interview: Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan is the man in front of Smoke
on the Water, that non-favourite of music store workers
because of the number of times the tune has been dismembered
by learner electric guitarists.
Ian Gillan started his career in 1962 as Garth Rockett in the Moonshiners. That gig lasted about a month. A few bands later we get to
Deep Purple and Black Sabbath and quite a number of Metal moments.
You could say that the recent Eurovision Song Contest winners
from Finland trace their ancestry directly back to these bands.
Or you might not say anything at all about that.
Ian's new album Gillan's Inn is a fun, old-fashioned guitar-fest
and he's currently on a two year tour. We spoke by email
while he was in Japan.
Mstation- Your new album sounds like you had a lot of fun putting it together.
Was it fun to do?
Ian Gillan: Bloody hilarious, the most fun record I ever made.
- You've got quite a supporting cast on the album. How did you
persuade them all to go to Buffalo?! (No offence. I had precisely
one beer there on the way through) ... or did they do sessions where
Made some calls, sent some Email and the response was
fabulous. Obviously we couldn't get all the guys together at the same
time, but we made it work somehow.
- Is there any message in the fact that the album is straight-ahead
guitar without any electronic frills?
It was a jam. No message, just a farging hoot.
- There seems to have been a big guitar resurgence over the last few
years. Where are your biggest audiences?
Sorry, don't really understand this question. Banjo players have
always been a big part of Rock 'n' Roll and our biggest audiences are
changing every year depending upon the venues we play.
- Do you live in the USA these days?
I have always lived in England. Apart from one year in the mid
seventies when I lived in Paris.
- Some people are talking of Gillan's Inn as some kind of reprise.
Do you see it that way?
Er, reprise? No it's just a piss-up!!!
- It's not like you're coming out of retirement or anything but how
are you enjoying the current tour? Whereabouts are you headed after
I'm about three months into a two year tour and I may get a few days
off for bad behaviour to do a few solo shows. Meantime I'm sharing a
few beers with my musical buddies on a nightly basis.
Thanks a lot.
My pleasure, ig
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