Legendary hard rock guitar pioneer Ritchie Blackmore (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE) and his wife and partner in BLACKMORE’S NIGHT, Candice Night, were interviewed for the latest edition of “Rich Davenport’s Rock Show”. A couple of excerpts follow.
On the difference between his playing styles in BLACKMORE’S NIGHT and when he’s playing heavy rock:
“When I play rock all the time, I play with a plectrum, and now that I play this style, I’ve adopted a different finger style way of playing; I have to grow my fingernails so long, and it becomes very awkward if I’m playing electric. That’s quite a challenge in itself.”
On whether having the freedom of styles in BLACKMORE’S NIGHT given him the inspiration to progress as a guitar player:
“Definitely. It’s a much wider horizon. Because in rock, I was just kind of churning out heavy metal riffs and it was becoming stale and kind of redundant what I was doing. I got kind of bored with the whole thing. Now I’m always sitting with a guitar and playing finger style when I’m trying to come up with new ideas and progressions, and it’s a very natural process. Whereas I felt that in rock, it was becoming contrived. We’d need to rehearse and it would have to be a hard rock, riffy number, and [I felt like] I was starting to just repeat myself in a way.”
On whether he feels like he has come home musically over the last twenty years of playing with BLACKMORE’S NIGHT:
“I feel at home playing both styles — whether it’s finger style or electric. I just like the difference. It’s almost more of a challenge to go on stage and play with an acoustic guitar very quietly. For me, that’s a lot harder than the rock style, ’cause [when you play heavy rock], you rely on the amplifier to kind of excite people and turn up the energy. When you’re playing acoustic, you’ve gotta try and excite and move an audience with just technique, and I find that a lot harder. But it’s very rewarding. When it works, it’s great.”
On whether he sees BLACKMORE’S NIGHT carrying on indefinitely:
“I’d like to think so. It should be a natural thing. I think the biggest enemy is things like arthritis, which is creeping up on me in my hands, so I have to combat that. And, of course, when you get to my age, you start thinking that we can kind of play anything.”
On resurrecting RAINBOW in 2016 for several festival appearances:
“BLACKMORE’S NIGHT will go on, and this is just a brief intermission of playing some good old rock, but with some good friends and some good musicians. And hopefully everybody’s there for the same reason, which is it’s good music and it’s nostalgia, and hopefully everything goes well. And if it works, we’ll do, obviously, more dates. We’re only doing three this first time. But, like I said, if it works, we’ll do more later on.”
Blackmore will be joined in the new RAINBOW lineup by LORDS OF BLACK singer Ronnie Romero, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson, BLACKMORE’S NIGHT drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau (a.k.a. Robert “Bob” Curiano, ex-BLACKMORE’S NIGHT).
The U.K. concert will take place on Saturday, June 25 at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. The performance will be Blackmore’s first U.K. rock show in over 20 years. The two concerts in Germany will take place at the Monsters Of Rock festival on Friday, June 17, 2016 at Freilichtbühne in Loreley and on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Festplatz am Viadukt in Bietigheim-Bissingen.
Blackmore plans to film and record the performances for future release.
Blackmore quit rock and roll in 1997 to form a medieval folk band called BLACKMORE’S NIGHT with then-girlfriend and now-wife Candice Night. Since then, BLACKMORE’S NIGHT has released nine studio albums, with a new CD, “All Our Yesterdays”, having arrived on September 18.