For those about to rock... ; THE BIG INTERVIEW David CoverdaleWhen Whitesnake's David Coverdale arrives in Nottingham this weekend for a show at the Capital FM Arena with Journey and Thunder, he'll have with him probably the largest collection of music on any tour bus in the world. The 61- year-old tells Steve Haines why
LONG before One Direction, one Brit was taking the US by storm - so much so that people are often surprised to find out he's British. From early fame fronting Deep Purple to megastardom with Whitesnake, David Coverdale is celebrating 40 years of rock.
But four decades on, does he still have the same love for music? I'm one of iTunes' biggest buyers, he says.
I travel with about 80,000 pieces of music across six iPods and I always have music throughout my house. I'm a musician who is excited to embrace the new stuff - I love the challenge of it. I'm 62 in September and to still be given the opportunities I have at my age and I'm grabbing them by the short and curlies! With advances in recording and production techniques duly embraced, Coverdale has been keen to apply them to the Whitesnake live experience with not one but three upcoming live releases. The first of these, Made In Japan, has recently been released and Coverdale says it was the recording of this show that started the other projects coming to life.
It's a whole CD/DVD/Blu Ray experience at one of the biggest festivals in Asia, he says.
I'm always wary with recording live shows. They always get out online and the quality doesn't capture the real experience.
But when we saw what new technology could do we went for it.
And we got everything, down to the soundcheck. Our sound guy gets a pat on the back as he was recording absolutely everything.
It's fascinating for fans because they're used to seeing the glossy, polished show and the soundcheck is more of the warts and pimples of trying things out.
People need more for their money these days. It's nice for the fans to see the less polished and more light-hearted stuff.
The process went so well that further releases were immediately planned.
Says Coverdale: The band were firing on all cylinders on that tour and when the first recording was so good, we just kept recording. So we have Made in Britain coming out, which was recorded across the UK tour in 2011, and then we'll have Whitesnake: The World Record, which is one different track from various shows across the world to make a full set.
With working on this live stuff for so long now, that live energy is still resonating. I was talking to Doug (Aldrich, guitarist) the other day and it feels like we've only been off for a month, when it'll actually be a year and a half by the time the tour starts! With that energy still strong, it's not the only reason that Coverdale is enthused at the moment.
With the new technology, it's now the age of being independent. I can create the best music with my musicians, record it the best I can, mix it the best I can... and I don't need a record company to do it. Everything is so accessible.
I joined Twitter at the start of the year so I'm now connecting daily with people supporting our music and that's powerful.
It's so refreshing compared to the old days when you hardly saw fans at all.
It's through Twitter that he knows there is still a great demand for the band's music.
People still want new Whitesnake material, he says.
Their last tour saw them team up with Def Leppard and, to continue the trend, this time they're co-headlining with Jour ney.
He explains: At a time when finances are tight for people, an evening out should be value for money. Whitesnake and Def Leppard was three hours of songs everyone knew and people left smiling - it was memorable and this should be no different.
I've known the Journey guys for so long it's going to be a joy to go on the road with them. And to have Thunder reuniting for this tour is a huge coup for us. Luke (Morley, Thunder guitarist) thinks he's my illegitimate son! And just to clarify, is he? God, I hope not; he could hit me up for an awful lot of money, he laughs. With two studio albums released since 2008 after a ten-year gap, with the new material fitting seamlessly alongside the back catalogue, has Coverdale been using the early records as a blueprint for good songwriting? Not at all. I've found a great partner in Doug (Aldrich) and unlike other American musicians he's got a great feel for early Whitesnake. He enjoys the same elements of song structure that I do, so when we work together that's what comes out.
So he's rocker through and through then? Actually, I've got very eclectic tastes. In fact, I'd love to do 'An Evening of Jazz with David Coverdale' but he is quick to add: But not yet! I've still got the beast in me! Whitesnake join Journey and Thunder at the Capital FM Arena tomorrow. Stage times: Thunder 6.45pm; Whitesnake 7.50pm; and Journey 9.40pm. Tickets are Pounds 45 from the venue, call 0843 373 3000 or go to www.capitalfmarena.com.
For an interview with Journey's Jonathan Cain see Pages 4&5
'I've known the Journey guys for so long it's going to be a joy to go on the road with them. And to have Thunder reuniting for this tour is a huge coup for us. Luke (Morley, Thunder guitarist) thinks he's my illegitimate son!
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