Ian Gillan

August 21st, 2005
by EvilG

Ian Gillan
Interviewed on Sunday September 6th, 1998 by EvilG

“Rock-N-Roll History has few true icons, but among the greats, one name stands the test of time: Ian Gillan. Spanning four decades, Ian Gillan has achieved phenomenal success as a singer, songwriter, actor, and author. He has inspired millions worldwide through his art with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Today Ian Gillan continues the legacy with his new solo project  Dreamcatcher.” (Forbidden Records, 1998)


Metal Rules!!:
Thanks Ian for taking the time out of your busy touring schedule to answer these questions!!

Ian Gillan:
It?s a pleasure.

 

Metal Rules!!:
How does it feel to still be touring and recording and to be doing such a fine job? You must be proud of your accomplishments?

Ian Gillan:
Pride comes before a fall, as they say. I try to eat a little humble pie every day and?shit?yes, of course I?m proud!

 

Metal Rules!!:
Did you think when you started out that you?d still be in the music business in 1998?

Ian Gillan:
Never thought about it. I was never ambitious, just a dreamer. There?s a difference between thinking and dreaming.

 

Metal Rules!!:
How have you kept your voice in top form all these years? Quitting smoking/drinking/drugs, proper diets, exercise, luck? Etc?.

Ian Gillan:
I sing a lot. I smoke a bit sometimes, I drink a bit, I eat good food, I?m very active physically and I consider myself lucky.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Do you see yourself ever retiring, or will you rock till you drop!!?!?!

Ian Gillan:
I have a certain regard for dignity, so I?ll Rock until I Roll.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Ian Gillan is a name known to many people of all ages?even my parents have Deep Purple LP?s, and you?re still at it today?. How does that feel, to be a respected and listened to by different generations?

Ian Gillan:
Once, my wife consulted a genealogist and discovered, to great amusement, that the name Gillan means: Son of a small servant. In this case ?small? means insignificant. Irrelevant? Maybe. Interesting? Definitely not.

It?s a strange feeling; being respected, when you still have the rebel in your heart and I can?t say I?m entirely comfortable with it.

 

Metal Rules!!:
What is the audience make-up like at a typical show? Older people, or fans of all ages?

Ian Gillan:
Our audience make-up, I have to admit, is nowhere near as good as anything you may find at a ?Kiss? concert.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Do you think that the younger fans of newer heavy music like Pantera, Machine Head, Slayer, Morbid Angel?etc will take to your band?s new music?

Ian Gillan:
Deep Purple is Deep Purple and I hope there?s something there for any Rock fan. We never think who?s gonna like what we do?you can?t please everybody?so you must at least please yourself.

 

Metal Rules!!:
When it comes to live material, how do you go about picking what songs to play? Do you only pick the classics (Smoke on the Water, Child In Time, Highway Star, etc.) or do you randomly select songs?

Ian Gillan:
Here?s the most recent set list. Don?t forget, these were all new songs once, and yes the new stuff?s going down well?and one day it will be old stuff.

Ted the Mechanic (Purpendicular)
Bloodsucker (? in rock & Abandon)
Strange Kinda Woman (Fireball Time)
Pictures of Home (Machine Head)
Almost Human (Abandon)
Woman From Tokyo (Who Do We Think We Are)
Watching The Sky (Abandon)
Any Fule Know That (Abandon)
Smoke on the Water (Machine Head)
Lazy (Machine Head)
Perfect Strangers (Perfect Strangers)
Speed King (? in Rock)
Hush (Shades of DP)
Highway Star (Machine Head)

 

Metal Rules!!:
What type of touring schedule do you maintain in terms of the number of nights on?

Ian Gillan:
This tour (A band on?tour?geddit?) will last one year, from June ?98 until June ?99 with approximately 14 day breaks between the continents. We average 5 cities per week.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Perhaps one of the more interesting things to me is your stint with the mighty Black Sabbath. You recorded one album with them in 1983 ? “Born again.” Can you tell me how you ended up recording that with them?

Ian Gillan:
I got drunk with Tony and Geezer. Next day I was in the band. I love those guys. It was a most enjoyable year. The band and the audiences made me feel very welcome.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Did you ever feel like a part of Sabbath, or was it more of a hired gun thing?

Ian Gillan:
It was not at all like being a hired hand, however I knew that Ozzy was the man for Sabbath. It was cool and I?m glad I did it.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Can you tell me what “Zero the Hero” is about? What about the video ? to this day it still has to be one of the weirdest videos I?ve seen ? what was it like filming that?

Ian Gillan:
Can?t remember and weird.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Steve Morse is the current guitarist for Deep Purple and has been for the last two CD?s. How do you find it different from Ritchie Blackmore? The last two CD?s, although still sounding like Deep Purple, sound fresh, even 90?s?was that a direct result of getting Steve in the band?

Ian Gillan:
The band is once again alive, functioning, confident and dangerous. Steve Morse was the catalyst and all the other elements fell right back into place.

 

Metal Rules!!:
What?s the story behind the falling out between you and Ritchie?

Ian Gillan:
It?s a long story?

 

Metal Rules!!:
Do you talk with him anymore or can you see yourself recording with him again?

Ian Gillan:
I haven?t spoken since he went. I?ve no hard feelings. I just remember the good times, wish him luck?.and no I can?t see it.

 

Metal Rules!!:
You have a new solo CD out on “Forbidden Records” – can you tell me how that came about and who?s playing on the CD? Are people expecting Deep Purple part 2 with this solo CD? I take it that is not what you delivered with the Ian Gillan Project band after “Perfect Strangers”.

Ian Gillan:
“Dreamcatcher” is a different kind of record; it?s not a rock album per se. Steve Morris and myself are the only two. I think when they read the story behind ?Gunga Din?, people will understand the mood of it. You can get all the lyrics off my website by the way? caramba@glider.demon.co.uk

 

Metal Rules!!:
What bands, or musical styles, do you listen to these days? What about bands in the metal realm?

Ian Gillan:
I generally listen to extremely obscure music, or whatever?s ambient.

 

Metal Rules!!:
I had read that you ran a motorcycle shop/garage and a recording studio?what has happened to these sidelines? Are you still involved with that or in anything outside of the music industry?

Ian Gillan:
I drifted in and out of various hopeless enterprises with talented friends and associates. Unfortunately there wasn?t a businessman amongst us. But it was all fun while it lasted.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Tell me about your involvement in the “Jesus Christ Superstar” soundtrack. Have you had any other similar offers to participate in another rock opera? Would you do it again? How about “Antichrist Superstar” by Marilyn Manson? Did you find that offensive, funny, awesome?or useless?

Ian Gillan:
My contribution was recorded in two 3-hour sessions. I had great respect for all involved, but none more than Tim Rice. Tim called me a couple of years after to play General Peron in ?Evita?. I declined with great apology. I can?t imagine doing anything like that again, but who knows???Anti-Christ Superstar? I know nothing about, but I suspect it fares badly by comparison, particularly in the category ?wit?.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Why were you were never in the movie version of JC Superstar?

Ian Gillan:
I thought the director was a dickhead.

 

Metal Rules!!:
So seeing as how this interview is for an online ?zine?What do you think of the net? Do you use it? Do you download lots of porn from the internet?it seems as if the media thinks that?s all its good for?fuckers!!!

Ian Gillan:
Yes I use it as best I can (see previous). No I don?t download any porn?I?m into comedy sex.

 

Metal Rules!!:
What are your plans for the near future?

Ian Gillan:
Touring until June ?99 then another album to write and record.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy touring schedule to answer these questions!! Is there anything else you?d like to pass along to readers of Metal Rules!!????

Ian Gillan:
My pleasure and Hello.

 

All the very best,
Ian Gillan


Thanks To Albert at Forbidden Records and Pete for his vast crypt of knowledge in helping with this interview.

 

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Posted in 1998 | Comments (0)




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