Carol Anne Szel of Goldmine magazine recently conducted an interview with WHITESNAKE mainman David Coverdale. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Goldmine: How have your musical inspirations changed over the years?

Coverdale: Well, you know, I’m not digging into the old negative. I did an album some years ago called “Restless Heart” (1997). A lot of the time the music comes first and then I make songs out of that. But some of the music was giving me inspiration for negative physical relationships. And I have such an incredibly positive relationship that I found I was digging back. You know, to get the kind of resentment vibe (laughing). For me, resentment is like taking poison and hoping someone else will die. I just do not recommend it. I can see that I was in a dark time because of that. And I made up my mind that I ain’t wastin’ no more time. So I think that album was the last time I did one of those. Now it’s going to be a fun lyric like it is on “Good to Be Bad” and “A Fool in Love”. So it’s not that poisonous, venomous that woman sucks. You know, I don’t want that. That was then. That is just a theme that is not interesting to me anymore, and I feel a lot better going into something significantly more positive and legitimately where I am. I wrote a song on “Good To Be Bad” called “Best Years”. “These are the best years of my life.” Are you kidding? These are even better than when I wrote it! So that’s what I have to celebrate. Music is a celebration. You know, naughtiness, search for direction, love on an assortment of levels. And all the elements are secure as they were from the very beginning. Which is hard rock, rhythm and blues, soul, melody, and tongue-in-cheek.

Goldmine: With all the celebrities going to rehab these days, how have you stayed away from all the partying and addictions that seem to have befallen many musicians over the years?

Coverdale: I pretty much have indulged in all the naughtiness. Without the problem. And, of course, I’ve been involved with people who actually have been in a program. When I first came back to the States in the early ’80s, the mid-’80s, a lot of the people I was familiar with, partying with, were in programs which I never fuckin’ heard of. I mean, if you have a problem in England or Germany, you go to the pub with your mates and get rat-assed drunk and spill the beans. Then they’d be like, “Don’t be so stupid. Snap out of it.” Not to belittle the program because I’ve seen how extraordinarily beneficial it is, and I’ve been very supportive. I think it’s an amazing program and long may it be there. Because that support mechanism is extraordinarily necessary. But I’m truly grateful that I love my wine, my single malt, and my whiskies. But when it’s coming up to work time, I haven’t had a drink for six months. You know, when I finish in November I’ll probably indulge in some extraordinarily fine wine, but nothing is going to compromise my work.
I mean, I’m so grateful number one, I’m going to be 60 this year … I’m going to be 60 in September. And I feel healthier than I was at 30. Which I certainly fucking am! I’ll indulge now and again in a beer or this-and-that, but if you don’t have the recovery, then you’re kidding yourself.

Read the entire interview from Goldmine magazine.