Kitaristi Ritchie Blackmoren legendaarinen Rainbow-yhtye palaa keikkalavoille tulevana kesänä. Blackmoren lisäksi keikoilla ei kuitenkaan nähdä vanhoja tuttuja naamoja, vaan laulajana toimii Lords of Blackin Ronnie Romero, kosketinsoittajana Stratovariuksen Jens Johansson, basistina Blackmore’s Nightin Bob Nouveau ja rumpalina Blackmore’s Nightin David Keith. Mm. Rainbow’n ja Deep Purplen entinen laulaja Joe Lynn Turner on arvostellut Blackmoren päätöstä kovaan ääneen. Hänen mielestään Blackmore tekee virheen ja kyseessä on pelkkä cover-bändi. Nyt Blackmore on perustellut päätöstään Aardschok-lehden haastattelussa. Hänen mukaansa tärkeintä oli löytää hyviä muusikoita. Vanhojen jäsenten kanssa työskentely ei kiinnostanut häntä, vaan hän halusi mukaan muusikoita, jotka tuovat tuoretta näkökulmaa hänen musiikkiinsa ja lisäksi uusien muusikoiden esitteleminen suurelle yleisölle on hänen mielestään hienoa. Hän sanoo olevansa todella valikoiva varsinkin rumpaleiden suhteen. Häntä ei kiinnosta työskennellä showmiesten kanssa, vaan sellaisten rumpaleiden, joilla on hyvä groove ja tunne mukana soitossa. Hänen mukaansa monet kuuluisat rumpalit tukeutuvat pelkkään show’hun ja yrittävät paikata keskinkertaista soittoaan kikkailemalla rumpukapuloilla ja kuudellatoista bassorummulla.
”The whole idea was to find good musicians. Of course, there were many familiar names around, but this idea didn’t appeal to me. Unlike many others, I prefer to discover new musicians who can add a fresh approach to my music. It’s great to present new musicians to the public. The singer Ronnie Romero is complete unknown. He’s 34 and I’m sure that he’ll have a great career in this scene. He is orginally from Chile, but lives in Spain. Bassist Bob Nouveau is from Connecticut, and Jens is a known and respected keyboard player. It’s very easy to work with him, because he’s so experienced. With drummers, I always tend to be very selective. For instance, I do not like to work with showmen. On stage, I need a groove and a lot of these so-called ’famous’ drummers often rely more on the show element than on feel. I know many guys who can make their sticks fly and use sixteen bass drums, but who are mediocre when it comes to music. David Keith, however, has a great feel for rhythm.”
”I never think about how good or bad things are going in a group. I’m just trying to create music of a high-quality standard. My music never really got into the charts. I think the most important thing is to believe in yourself. I think that Rainbow made some memorable albums, which aren’t less appreciated than any Deep Purple album. Both groups were advanced for their time.
”The nostalgia aspect certainly has a role in the upcoming shows. Some people will use this project to check if I can still do it, while others will probably see it as an opportunity to see me on a bigger stage once again. I don’t want to sound morbid, but I do believe that thoughts like these come with the age that I have. I turned 70 and that has its disadvantages. Having a sore back or stiff fingers on stage is no fun. However, all this comes totally from myself. There were moments, a few years ago, when I thought of how much fun it would be to play some of the old songs again. However, the longer I thought about it the less appealing it all became. It was not until I found out about Ronnie that the whole idea came back again and when I started realizing the idea. He has a great voice and his fresh input is what gave me the final push. I am quite demanding when it comes to singers, but with Ronnie is absolutely feels good. This guy has a great future in the scene. He sounds like a perfect fit for this job because he has a voice that reminds of Dio but is versatile enough to also handle the Gillan songs well.”
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