Keyboardist DON AIREY On DEEP PURPLE's Continued Success - "The Audience Is More Welcoming Than Ever And It's Getting Younger"
August 31, 2020, 2 years ago
Keyboardist Don Airey rose to prominence on Rainbow’s Down To Earth in 1979 before going on to play with a myriad of bands including Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Schenker Group and Whitesnake amongst many others. Almost 20 years ago he was invited to join Deep Purple to replace Jon Lord. Metal Express radio's Mick Burgess spoke with Airey about the new Deep Purple album, Whoosh!, next year’s UK tour with Blue Oyster Cult, as well as some recollections of his days in Rainbow. Following is an excerpt from the chat.
MER: Is the name of the album Whoosh! an Ian Gillan idea?
Airey: "Ha, yes, how did you guess? I believe it comes from Fawlty Towers where Sybil tells him to turn that racket down and he replies 'It’s Brahms Third Racket dear.' Then he said 'Whoosh, that was your life.' Ian loved that and that’s where the name comes from."
MER: Your previous album, Infinite, was going to be your last and your Long Goodbye Tour was going to be your final tour. What changed?
Airey: "It’s quite difficult to say really. Sometimes as a member of a band you just have to do what you are told by the powers that be. I think we said that we’d finish in 2018 and then just do a few gigs here and there. Of course, a few gigs become an avalanche. You learn that it’s very difficult to say no and here we are, we’re still going. The audience is more welcoming than ever and it’s getting younger."
MER: This is your 5th album now with Deep Purple. How do you see the band evolving over those albums?
Airey: "There’s been a definite improvement over that time. We had a big hiatus after Rapture Of The Deep and it was like we went underground. We had no press and didn’t really have a record company but everywhere we went young people were turning up to see us, we couldn’t believe it. We were doing about 150 gigs a year and that solidified the band so when Now, What? came out, we weren’t expecting much but it made such an impact that I said that we must be a better band than we thought we were."
Read the complete interview here.
According to Darker Than Blue, Deep Purple's new album, Whoosh!, has reached the Top 10 in 12 countries worldwide - with more to come.
Current chart positions:
Germany - #1
Finland - #1
Belgium (Wallonia) - #1
Scotland - #1
Czech Republic - #2
Sweden - #3
Norway - #3
UK - #4 (highest chart entry in 46 years)
Japan (International) - #4
Italy - #6
Belgium (Flanders) - #7
Netherlands - #7
France - #8
Whoosh! is available as a Standard CD, a Digital Album, a Limited Edition CD+DVD Mediabook (including the 1 hour feature “Roger Glover And Bob Ezrin In Conversation” and, for the first time, the full live performance at Hellfest 2017 video), and a Vinyl 2LP+DVD edition (earMUSIC). Order here.
Whoosh! marks Deep Purple’s third album produced by Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd). The first - 2013’s Now What?! - charted at #1 in five European countries, as well as Top 10 in over 15 countries worldwide. Cementing itself as one of their most successful albums, inFinite, released in 2017, broke chart records the band accumulated over their 50+year history. With chemistry this electric, it only made sense for Deep Purple and Ezrin to collaborate a third time.
"Throw My Bones"
"Drop The Weapon"
"We're All The Same In The Dark"
"Nothing At All"
"No Need To Shout"
"Step By Step"
"What The What"
"The Long Way Around"
"The Power Of The Moon"
"And The Address"
"Dancing In My Sleep"
"Man Alive" video:
"Throw My Bones" video:
(Photo - Ben Wolf)