For better or worse, Deep Purple forever changed the path of hard rock music. Deceptively simple and painfully loud, songs such as "Highway Star," "Woman From Tokyo" and, of course, "Smoke on the Water" were packed full of riffs that ushered in what would become known as heavy metal. Selling upward of 100 million albums, the Hertfordshire quintet still features Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, both from the band's 1970s heyday. "It's all been a journey of discovery," says Gillan from a hotel room in Florida. "When I was 20, I thought I knew everything, but now I know a lot better." Deep Purple has been together, in some form or another, for nearly 40 years. The most recent incarnation includes über-guitarist Steve Morse, who has been with the band for almost a decade. "Steve is incredible," says Gillan, who has seen Richie Blackmore, Tommy Bolin and Joe Satriani play guitar in the band. "We have been blessed with some amazing musicians," Gillan adds. With a new CD in the works and a seemingly endless supply of reissues and concert DVDs hitting the market each day, Deep Purple continues to be more than your standard group working the oldies circuit. Always shunning the heavy metal label, Deep Purple is unafraid of improvisation and incorporating new themes into old grooves. "There is a lot more to us than that songs have kept us alive," says Gillan.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.