, and it won't be stimulating music either. It will be crap, designed specifically to keep you shopping for products you don't need. I'm not going down without a fight, boys and girls, and may I respectfully suggest, you don't either. Fight for the music you want. Support the bands that record companies don't support, or the party's over. And we wouldn't want that, now…would we???"
To read the entire first part of this interview, click here.