Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden’s Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with WHITESNAKE/ex-DEEP PURPLE frontman David Coverdale. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: As I understand it, there’s two live albums coming out, “Live In Japan” and “Live In Britain”. Why two?
David Coverdale: Because they’re both extremely different. We didn’t plan the Japanese project. You know, the Japanese tour was booked and we were invited to headline at Loud Park and I hadn’t headlined a Japanese music festival since 1984, so that was a very exciting premise for me. They made a very generous offer and then asked if they could film three songs for a TV special. We said OK and my co-producers, Doug Aldrich and Michael McIntyre, and I, mixed the three songs and obviously watching the video and going crazy. It looked fantastic and we had them send over the rest of the footage and thought, “This could be a fabulous follow-up to ‘Still Of The Night’.”. And where we are now, featuring new songs for the first time. The record company we work with, Frontiers, they were absolutely positive in their response, so we added that to the mix. What we’re doing with the “Made In Britain” CD, is giving it a different sonic identity. The CD from “Made In Japan” is a soundtrack and the bonus stuff features behind-the-scenes, soundcheck stuff we recorded in different Japanese venues. Having fun with some our songs, like trying an unplugged version of “Good To Be Bad” and “Tell Me How” from the “Forevermore” album. Stuff that people normally don’t get to hear. For the second CD, it’s “WHITESNAKE the world record.” We’re taking songs from all over different cities, like Oslo and there might be a Sweden Rock. I’m not sure if we legally can do that. Stuff from Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio. It’s two entirely different projects, and for the end of the year, we’re hoping to achieve a limited-edition box set for Christmas, called “Forevermore – The Complete Collection”, which will have everything “Forevermore”-related plus outtakes, alternate mixes, acoustic versions of songs, behind-the-scenes footage. Really cool stuff. It’s fascinating, Niclas, because “Forevermore” is an extraordinary jewel in the WHITESNAKE catalog. It still got legs, as they say. It’s still selling significant records, and now I’m involved in a daily exercise called Twitter. A lot of people didn’t know WHITESNAKE was still going because a lot of people still don’t search the Internet or listen to music and they feel they’ve grown out of music, but then discovering that we’re still playing and not only that, but flourishing as a positive force. It’s amazing, so people are checking out “Good To Be Bad” and “Forevermore” since the first of January. Everything just keeps igniting the next wave of enthusiasm for WHITESNAKE, which is a great feeling.
When are we getting the David Coverdale autobiography?
David Coverdale: How white was my snake? [laughs] You know, I don’t have time, man, and I’m still living it. Honestly, there’s a huge obstacle for me, because I’ve read some of my contemporaries’ work and I remember certain circumstances very differently. If I ever do this, and right now I don’t have that enthusiasm, but if I do, I’m gonna be completely honest. Names will be named, because, to me, that’s the only way to do it, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with being as revealing. I’m very revealing in my work, but I don’t name names, so you don’t know who this woman was who was behaving like a bitch or who broke my heart. [laughs]
Have you read Glenn Hughes book that he did with Joel McIver?
David Coverdale: Yeah, and it’s amazing. It’s my brother Glenn, and I love him dearly, but there are certain things that I remember differently, but I wish him every success. We’re in touch almost every day. He sent me a pre copy and it was beautiful.
When is there gonna be a Coverdale/Hughes album?
David Coverdale: You know, I don’t know. I don’t even know whether it has to be an album. One of the things we’re setting up with Whitesnake.com is that you’re gonna be able to download new ideas that Doug and I are messing around with. Not do the big over-glossy stuff, just sharing music with people around the world and it’s the first time in history that I’ll be able to do that. I’ve just done a song for Bernie [Marsden, former WHITESNAKE guitarist] and I want him to be able to tell people what it is, but it was one of the songs that we wrote together many years ago in the early days and that was a lot of fun for me to do and it took no time at all. So it’s very likely that Glenn and I could do a song or two or even three or four, like the old EP. I don’t have time to make a commitment to make that kind of record. WHITESNAKE is my baby, and WHITESNAKE is a huge foundation of what I do and what helps me live. I’m not really missing anything. I know a lot of musicians, if they do a solo album, it’s like, “Oh, I’m gonna play jazz guitar now. This is what I really love.” But, to me, when I did “Into The Light”, it’s just David Coverdale being quieter and WHITESNAKE is a great opportunity for me to be a fucking lion and sometimes the lion gets a thorn in its paw: “Please, darling, help me!” The thing that’s more interesting to me is something in the future where I’m hopefully gonna be doing an evening with David Coverdale, where I play intimate venues and can interact physically as opposed to Internet virtually. Physically interact with people and sing songs. Not in the huge WHITESNAKE arena or stadium style, but in a more intimate style like “Starkers…”. I really have a full dance card. Sorry, Glenn! [laughs]
Another WHITESNAKE album then? Are we talking 2014 or 2015?
David Coverdale: Well, Frontiers have discussed that with me, and I do have a full agenda, as you’ve heard, and there’s more that that, too. I wanna do an unplugged record, and we’re still talking about it, my co-producers, Doug Aldrich and Michael McIntyre, and I. For me to commit for a new studio record will take a year out of my life, whereas these other projects just take a couple of months. I might even be able to get back on the road next year. My last long tour was in 2011, and you’re gonna see shorter ones now and I wanna make sure I have the physical energy and power to be able to present shows as people wanna see me. If I commit to a nine-month tour, I don’t think I’m gonna be able to deliver. I’m 61 years old and I’m in great shape, but I’m still 61 years old. It’s gonna be shorter tours and stuff. That’s the dilemma for me, to commit to a new studio record. Believe me, I would love the challenge to go further than “Forevermore”, because Doug and I and the band are so up for that. It’s just taking a whole fucking year to write new songs and quality songs, because we’re very critical. Anything that doesn’t resonate, we just let go. Regardless if I brought it to the table or Doug. But we have a fantastic writing situation. We sit down for a cup of coffee and he’ll pick a guitar up and I’ll sing some Christmas song and then we’ve got a fucking Christmas song! It’s a fabulous, natural, organic thing. The muse sits over us with joy and sprinkles ideas on us.
Read the entire interview from Metalshrine.