“It came together when Neil Warnock, the founder of The Agency Group, came to me and said, ‘I want you to produce the next Deep Purple album.’ And, actually, I said, 'I don't think so,' because I was already working with Alice Cooper, and I didn’t want to be thought of as an oldies guy. But he said, ‘Yeah, but this is different. You need to come and see the band.’
“I went to see them, and halfway into the set they did this jam where they’re like a four-man orchestra. Steve Morse, Don Airey, Ian Paice and Roger Glover – each guy, in his own way, is like the best player to hit a rock stage. And when Ian Gillan sings those classic songs, he’s still got an incredible voice. They knocked me out. But what impressed me was how the audience reacted to the stuff they used to do, the kinds of things nobody is doing anymore. That’s what moved the audience the most.
“I went to talk to them, and I told them, ‘If you want to be a contemporary band and vie for radio play, you’d better talk to somebody else, ‘cause I don’t think it’s possible. You can’t compete with the bands of today on their turf. But if you want to be resolutely yourselves and make a quintessential Deep Purple album, then we have something to talk about.’ And Roger said it best: ‘We want to put the deep into Deep Purple again.’
“This album was made to capture what the band is without trying to make them something they’re not. We were fanatical about this being a true Deep Purple record. There weren’t moments of intense conflict, but occasionally I did say that something needed to be a different way than what it was. Thankfully, they responded to my ideas and were excited by them, and we developed a relationship of confidence and trust.
“It was a really natural collaboration. We all had a similar musical language – if not exactly the same, it was still one we understood. Everybody came to work every day excited about what they were doing, and they gave it their very best.”