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 they were?

reprise? no it's just a piss-up!!!

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 this?

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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