This interview has not been edited - it's
written down, word by word exactly the way it was said - so if it looks
funny in writing, just imagine you're hearing the conversation, cause
that's the idea with writing it down this way... I hope you will enjoy this stuff.
I know I did..!
If you had a time machine, where would you go?
If I had a time machine... phew... Well, I've always been fascinated by
the Greek, the early Greek and Roman civilizations. I also... Well, can
I have a couple of choices?
I also would have liked to have been around the time of Christ, you
know...cause I think I would have tried to have gotten in there as
one of the disciples, I'm sure of it.
Uhm...Let me see... I would have liked to have drunk wine with Picasso,
and Georges Braque and Cezanne, I would have liked to see DaVinci and
[thinks very long and hard...] Umm... I would have loved to, as an
observer, to see the dorn of man, to see what happened. From the very
beginning, what happened. Because recently I read an unbelievably
fascinating article. It's very chilling actually, potentially chilling,
in a frightening sense, that recently scientists have discovered how to
really make a human being...
They've mapped the DNA and one scientist said that out of the 6 billion
people on the planet now, tracing back through 7000 generations, they
could find a seeding colony of 60000 people that started this entire
population! Can you believe that? So, in essence, we're all the same.
There's no question. You get more people to a soccer match on a Sunday!
So for me it's just incredible. I don't think I'm so naive as to think
that that news is gonna change the face of the world, you know, but who
knows... The winds of change are blowing. I feel it everywhere I go. Let
me tell you, you're gonna see Mother Nature manifest in many strange ways
too. Cause that's my feeling... You're gonna see more floods, more volcanic
eruptions, more crazy weather...
It's happening already I think...
Well, we're getting fires throughout the States, it's breathtaking. Nature
thrives on fires, the tragedy is when we move into those areas. I mean, I
live in a forest! So one of mine recurrent nightmares is arson, which is
an unforgivable crime certainly to animals and to all... Nature thrives
on it, she has no problem rebuilding, you know... But yeah, I think you're
gonna see a lot of unusual things.
You mentioned Picasso before, are you interested in art?
I studied art, yes.
So you still go to galleries..?
Oh yes, yes! Absolutely! Yeah. Matisse - I ADORE Matisse. You know what
I adore? Remember when his hands were too shaky, and he would make the
cut outs..? I LOVE that work. And I would have liked to have drunk the
first wine that was made! :)
Do you paint yourself?
Not for many years...I paint in sound now, in lyrics. I'm very involved
in artwork, with the albums and stuff like that. Usually they're my ideas
that I give to...The same with musicians: I'll start off with a song and
I'll get musicians in to make my g, c and d better. And my scribbles and
rough ideas to get a great artist in... But I'm going completely radically
different with this record. Have you seen the artwork?
I'll show you before you go. I mean, it's just a basic idea, you know.
I'm working with... I'm calling it the Synchronicity of elements - for
the last two years, everything is falling into place, no bullshit, no
nonsense and I'm finding people now... so I'm utterly convinced that
there are no coincidences, everything is meant to happen now. Whether
or not it's successful is another thing, but I feel it's successful
already with the people I've got into play - the musicians, the
photographers, the artwork...
I think that Whitesnake fans will be really thrilled with this album,
cause I've been listening to it non stop for the past week or so, and
it really grows on you. It's probably not something that Backstreet
Boys fans will like but...
Somebody said to me...when I went on the last tour - you saw me on the
last tour, I was getting from 15 years old to 60 years old people! You
know, the people in their 60s were like in their 30s when I was in Deep
Purple. And they've followed me... It was breathtaking for me to see
from the stage. This total cross section of age.
But I'm not catering, you understand, I'm not doing this for anybody
specific, I'm doing this cause I wanna do this. And you can hear, I
think, that this is a salute to my past. And the acknowledgement of
now and the taste of where I'm gonna go. You know, I'm not gonna make
Frank Zappa records...That's not in me. But rock, soul and blues IS.
I've met a lot of people who go "Thank god, you still have a power voice",
you know. "You're still rockin'". And I love to rock'n'roll, it's in me.
If I couldn't do it, I wouldn't do it. But it's still there. I use my
voice as an instrument. If I'm writing a song and I think "wow, this
will be nice sung in a middle register", then that's what it will be
done. But when I worked with Pagey, as we were writing I'm going "fuck,
these are all aaarrrgh!! Tarzan!" it's all fuckin'... And that's great,
cause I can still do it. From a whisper to a scream. But really I haven't
paid as much attention to the blessing of the gift of my voice. Of being
able to go from a whisper to a scream. YOU know I can do it, you know my
music, but a lot of people don't. I don't have any restrictions anymore,
cause I'm not playing to an image or an identity. Anything you want...
When you watch TV, do you know exactly what you want to watch or are you
a remote freak..?
I don't watch TV. If I watch anything, I watch movies or documentaries.
What kind of movies do you prefer?
I prefer movies that tell a story. I thought "American Beauty" was great.
I watch a lot of European movies. I'm not a very big fan of the American
Hollywood big explosion here, violence there... I'm also not a fan of
bands who promote anger and violence.
Do you have any favorite actors or actresses?
Actors or actresses... hmmm...[thinks for a while] Ouch...you caught me
there... Uhm... At this moment in time, I don't think anybody I can turn
around and go...who is it my wife and I enjoy... I love Gene Hackman!
There are certain actors and actresses that you know are picking good
movies, it's almost a guarantee that there's a good story. Tom Hanks...
Dustin Hoffman... I just watched a movie before coming over here, it's
a great movie that I really enjoyed, and a great director called Mike
Lee. He usually writes very nitty gritty real life things. Have you seen
Secrets and lies? Very realistic. And for some reason, his last movie is
called Topsy Turvy, it's about the 19th century
superstars, the Gilbert and Sullivan of the early 19th century. It's
like a grand opera, the cheeziest style, but it's fun and the movie
is excellent. I'm actually a fan... They were kind of like the
Lennon/McCartney of the 19th century! It's a great movie, but it's a
little movie, you know...
When you go to the movies, do people recognize you?
Yeah, I'm always surprised when I'm recognized for some reason. Certainly
since I've changed my hair! (laughs) Well, you gotta remember, I was on
MTV 24 hours a day for 5 years so... But I'm still shocked by it. I'm
always amused by the [snatches his head] the whiplash people give
themselves "Is that..??" Certainly when I'm walking around with my son
on my shoulders! But it's nice.
What are the best things and the worst things about being famous?
Best and worst... hmm...Well, I've never embraced celebrity, you know
the sense of really wanting having my picture taken. I don't like making
videos, although I do like my new video cause that's the only reason I'm
gonna make a video - if I can make something real. I'm tired of making
the bullshit videos where they have nothing whatsoever to do with the
music, you know. Those days are gone. The idea of maintaining a profile
without compromising your privacy is the difficult thing... Although now,
you know, I'm actually embracing a percentage of that by opening this
website (www.davidcoverdale.com) Because I will be contactable, but I
think I'll be able to balance having private time as well. It's the way
of the future and I wanna be involved.
Have you been on the web a lot or is this the first time you're actually
getting out there..?
Well, I'm all over the web. One of the things we're gonna do is cooperate
with all the existing sites, what we call the "Illegal Whitesnake sites".
But the circumstance is that they've kept my name going, and kept my music
going, stuff like that, so I don't wanna blow them out the water, I wanna
work with them. If it's giving them pleasure and they're happy doing it,
let them do it, and we'll work with them. The word I'm using now is
cooperation. We met with the biggest Japanese website guy...
Yeah, yeah, he's a doll! He's a really nice guy and sadly we couldn't
have our picture taken cause his camera wouldn't work...But we'll see
him again! There's no question.
His site takes forever to go through, it's HUGE!
But he writes in English I understand? What we've talked about with
two of my media guys over there, two very busy guys, they publish Burrn!
magazine and TV shows and radio shows and stuff... So I said "Why don't
we get you two guys to put together any questions that you guys get
about me?" cause we've worked together for 20 years - "and put it
through Kino's thing?" And eventually, what I wanna try to do,
cause this is only the beginning, is that we wanna start selling
records on there, and cheaper too! But the circumstance is, with the
fact that I'm blessed with a global career, as it were, let's keep
Italy involved, let's keep Spain involved keep Japan involved...
so...You know, obviously, the Japanese page won't make much sense
to you, but it will to the many people who support me in Japan.
So they can hit my website, still see Kino's, which will be infinitely
more detailed in whatever he wants to do, and maintain his stuff. But
get him involved in it too. He's been a great supportive player. Why not?
Are you up early in the morning or do you sleep all day?
I get up very early! Are you ready for this? I get up at 4 o'clock in
the morning! My coffee machines are set for 4.
Why..?? What do you do??
Well, I've got a lot of business that I deal with in Europe, so
there's an 8 hour time difference from where I am, or indeed 9 hours...
So I can get all that out of the way, do my workout, go hiking, write
my music... you know what I'm saying? I can get so much done! My house
is crazy! There's 4 people working in the house, we have 3 offices in
the house. So from 9 o'clock till 6 o'clock the phone doesn't stop
ringing! So it's complete distraction. So it makes all the sense in
the world, and then I rest for an hour or so in the afternoon, otherwise
I'm a miserable ol' bastard! Just tired and snappy, and weekends we have,
you know, just family-time... But I still get up early. I can't do it
anymore, I miss too much of life. I don't subscribe to that, I haven't
for many years - the "up all night, sleep all day", not for many many
years...I LOVE the day! If you ever see Lake Tahoe you'll understand,
it's just...breathtaking view from my home.
So, you go to bed early too..? I mean if you get UP early..?
Naah, 11.30-12...I get about 4 hours of sleep, 4 and a half hours...
Is that enough..?
No, that's why I take a rest. And I subscribe to the Winston Churchill
theory which is "if you're gonna take a nap, don't sit in a chair and
doze off, get your clothes off, get into bed"..! And...sometimes I can
indulge with the old girl as well on an afternoon, which is always an
Who's your favorite comic book hero?
Ooh, a few of them actually! I haven't seen comic books for many many
years, but my favorite comic series was Spiderman, The Fantastic Four...
It's so interesting, there's a new movie in the States now called the
X-men, and I didn't recognize any of them! Cause the original X-men
were different, you know... So I don't know Wolverine or whatever.
Thor - I love Thor! That was the interesting thing, as a child, not
only was I interested in the Greek times, but I love mythology! Very
very much. And I completely subscribe to the theory that you guys were
in North America before Columbus! I have no doubts. NONE. I mean, you
guys got into those fuckin' long ships and just go wherever the fuck
you wanted so why not to North America?
Do you prefer cats or dogs?
I have two designer cats...I have an abesinian and a burmese, the abesinian
is a beautiful girl called Isis, she's always credited on my records. And
Saboo is the burmese, he's a tiny guy with lots of attitude. They're
designer cats, not just rough street kitties - very very charming but
they're still rats in fur coats really when dinner's served! And hopefully..
When I was 4, my mother got me a German Shepherd puppy who was like my best
friend for 15 years, I don't know whether Jasper's quite ready, for HIS 4th
birhtday, which is on the 21st of August, but I wanna get him a dog... I'm
not as houseproud as I was. My house is very expensively done, but it's a
home now. My wife's made it a home. And my son destroys it at every
possible opportunity..! As do the cats! So... I'm a bit more open.
Do you have any phobias?
Oh, they're changing...Flying was one...One of the reasons I've called
my record Into the Light is that I genuinely feel that my life has changed.
Into an infinitely more positive and very in the light, as opposed to in
the dark you know...I've had enough of the darkness, I don't want it
anymore. Phobias... I have like 150 feet trees in my garden, and every
so often we have to have them trimmed, and some guy will go staggering
up there and snip them for me. And I go..."ffffffff...." [looks horrified]
A phobia is fire... I love fire but because of the environment where I live
if some idiot would compromise that for whatever idiocy, lunacy...
Can you name a record or a band whose CD you would NOT want in your
Any of the bands that incite violence. Or promote anger. Any of those
kind of things, they're no good for you.
Is there any person, alive or dead, who could make you speechless and
Jimi Hendrix! Picasso...Michaelangelo... But I don't know, I usually get
passed that shit pretty much "oh I LOVE your work!" you know..! I met
Sinatra, and I was very verbal with him after the initial "wooh, isn't
he small!" [grins]
Was that a long time ago?
Well, before he died! [laughs loud!] He actually turned around to me as he
walked back to the stage, and his thing before going onstage, his
superstition, was to do a drumroll on the wall, and he goes: "Well...
here I go again!" and I went "Oh, man..!" Francis! :)
What are the most common questions you get?
In Europe? "What was it like joining Deep Purple?". But they never
finish it off... it was GREAT joining Deep Purple, and I'd be eternally
grateful to the musicians in Deep Purple for taking such a chance...and
giving an unknown naive singer with relatively no experience at all, such
a phenomenal opportunity. "What was it like leaving Deep Purple?" was
even better... you know... because they gave me so many tools - a lot of
them I still can use today - in order to sustain a career.
Are there any questions that you feel nobody ever DARED to ask you, but
you wish they had?
Well, actually, you know, the British press as you know, there's elements
of it being known as being very rude to me over the years. But their
interviewers have never been rude to my face. I would much rather that
they confronted me with their... issues...
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
No idea. I'm not looking that far. My feeling is the future is bright,
but the now is brighter.
Have you ever thought of writing your biography..?
What did I think of calling it... "Reach for the scotch"..? The
autobiography...! uh... To be totally honest... I wouldn't want to make
certain people uncomfortable, a lot of people... because I wouldn't write
anything that wasn't true. Or I wouldn't put too much cosmetic on it.
Years ago probably I would have done something that was... more disguised,
but... Number one, - I don't see the point really, you know... There are
certain aspects of my life which will remain with me. If you wanna know
me, you can read my lyrics, most of them are diaries... you know.. There's
a very good amount of the songs where you can actually find out who I
am... and how I deal with things...
So that's your way to communicate with people..?
Totally. Yeah, that's the gift I've been given, yes. I said on a Japanese
copy of the album: "Yes, it's about love again! Sorry! You know, I'm just
not inspired to write about trees! Maybe next time!"
[Photographer Staffan asks: Is there a chance there will be another 5
songs from Blackmore/Coverdale?]
With who? Blackmore? Richie? Well, I think Richie is happy now - he's
doing medieval music.
[You wrote very good songs together...]
Oh yeah, indeed. yeah... Sadly, we didn't part friends. This is many
many years ago. It's interesting, cause many years ago I received regards
from Richie through a reliable source, and I went: "Well... Send mine
back..." But as Sean Connery said, or James Bond: Never say never again...
Who knows! Who knows...
Do you listen to music in your spare time?
All the time.
Is there any music that you like particularly..?
Well, the music I find I play the most is classical, from the 18th century
called baroque. I love that. I love ancient and modern... The music that I
think is infinitely more expressionist now... anything with expression
incidentally - I don't have to understand the words, I can feel the
sentiment through the performance. I have an incredibly eclectic taste.
Recently, the last five years, I've been listening to something people
call "world music". South America, India, Africa, Middle East, Asia...
In fact, recently, I can't remember the name, but, I just got a... it's
a kind of Finnish supergroup from what I understand by the sleeve notes.
And they went to a part of Finland ,northern Finland, which is being in
Russian hands for a long time, and pulled out some old Finnish songs. And
I found that very, very enjoyable. But I'm finding there's more bravery,
more creativity with world music as opposed to Western music. Western
music now is so formulated... It's not just the boy bands, or whatever
one would call it, this factory thing... I'm hearing it in rock as well!
You know, the rock is formulaic, and...
...everything is pretty much...
Yeah! I'm missing expression! Let alone substance. The Seattle time I
thought brought out some great music, some great bands. But I missed
hearing a guitar star! You know... I love guitar! You got great songs,
great singers, great guitar, but I haven't heard any great soloists to
rattle Eddie Van Halen's or Jimmy Page's cage or..you know.
There won't be too many of those...
Well, there should be! Any instrument like that, which you can solo with,
should be the person's voice - an extension of their voice, a communicative
tool. Once the singer finishes... If you listen to the solos - I worked VERY
closely with the guitarists on the solos - so, when the vocal finished, you
can actually sing - the more familiar you get with the record, you can sing
the guitar solos... They're melodic. They're intense. You know, or soft,
whatever, according to the song. I've had too many solos where my song
have been basically just like a foundation for showing off... And I'm not
going to allow that anymore.
Have fans ever done anything really crazy to meet you..? Like, dressed
up as a hotel maid or something like that..?
Oh! Yeah, yeah..! One of the wildest was a woman in Japan, a young lady,
who wanted me to deflower her... and she came with all her friends, and
they were all dressed in these incredible, traditional Japanese... you
know... uh, the make-up, and the kimonos and stuff...It was breathtaking!
What do you think is a woman's place in the house?
As a partner. As a complete partner.
So, you do things around the house as well..?
Completely, yeah. If my missus washes, I dry. You know... Usually we
cook together. It's difficult when I'm recording, that's a tough time.
But I don't put her through... you know... we get take-away food, or the
housekeeper will prepare food, so, she isn't compromised in her time. She's
an incredible mother, an incredible wife. When I'm recording at home - when
you're in the middle of a creative process, you can't stop at five to eat,
you know, or whatever. But we work as a great partnership, I'm coming up
to TEN years with this person, which is an incredible achievment for me,
as superficial as it sounds... but it's a testimon to the fact that we're
assisting eachother in growing, you know... we trust eachother, we support
eachother, and it's just an incredible relationship! I'd love to be able
to work with her. In terms of what I do...
Is she in any way involved in the music..?
Well, as an inspiration, a support system...
She's not a musician then..?
Actually, she's on the album! You wanna see her? I'll show you. Let me
give you the artwork...[gets out of the couch] This is just rough stuff
you know, but at least you'll get an idea of what it's about. [knocks on
the door to the other room and goes: "LET ME IN!". "Have you got the
artwork, to show her..?"]
(Comes back and shows the cover:)
This is the cover... These are all different snapshots put together...
Looks like I had a nose job! There are the interiors... and there's my
wife. [I look at this model-like, angel-looking beauty, and am for some
reason not surprised. David always had great taste, even I have to admit
Initially, I was gonna have a picture of her as a guardian angel with
wings, you know, but the photographer worked with her, and it was just
incredible...she came out great. So, she's the centerfold, all with her
clothes on! So... No more bullshit, this is gonna be STYLE.
[After this, the photographer wants to take a few more "pose-photos" -
up until now he had just been clicking away during the interview. David
looks in the big mirror on the wall and asks if his hair looks alright.
Of COURSE it does.. :) Then he poses by the window for the photographer
- I think you'll get to see those photos soon...! He was in such a great
mood, talked and laughed a lot, made us all feel very comfortable...]
I have a few things for you to sign as well...
Oh, yeah yeah yeah...
This is for a friend of mine...
Well, if it's only for a friend...! [laughs]
Thank you, that was some interesting stuff! One of the things I'm gonna be
doing on the web is ask the major Whitesnake sites, to ask their onliners
what they always wanted to know about me. Rather than just have to find
it through interviews. And if it's too personal I'll go "fuck you!"
[laughs] ...which they're aware of, so...they all get a shitload of
questions, and I can answer their questions...You know what I'm saying?
[He signed all the stuff I put on the table, I said thanks packed my
stuff, said goodbye and "thank you" to everybody in the room and left
as discreetly as I could... And went home to type this down and bring
it out to all of you, my fellow Coverdale-followers and fans! I hope
you enjoyed meeting David the Person as opposed to David the Superstar...
WWW . DEEP-PURPLE . RU