DAVID COVERDALE: 'I've Never Compromised WHITESNAKE With Questionable Elements'

Jesse Capps of RockConfidential.com recently conducted an interview with WHITESNAKE mainman David Coverdale. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

RockConfidential.com: You've always maintained the signature WHITESNAKE sound but the group of guys you're working with now have really stepped things up a notch.

Coverdale: Exactly. I've told people for years when they ask, "What do you look for in a musician that you invite into WHITESNAKE?" My first, primary answer is always the same. Can this guy help me take WHITESNAKE to the next level? Thank you for noticing, Jesse. We've baked a fucking great cake I think. (laughs) We've got all the measures of the ingredients just right. Everyone that's logged onto the website and heard samples all seem to have different favorite songs. It's fantastic! It's very cool right now, after working on this project for 12 months, to have people embrace it so positively. Doug [Aldrich, guitar] and I communicate almost daily. We're so surprised. For a period of time the first song people were going on about was "Steal Your Heart Away". Doug was really concerned. I wanted to open the album with it, solely because I think it's a great transition song from very early WHITESNAKE. That song could've easily been on one of the early WHITESNAKE albums.

RockConfidential.com: Let's go back one album to "Good To Be Bad". That album was primarily Doug and yourself. How did the vibe change when it was time to work on "Forevermore"?

Coverdale: I think we were confident enough with the success of "Good To Be Bad" to throw away any insecurities about letting go. Regardless of the collective experience under our belt, you still have … we didn't know how "Good To Be Bad" would be received. It was like the first WHITESNAKE studio album in 11 years. It was embraced incredibly well, as was Doug's and my songwriting. It tied in all the elements of WHITESNAKE that we enjoyed. We make music primarily that we want to do. As much as I listen to jazz and classical music at home, these are not elements that I want to perform as a rock singer or as WHITESNAKE. I've never compromised WHITESNAKE with questionable elements. The circumstance is that this was much more of a band project. [Brian] Tichy is a guitarist as well as drummer so he wants in. He wants to be involved and hear where things are going. What's fascinating is he emailed me the other day — and for such an exciting, fiery drummer — his current favorite tracks are "Easier Said Than Done" and "Fare Thee Well". Two of the "not" rockers! That's cool. That's testament to the fact that he's not just a thunder and lightning guy. The big bonus is, not only do you enjoy this stuff, but the hardcore audience … I've got a very successful, interactive audience at Whitesnake.com. The people that have heard the album samples are profuse in their appreciation. It's a continual of all the elements they enjoy with WHITESNAKE. I think Doug and I pulled it out of the bag this time.

RockConfidential.com: How did the Internet play into working on material for "Forevermore"?

Coverdale: It's very funny you say that, Jesse. Our families get on great as people. Sitting down and composing is a great pleasure for us. But, we've composed over the phone, through email, and through video conferencing. It's fucking hilarious. All bets are off! Before I would go off with my partners and spend maybe six weeks writing in some foreign climate. I wrote "Good To Be Bad" when I was living in England in Beverly Hills. "Ready An' Willing" was mostly in a place called British Honduras. The '87 album was in the south of France. "Forevermore" was mostly written in Lake Tahoe. We really utilize every device. One of the reasons we can exist in this very unusual, unstable musical climate, is the fact that they have developed such incredible technology. We use Pro Tools. From "Good To Be Bad" we've upgraded the studio to Pro Tools HD. We've also added a 5.1 system to our studio. I took it out of the house this time because my studio wasn't big enough to hold the 5.1 structure. We rented a couple of houses in the village and the WHITESNAKE music factory went into overdrive. When you're not in a traditional studio you're not looking at the clock thinking, "There goes another $1800.00 today." We worked with our time frame. If we got tired, we stopped. It's not structured the way it was in the old days. That is remarkably liberating to be in that kind of creative process. When I made the deal with the record company I refused to cut my balls off in terms of delivery time. I left it wide open so we would have time to be able to step back and be happy with what we were creating. More people know about this album than any other WHITESNAKE release before because of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. It's astonishing the tools you have nowadays. The most hardcore, loyal fans are not swayed by fashion or whatever. If they like it they like it. They also want the hard copy of the CD in their hand rather than the download or by bit torrent. When we released the "Love Will Set You Free" video on Valentine's Day, we had 750,000 hits, Jesse. It was astonishing. That's like MTV in its heyday.

Read the entire interview at RockConfidential.com.

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