Thursday, March 31, 2011
Whitesnake's David Coverdale : "Evidently The Snake By Its Nature Has To Change Its Skin Every So Often"
Yesterday David had a talk with Mark Skaar, afternoon drive personality at KLKK 103.7 The Fox in Clear Lake, Iowa in support of the brand new album 'Forevermore'. The album, just released in the States this week via Frontiers Records is being widely hailed as the band's finest since 1987's '1987'. An extremely strong offering, it neatly encompasses all the band's strengths and spirit of all eras of the band in one package. A welcome addition to their catalog, it's a release which can be highly recommended to any fan of classy hard rock with ease. Read on as we present this exclusive interview with a true rock legend, Mr. David Coverdale....
Special thanks to Mark Skaar for allowing this interview to be made public on Nightwatcher's House Of Rock!
Mark Skaar : Mark Skaar from KLKK 103.7 The Fox. I am proud to present David Coverdale from Whitesnake. David, how are ya?
David Coverdale : The Fox and the Snake baby (Laughs) I'm doing great, thank you very much.
MS : What an honor to be talking with such a legendary gentleman as yourself. One of my favorite lead vocalists of all time. Thank you.
DC : I must warn you I'm succeptible to flattery.
MS : You have managed to capture the spirit and sound of all eras of the band on this new record called 'Forevermore' which just came out this week....
DC : We're very excited. It was released as you said this week in the States. I work with fabulous Italians who always discussed the simultaneous worldwide release, which to them means over the period of six weeks. (Laughs) So I'm pretty confused.
MS : You have amazing talent on this album. Your right hand man is guitarist Doug Aldrich...
DC : Yes, it's a partnership made in heaven.
MS : I got to see him when he played with Ronnie James Dio, so I know of his talent...
DC : Doug, Reb (Beach) and I have worked together now for eight years. So it's a very secure foundation for us to build. We have a new rhythm section with Brian Tichy on drums and Michael Devin on bass, and a keyboard player Brian Ruedy will be joining us on tour. So we've redecorated the house of Whitesnake. Evidently the Snake by its nature has to change its skin every so often.
MS : Talk to me about writing with Doug and how that's come to fruition over the past two records.
DC : Doug, as I say, we've had a great friendship that had developed even before I had the intention of making a new recording. So when we sat down it was a natural transition. We're friends anyway so we'd start talking at the dinner table, then inevitably the conversation would turn to what I call a music conversation. We'd do a trade off on acoustic guitars, playing ideas to each other. Immediately it was obvious that it was a natural thing for us to compose together. Relatively effortless. We wrote a powerful record, I thought with 'Good To Be Bad'. The way that was received so successfully I think gave us that extra boost of confidence which led directly to 'Forevermore'.
MS : I understand 'Forevermore' was not the original title for the album...
DC : It was going to be 'Guilty Pleasures'. But I thought that I'd keep that for a "Best of" album.
MS : Also in the pipeline this year is a live concert filmed at Donington in 1990...
DC : Yes, featuring the incredible Steve Vai, the "Paganini of Rock", Adrian Vandenberg, Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge. It's an incindiary live concert that we played in England at The Monsters Of Rock, the Castle Donington Festival. It really did cause me to reassess that chapter of the Snake. The band's firing on all cylinders. It's a relentless show, and the audience is with us every step of the way. It's Whitesnake featuring 72,000 of their closest friends.
MS : I understand that's coming out in June?
DC : I believe so, yes. I'll believe it when I see it. To be honest, I'd suggest that anyone just check at whitesnake.com. That's the oasis of all things Snake. That will give you tour dates, potential interaction with myself, and find out what's being released and when.
MS : The tour starts in May. You have so many songs to choose from. How do you pick the songs you're going to play live?
DC : You know what, I'm going to leave that to the people who participate on the bulletin board at whitesnake.com. A lot of them are already posting their playlists, and I think a lot of them are wanting to hear the entire 'Forevermore' album. Hopefully we'll be doing 50% new stuff while still featuring stuff like "Here I Go Again", "Is This Love", "Give Me All Your Love", "Still Of The Night"...all those things. It should be a very compelling and fulfilling show. But really I'm going to say to the band, "What do you fancy doing?" Because to me, with a new band I'd be delighted to do all the songs.
MS : Whose idea was it to do the Deep Purple "Burn/Stormbringer" medley?
DC : Actually that was originally Doug Aldrich's and the band's idea. I threw "Stormbringer" in. I had rehearsed "Burn". Apparently to all of my colleagues, that was an incredibly influential song on their decisions to make music their career. I didn't really want to go back, as there's certainly enough Whitesnake material to perform. But when they played it it was irresistible, and we had to play it. I think it shocked, surprised and delighted a lot of people. For instance, when we were playing in South America, I never went down there with Deep Purple. I had no idea that "Burn" was like a national anthem down there. The place went bananas.
MS : In 1974 with Deep Purple you played the Cal Jam. Probably everybody's seen the DVD. What was on your mind? That was your first trip to America, and you're looking out at over 300,000 people. What are you thinking?
DC : It was amazing. Just to list some facts, that people don't really know, is that we'd just received a check for a million dollars from Warner Brothers, and it was so crazy backstage, that it was deemed that my jeans pocket, my arse pocket, was the safest place to have this check. So I had a million dollar check in my jeans pocket. After the show, somebody called Linda Lovelace was asking to meet Deep Purple. Unfortunately at that time we'd never heard of her. It had all the Deeps. Purple and Throat.
MS : The 'Come Taste The Band' 35th Anniversary album was released recently. Kevin Shirley did a great job on that.
DC : He did an amazing job. I'm very happy to say that Kevin Shirley had the respect to have both me and Glenn Hughes involved in this. He would send these mixes through.He is incredibly, insanely fast at mixing. I'm not sure if it's available in the States, but you can get it through Amazon. It really is a beautiful, contemporary piece of work that stands up amazingly well. The remix is astonishing.
MS : Of course the late Tommy Bolin is one of us, being here from Iowa....
DC : Oh yeah he was incredible. I kind of claim responsibility for bringing Tommy into Deep Purple. I'd heard his work on Billy Cobham's 'Spectrum' album and I was blown away. When Ritchie Blackmore decided to depart, and we made the decision to continue and look for a replacement, my list was first Jeff Beck, then an Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher, and then Tommy Bolin, who, I'd been hearing. None of the other guys had heard of him at that time until I played them the 'Spectrum' album. I didn't even know about The James Gang albums with Tommy at that time. I was a big fan of Joe Walsh's at the beginning.
Everyone was blown away with Tommy, so we set out trying to find him. It took some time actually, then we found that he lived down the coast from me, in Malibu. Next door. It was amazing.
For more information on Whitesnake go to http://www.whitesnake.com/
"Love Will Set You Free", the first single from the new album 'Forevermore' :