Blackmore's Night

Classic Rock Russia Interview

Ritchie Blackmore already decided a long time ago to play not only hard-rock anymore. From the point of view of admirers of the god of a guitar it could look equivalent to suicide, but it worried the person in black a little. It continues to revel in the Renaissance and plays to where his heart lays. Soon after an output of fourth studio album Blackmore's Night "Ghost of a Rose" we have called Ritchie and Candice to find out for themselves and for others why they do not depart from the way chosen them.

How do you estimate "Ghost of a Rose" in comparison with your previous albums?

Ritchie: This time at us a certain "hybrid" of music of the Renaissance and rock, or rock with elements of music of an epoch of the Renaissance has turned out. I do not carry myself to those musicians who consider, that their last album necessarily should be better previous. Each album turns out such what it turns out during the given concrete moment. All depends that how you feel in the day of recording. However, I do not think, that it has any special value - that you hear, it's simply the group which plays the music.

As far as we know, for last album Candice has written music and texts to two songs - "3 Black Crows" and "Ivory Tower". At the same time she works on a solo album. Why she then has given these songs Blackmore's Night, instead of has reserved for "solo performance"?

Candice: Actually "Ivory Tower" it is written a long time ago, it is simple before she, as they say, laid at me "in a grist". When I write something, it usually occurs, when I'm in a creative mood. Hardly to me in my head there comes any idea which seems to me worth, I run to the piano or I suffice a pipe, play the basic theme, I add the text and I leave it unfinished... While the opinion will not express - it suits for Blackmore's Night or not. For me it is full of songs which for this or that reason Blackmore's Night do not approach - for example, do not coincide on stylistics, or in them there are no elements of music of the Renaissance... Therefore they remain unclaimed, and I can leave them for the solo album.

"Ivory Tower" was one of my best compositions - therefore Ritchie has selected it for "Ghost of a Rose". "3 Black Crows" we have written when we last year prepared for a concert in the lock... Also have finished it literally some minutes prior to go on stage. It really corresponded to spirit of this place! Therefore I already for a long time have understood: each og my song represents itself in it's own way. For what the project she intended, it remain a secret to herself.

On the album "Fires At Midnight" you have written down a cover the version songs of Bob Dylan "The Times They Are A Changing", and for new - the variant "Diamonds And Rust" of Joan Baez. So, in songs of these well-known musicians there is something such, especially you loved, you have decided to write down them?

Ritchie: I think, it has taken place for the several reasons. First of all, I always been very well concerned to Bob Dylan, and "The Times They Are A Changing" have sounded simply perfectly. And then somehow our girlfriend has executed time to "Diamonds And Rust" - Candice never heard her earlier, - but she too always was one of my loved so I have persuaded her to try to sing. If you have heard an excellent song which madly is pleasant to you, why not try it to play, even if you have not written it?

Whether it is possible to tell, what some your songs are to some extent autobiographical? For example, if closely to listen to a composition " All For One "...

Ritchie: Yes, quite right. In 1964 I played in a group which referred to Three Musketeers, and about those times I still had very good memories. Though us was not four, and all three, we stepped onstage in special suits, and in us the spirit of company was very strong. "All For One" is a motto of three musketeers, and so it was to our group - especially when we went by tour. We try to support precisely the same atmosphere in Blackmore's Night. I myself perfectly know, that such "a tour fever" and what it does with musicians in tour. Therefore we try to not overtask our group, and during tours we are usually stopped in ancient locks that guys could relax, experience that epoch, support the enthusiasm...

What from written down Blackmore's Night songs, you would name loved?

Ritchie: Here's a question! It's about the same what to choose, whom from your children you love more the others... Well, we shall tell... "Shadow of the Moon" and "Renaissance Fair" - from them the project as such also began. Besides they're the first we have written - so, in any case, they should enter number of loved.

This is not a subject to doubt, that you and Candice are, so to say, "the public person" of Blackmore's Night... But when you do not play music, what for you is the best way to be unloaded? In fact it is impossible to be engaged all time in one creativity?

Ritchie: Now I'll tell you! I like to invite friends somewhere where it is tasty to have a meal. We live on Lond Island, and there are loads and loads completely charming institutions with the kitchen, but one of our favourite places is a tiny French small restaurant where it is the most interesting. We frequently go there, sometimes even we sit down somewhere in a corner and we play music. Unusual these conditions makes an indelible impression upon people. These days it look like it is more interesting to watch TV, rather than to serve visitors.

It is the truth that you have presented a revolver to Ian Andersen in gratitude what it has played on a flute compositions "Play Minstrel Play" from your first album "Shadow of the Moon"? You are friends? Do you frequently see him?

Ritchie: I'm a big admirer of Ian, since 1975, and, naturally, this gift have been made not simply so. For the first time I have seen it, when Jethro Tull were on tours in support of an album "War Child" there was something improbable! (which to me), looked a little bit ridiculously, but music which they played, was as if from another world. I knew, that he collects fire-arms and when as a token of gratitude for the rendered help we have decided to present it something unusual, us has dawned - upon a collection revolver!

Recently there was a new compact disc Rainbow "Catch The Rainbow: The Anthology". To some this album represents "continuation" of the collection of 1997 "Very Best of Rainbow" to which 12 more tracks are simply added. Tell us if you personally took part in producing of this anthology?

Ritchie: No, to tell the truth, I in general know nothing about it!

As though you have characterized the present attitudes with former participants in Rainbow?

Ritchie: Very good! I frequently see Bobby Rondinelli, I call Joe Lynn Turner... To tell the truth, I do not see Graham Bonnet anymore... But in general attitudes with all old colleagues are rather quite good.

Candice: Where we would not come, we always leave the message for Ronnie Dio. As it is strange, but each time turns out, that it already addressed to us, or will act right after us, therefore does not remain anything else how to communicate. Still we some times met Cozy Powell while he was alive, but generally if fairly, similar, that now we with all these people live in different planes.

In 2005 Rainbow it is executed thirty years. You did not think of an opportunity to revive Rainbow specially to celebrate this event?

Ritchie: No, actually in 2005 I, devil take it, am going to revive Deep Purple and force them to play all ever written down material of Rainbow! How about that? Forgive me, but all this is bosh dog. When I have only just returned in Deep Purple, I was constantly asked, whether I am going to revive in the foreseeable future Rainbow as certain "the collateral project" but when in result it has turned out, I have tortured questions, how many will wait for another revival of Deep Purple. And if it is serious, some people... I do not know at all, how them to name... Cannot calm down in any way and simply name them white black, and black white.

In the autumn you gather to tour across Europe (and, in particular, in October be going to give two concerts in Moscow). What can we expect?

Ritchie: I think, that the concerts will not have the same set. It happens so, that today the hall is adjusted on the Renaissance, and tomorrow everyone demand "Smoke On The Water"... And about Russia... For me in general it is not clear, why there are people come to our concerts. As far as I know, Russian people are rather poor, and nevertheless they find an opportunity to spread for tickets completely unintelligible money from my point of view!

© Classic Rock, Russia 2003 [translated from Russian]