Smoke on the Han as Deep Purple plays Seoul

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Smoke on the Han as Deep Purple plays Seoul

Hard rockers Deep Purple, best known for “Smoke on the Water,” one of the most famous guitar hits of all time, are set to hit the Seoul stage tomorrow.

After its debut in 1968, the band dominated the 1970s hard rock scene with Led Zeppelin and has sold over 100 million albums total. Last month, it released a two-CD set, “Singles and E.P. Anthology ’68-’80,” which features most of the band’s signature tunes. The Seoul concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. at Olympic Hall, Olympic Park in eastern Seoul, will be the group’s fourth appearance here since 1995.

Below are excerpts from a brief e-mail interview with the JoongAng Daily.

Q. Why do you think Deep Purple has seen so many members come and go over the years?

A. [We] cannot remember how many people have went through playing in Deep Purple from day one. Every tour you go through, you get this feeling that this may be the last tour together, but when we all go back to our homes after the tour, and even after one of the band members left, be it Ritchie or Jon, we always call each other for “O.K., well rested, let’s give it one more shot, shall we?”

How has Steve Morse’s addition helped with the band’s stability?

We watched a documentary called “Deep Purple Family Tree” as we have went through so many changes in our line up. They even call it a Family Jungle, not a tree, as we have so many people involved with the band. Still [they] somehow interact with the existing band. Steve Morse in particular, he is a great human being, very respectable person with honest attitude toward music and everything else. He still practices six hours a day, even on tour.

At your past concerts here in Seoul, what impressed you the most?

I remember vividly that it was very very wet and was pouring like hell [at the Triport Rock Festival in 1999], but the audience was great, they wouldn’t leave, and yet they were very loud, so we did our best to make them get what they came there for. Ever since that gig, Korea has been a very special place for us.

By Seo Ji-eun []
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