‘We had no stress, no time constraint’: Leaving the road sparked Deep Purple’s muse on Now What?!

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Deep Purple’s return to form was sparked by a rare period of downtime for the always-touring group, something that gave them an opportunity to reconnect with their muse — without the pressures of a deadline.

“For the first time in 10 years, we decided we would have an easy year, in which to maybe consider writing music and making a record,” drummer Ian Paice tells Virgin Radio in the video below. “This meant we had no stress, no time constraint. Nothing that made everything dependent on time.”

Now What?! has been hailed as a return to form, arriving some eight years after Purple’s last studio effort but possessing all of the signature elements fans have long associated with the group.

Frontman Ian Gillan said that was an outgrowth of their mindset in this new relaxed setting, with an additional nudge or two from producer Bob Ezrin — who had worked with guitarist Steve Morse during a previous stint with Kansas, but never with Deep Purple.

“It was very spontaneous. It went back to the idea of being nonconfirmists,” Gillan says. “The first three records we made, they only had seven tracks on each record. Some of them were quite long, and we’ve gone back to that ideal.”

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