“The Long Goodbye”
“There’s going to be a day in the not-so-far future when it is going to be ‘the last.’ That’s an emotional strain that I don’t think any one of us are brave enough to say ‘This is the date.’ But we are thinking… not thinking, we are realizing that time is creeping up every day that goes on, those numbers mount up. It’s inevitable. I know we feel differently about this, but this will be the last big major world tour. Not that it’s physically demanding; we tour very easily, but it could take two or three years. In two or three years, who knows what the state of the world or us are going to be in. We just have to accept the reality that the decision will have to be made some time in the future, and if we can play everywhere that wants to see us and make sure we covered as many territories as we can. That could take two-and-a-half and three years. That could be the long goodbye.”
On whether Roger or Ian could live without each other:
“Well, you can, but because it’s been such a major part of our lives, it’s incredibly valuable to us emotionally. It’s a scary thought to think that you maybe sometime in the near future won’t be doing it again. But, at the end of the day, we are musicians. He [Roger] is a songwriter, even if Purple decides that’s the time, am I going to stop playing drums? No. Is he going to stop writing songs? No. George Harrison made a wonderful album called ‘All Things Must Pass’. And the word is ‘must.’ You don’t want them to, but that’s the reality of the world we live in.”
“Personally, this is the start of the goodbye, I guess. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We could do another album.”But, we’ll see. We usually take two or three years between albums, if not more at times. If I’m 71 now, I’ll be 75 doing an album again, maybe, 74…I don’t know. That’s the point, is that we don’t know. ‘InFinite’ and ‘The Long Goodbye’ tour are there for you to interpret any way you will, but we’re not saying definitively we’re going to end now.”
“The music is infinite. The music is immortal. It’s a document in the same way you could go to a museum and see something that was done 300 years ago. It’s there forever, that’s infinite. There are many levels you can think about the word and debate what it means, but unfortunately, human beings are not infinite.”
On whether Ian and Roger are scared of aging:
“No, we are scared of the end of Deep Purple.”
“It’s a family. It’s not just a family. It’s a destiny. We’ve shared this part of our lives for a long time. I can’t imagine what life would be like without Deep Purple. It gives us not only a living, but it gives two lives. It gives life on the road, and a life at home with family.
“Both are necessary. If you’ve grown up with this, to you lose half of your conscious being, because being at home is great. It’s lovely, but we also know there’s something else we do in our lives. When we do the other side of being on the road, we’ve had enough of that, we know we can go home again. There’s two sides of the coin. If one side is taken away, it’s a bit daunting.”
“We get to travel a lot. We’re very lucky that we have an audience worldwide. There’s not many countries we haven’t been to. That’s our good fortune. In a way, you almost get blasé about ‘Where were you last night?’ ‘I was in Paris last night, but we’re going to have dinner in Tokyo tonight.’ You don’t even think about it because it’s part of our lives. That will disappear. I will miss that. One of the great boons of being in a famous rock band is that we get to see the world many times over. That’s a rare privilege. Not many people get to do that.”
On whether any former members of Deep Purple asked to take part in the “The Long Goodbye” tour:
“No. It doesn’t work like that. It hasn’t worked like that so far. This incarnation of Purple has been together the longest time. This is it. It’s been this way for years since Don [Airey, keyboards] joined the band. Whatever was in the past, was glorious. Sometimes very hard to deal with, but it is in the past. We can’t undo the things that have been done. We can’t un-say the things that have been said. We have to shut the door on that. It’s gone. People, obviously, still like what we do. We’re having a ball. We’re having a great deal of fun. Granted, it would be really nice if we even didn’t have to even contemplate that word ‘last.’ Nobody wants to. We’re going to make this tour go on as long as we can. But I would hate to do the clichéd thing of saying ‘This is the last tour.’ Then a year later, we come and do another tour. As Roger said, that’s very undignified. It’s a little bit naughty.’
“It stinks of ‘We’ve run out of money. Let’s go back and make a bit more.'”
“That’s where it’s at the moment anyway. In our heads, we’re still thinking two or three years down the road anyway. It’s not happening tomorrow.”
“Another thing that comes from these conversations we’ve been having is that a lot of people want to talk about the past and they want to know bits and pieces about the past. The reality is within the band is that we don’t think about the past. It’s there like a shadow with us. We’re always thinking of now, what’s important now, not what was important then. That’s fixed. We live in the now, and what’s the next album, what’s the next song, what’s the next gig.” Deep Purple will release “InFinite”, the highly anticipated follow-up to their worldwide chart-topping effort “Now What?!”, on April 7 via earMUSIC. “InFinite” was tracked in February 2016 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee and was once again helmed by Bob Ezrin, who has previously worked with Kiss, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper and Kansas, among others.