Longtime journalist and press officer Peter Makowski has posted an interview he conducted with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich talking about his love for DEEP PURPLE. Conducted last year, it has been posted again (here
) to celebrate Deep Purple’s 19th studio album NOW What!? Ulrich talks about being a fan of the band, seeing them for the first time, favorite album tracks, songs he’d like to cover, the late Jon Lord, and more. A portion of the interview can be read below:
Makowski: You wrote beautiful eulogy to Jon Lord on the Metallica website, you were obviously a friend and a fan.
Ulrich: "Thank you. I’m not sure that the people in today’s hard rock world really truly understand how innovative this guy was. He wasn’t just another keyboard player on the side of the stage. In 66/67 when Hendrix, Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore were taking the electric guitar to a new level, by using banks of Marshall stacks beefing up the sound, Jon Lord was one of the first guys in hard rock to take the keyboards through the same process. He took a fairly standard instrument like a Hammond organ put it through amplifiers and Leslie cabinets and introduced a whole new way of forcing the sound out of the keyboards. Ritchie Blackmore said the other day that Jon formed Deep Purple; he was certainly the instigator that made things happen. If not the musical leader Jon was the spiritual leader of the band. He was a pioneer and I think that somehow that’s gotten a little lost in the last few weeks. People are talking about, obviously, what a gentleman he was and what a fantastic band member but he really did something nobody had done before with the sound of the keyboards and I think that’s probably the biggest thing to remember him for."
Makowski: What’s your overview of the Mk 3 line up?
Ulrich: "Burn feels like a very heavy Ritchie Blackmore record, whereas as Stormbringer with GLENN HUGHES influence was a little more R&B. It’s a different band. (Ian) Gillan was always out front doing stuff. If he wasn’t singing he was playing bongos, he had a presence. Songs like Space Trucking was always Ian Gillian’s time to get the whole audience to clap along, he was an active frontman. With David Coverdale when he came in you could feel that he was young and more just the singer. I would never say that one’s better than the other, they complement each other. You could say that Deep Purple peak years were 72 and 74. In 73 you hear in the live recordings and see in the videos that Ian Gillan has already mentally checked out and in 75 you can see that Ritchie’s mentally checked out."
Makowski: Which is your favourite Purple line up?
Ulrich: "(Laughs) Man, that’s like asking which one of your kids you like the best. I can’t answer that. To me they’re almost like different bands. You could say that the Mk 2 line up was edgier, harder. Mk 3 was more soulful and vocally with two singers was stronger. I can’t say which is better; you can only say that they’re different."
Makowski: Why do you think Purple haven’t been inducted into the Rock’n'Roll Hall of Fame?
Ulrich: “What you’ve got to understand is that a lot of the people that have run the selection process are critics. And Deep Purple as you know were never a critic’s band especially in America, because their influence was probably felt more in Europe. It’s only a matter of time. Rather sooner than later. We’ve already lost one member. The fact that LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH are in and Purple is not is one of the crimes of that whole institution. We’ll get them in soon enough; I’m working on it."
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