Coverdale's Grand Design for Whitesnake

05/05/2011
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(Gibson) With a new album, Forevermore, just released in March and a U.S. tour set to kick off on May 11 in Westbury, New York, Whitesnake are back in the hard rock headlines. 33 years after the group was founded by David Coverdale in the aftermath of Deep Purple, Whitesnake continue to champion the hard, bluesy guitar rock. Or at least, that was the original idea…

"I do agree [that the group is a true guitar-driven band] because that was the initial idea of Whitesnake—until Jon Lord asked to come on board," Coverdale told Guitar International. "There is no way that I could ignore that Jon's left hand with Deep Purple contributed to that huge (expletive) sound of Purple's identity. That's where I kind of backpedaled and made keyboards a featured instrument. It was never part of the original plan. The blueprint for Whitesnake was the Allman Brothers' first LP, where the organ is more of a rhythm part, and Duane Allman's immense guitar is upfront. That was to be the structure of Whitesnake, like an orchestral blues band."

According to Coverdale, much of his approach to Whitesnake was informed by his days in Deep Purple, where he played with two of rock's most mercurial guitarists. "With Deep Purple, it became very difficult to write within that head-banging, heavy metal identity. Jacket and trousers all the time. [Laughs] For me, I wanted Whitesnake to be this huge umbrella of hard-rock rhythm and blues. Big riffs, fun, tongue-in-check, an elbow in the ribs, a knee in the nuts. From the beginning, I knew I needed to electrify Whitesnake, to continue to take things further. more on this story

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