Ritchie Blackmore: "Even in Deep Purple, towards the end, before I left, our music was a bit monophonic"

Ritchie Blackmore
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

We're always interested in whatever Ritchie Blackmore has to say. And we say that he's one of the very best players of all time; a truly gifted maverick that pushed electric guitar playing to thrilling places (while writing probably the best-known riff of all-time). In fact, we're listening to Rainbow's Live In Munich 1977 album to remind us of his gifts as we're writing this. And Blackmore's still a bit of a maverick, this time with acoustic instruments in defiance of the rock expectations of his old fans. Which brings us to this new interview he's done…

The Long Island Weekly is exactly the kind of place we'd expect to find the legend these days as he shuns the usual rock press. As a Long Island resident in the hamlet of Mount Sinai he's chosen a local outlet to promote his current musical focus, Blackmore's Light, who released eleventh studio album Nature's Light last year.

While Blackmore re-surfaced with a new line-up of Rainbow for a handful of shows between 2016-2018 it doesn't sound like feeling the urge to return to his own past again anytime soon.  “I’m not really interested in the modern approach with modern instruments,” he states. “We use synthesizers on certain things, but they are there to see how we’re going to progress with the other instruments. It’s all about going back to the basics—simple music. 

"Melody is very important to me. It’s an important thing," continues Blackmore. "That’s why, even in Deep Purple, towards the end, before I left, our music was a bit monophonic. There wasn’t too much melody and if I don’t hear a melody, I can’t be inspired. I find that with a lot of hard rock bands today—not the death metal or whatever—the melody is certainly not there and I can’t relate to that.”

Fair enough. And Blackmore has continued to apply the intensity he brought to Purple and Rainbow with a Strat and Marshall to the 15th century version of rock n' roll; “I’m more of a purist and want to be in the wood myself hearing a piece of music written in the 1500s or 1600s," he says.  

Read the full feature at longislandweekly.com


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Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.