Ritchie Blackmore

Regular Rock and Soccer

Good Times Magazine - April/May issue 2018

Ritchie, in all our meetings in the past, you were always very reluctant when it came to the question of reforming Rainbow. What did change your opinion on that three years ago?

Ritchie: It's not like I'm starting a new Rainbow. I just thought that I could play a few shows with some great musicians. What happened was, my wife Candice found this singer on Youtube and she said that Ronnie Romero would be a fantastic singer. So I've listened to it and thought: Yeah he's really good! He was singing without a backing track in the studio, so I could clearly hear his voice. I called him up and asked him if he would be interested in doing a few shows. He came from Spain where he lives to Germany, where we were staying at the time. I grabbed my acoustic guitar and played one or two Rainbow songs and he was singing. So we decided to do a few shows to see how it goes. It's just about playing live. It's not about going into the studio.

You'll be releasing the second album of this band soon, called "Memories in Rock II". Are the live performances really enough for you? Don't you feel like going into the studio?

Ritchie: A few days ago I was asked how I would think of this new album. I couldn't give a proper answer to that question, because I never listen back to what I played. As soon as I have played it, I don't wanna be involved with it anymore. I also don't want to take part in the mixing. So I don't know how this record is sounding. If I remember right, they played a part of that for me over the telephone, and I said that it's okay and they could carry on with it. I just wanted to make sure that all the instruments were balanced. I don't like to be in the studio for months.

You must trust your producers a lot...

Ritchie: Of course. It's silly and convenience. But I was sure that these people would be doing a good job. I have a few people who are taking care of these kind of things for me. My management also sent them back after the first mix to change it again.

You've played in Germany and the UK in 2016 and 2017. This year you're going to East Europe, inclusive Berlin. How do you choose the itinerary?

Ritchie: I was thinking about going to Japan first, but it's so far away. I have some problems with my back, so I don't like travelling too far. For quite some years already I make an exception, when I come to Germany once a year. But as I said, I don't like travelling, and this time we are doing rehearsals here in America for a week. After that we're flying to Frankfurt and stay there for 3 days, so I can relax a bit. We'll also be rehearsing there, before we fly to Russia.

Which songs are you gonna play this time? A similar set to the UK tour last year?

Ritchie: It will be similar, because we haven't played in those locations before. If we would want to rehearse a completely new set, we would need a lot more time. That would be difficult, because the other guys also have their own commitments.

Are you gonna take your family on the road with you? Candice is singing backgrounds in the band.

Ritchie: Right. Usually we're travelling all together, because I don't like to seperate the family for too long. But this time our kids will be coming a little bit later to Berlin and Prague. I don't want to take them with us to Russia. You never know what's gonna happen there. I think Germany is a little bit more civilized.

You've just released a new Rainbow song called "Waiting for a Sign", the first Rainbow song since more than 20 years. Was it a song that you wrote for the upcoming tour?

Ritchie: Yes. Candice wrote the lyrics, although I told her what she should include in it. I wrote the melody for that. I wanted the song to be a little bit bluesy, so I can improvise on it.

When you say that the song should have been bluesy, it also means that it took you back to your roots, right?

Ritchie: My inspiration lies in classical music, not so much in the blues. I like listening to some music with a bluesy touch, but when I'm listening to pure blues music, I'm starting to get bored very fast. I really like a lot of different types of music, except Jazz.

Are you still playing soccer on Sunday evenings with your friends?

Ritchie: Yes, when I'm at home, I'm playing soccer on a regular basis. Althought nowadays, we're playing a little bit more unhurried and careful than in the old days. We're not getting any younger. But I'm still doing it - every Sunday.

© Good Times Magazine April/May issue (Germany) - March 2018