Blackmore's Night

Watching the new live DVD from Blackmore's Night Paris Moon, one thing is readily apparent: this band has turned things up a peg, becoming a top notch live act in addition to their excellent studio output. This is due to a number of things. First off, they already have automatic respect considering one half of the band's founders: Mr. Ritchie Blackmore, a man who needs no introduction. The other half of the equation, however: Ms. Candice Night has excelled in her stage presence, going from entertaining to commanding, while retaining her "we're all one big family" rapport. Her glorious voice is and has been front and centre since the band's beginnings 10 years ago. Check out their awesome version of "Diamonds and Rust" for proof that this girl can sing! Still, a decade's worth of live shows, mostly in front of rabid audiences, has also helped mold her into a proficient front person, directing the events with ease.

The other factor is the range of material. The Renaissance-inspired music is still their bread and butter and what their audience has come to expect. However, the band has also included a bit of rockier material in the form of "Ariel" (which has an interesting history that you'll read about) which helps expand things nicely. Overall, Paris Moon is as entertaining a live DVD as you could want, especially when we're treated to several Blackmore instrumentals. The legendary guitarist does not disappoint, I can certainly attest to that.

Candice took a few minutes to chat with me recently about the DVD. Here's our conversation:

antiMUSIC: The Paris Moon DVD is simply excellent. I really liked Castles And Dreams, but it seems the show has just kind of gone to another level.

Candice: Oh thank you. Yeah, it just seems with this band…it's interesting cause, it feels so strange. It's like once we do something at a certain time or a certain level, we feel we've really presented the best we could possibly do at that point and then we'll do something the next year or two years later and we'll look back and say, wow, it keeps growing in leaps and bounds, you know, depending on how comfortable we all feel with each other and of course that all comes in time. You don't just realize it until you reflect on the other things that you've put out there.

antiMUSIC: Sure. It's surprising that there's all that untapped potential that's in there that's just waiting to come out eh?

Candice: It's wonderful actually. You know everybody in the band brings their own their little part really to the band, as well. So depending on who we have in the band at the time…everybody kind of brings their own identity to it. So it always sort of keeps us on our toes and always adds their own individuality to whatever incarnation of the band is for that year or that moment.

antiMUSIC: The one thing that really stuck out though Candice, that begs the question is did Ritchie really sign off on this because he is clearly smiling during the first song (laughs).

Candice: (Laughs)

antiMUSIC: It was like, what is going on here?

Candice: Occasionally we have to hide a few things from Ritchie to put it out there. No, he does smile occasionally. (laughs) But you know what? That's what makes those smiles so special because they are so rare. And you know that when they do come, they're well deserved because he's not one of these people who smiles often, so you know, it's either very genuine or alcohol induced. (laughs) It's good that we can joke around with each other like that on stage too. Because I was telling someone the other day, it's like what you see on stage with Ritchie and myself, it's basically how we are at the dinner table. You know if we go out to dinner, we joke around. We poke fun at each other. We just have that kind of really fun relationship where we're really, really comfortable. So what you see is very real and very honest on stage. I don't think we could really be anyone else. So you know, there's no posing. There's no choreography. There's no dances. There's no us becoming somebody else because it's a stage persona. It's just how we are, so you know, so when we joke around like that it's just us being normal. Our normal selves. And all of our normal friends in our inner circle know us for that anyway, so it's funny to get the reactions from the rest of the world when they see things like this; the untouched, and sort of like the moody, difficult dragon for so long, so when you can the poke the dragon it's got to be a lot of fun to watch. (laughs)

antiMUSIC: Why another live DVD at this time and why did you choose Paris as the show to put on tape?

Candice: Well, probably because, actually with Paris Moon it was interesting. It was really kind of nerve-wracking for all of us because had never played France as Blackmore's Night. Obviously Ritchie played there in his other bands years before. But at this stage it's our 10 year anniversary of the existence of Blackmore's Night, so we really felt like after a decade we've really accomplished in this band so much and we felt so good and so comfortable with each other on the stage and with the songs that we collected and our whole repertoire. And France was a place we had never been too. And just as a challenge we decided okay, you know. We had a lot of fan mail coming from there, but still you don't know if when you arrive somewhere at a place if they're really going to get what you're doing, because when it's an un-commercial sort of music or genre that you're putting out there, if it's not commercially accepted and put on the radio every five seconds, or on MTV, or you know, in your face and rammed down your throat all the time, you just don't know if people are going to really know what you're doing and be really accepting of it.

We're very lucky with our fan base though because they're all independent thinkers. They're not usually the ones that follow fashion anyway. They usually turn off the radio as opposed to being dictated to the radio, what's cool and what they should be buying that moment. So we're kind of lucky like that. And I find that that always gives you your most loyal fan base anyway are the people who kind of hear about you through word of mouth and really make the decision of the music or what they like on their own as opposed to being told what to buy by any major corporation. So we're really lucky like that. And of course I think we probably have the most loyal fan base probably because of that. But still if you play a new region whether a state in the United States or a country overseas or a city that you haven't been to, you really aren't sure which way it's going to go. And having never been there for a decade, although we had been in existence for that long time at that time we figured, well we're just going to try this out and see how it goes. And you never know with the French. They could throw rotten tomatoes at you if they don't like you. (laughs). Or they could just walk out or just sit with their arms crossed and not get involved. So it was really nerve-wracking for everyone. In retrospect, I don't know why we went because that could have been complete suicide. (laughs) But we're really lucky that it worked out the way it did and you know just the visuals of Paris. It's such a romantic place and a romantic city. And like the Britainish area was actually really receptive of our music. The year before they had actually chosen our album "Christmas Eve", especially off our Winter Carols album to play throughout Disneyland in France so we knew there was an underground following there. And when we got there, it was amazing for us because the French audiences were so warm and so wonderful to us, and it was almost as if they had received Castles and Dreams, and like studied every move on there. They were on their feet when they should have been on their feet. They were dancing when they should have danced. They were yelling HEY at the right moments, and you know, it was just amazing. And actually probably about a month before that, right before I knew we were going to go over there for sure, I recorded "Streets of London", in French and I gave it to the record companies over there, sort of like as a present for the French people. So I think they probably appreciated that as well. And that was pretty much one of the most difficult…I mean I've sung in probably four different languages at this point, and that had to be the most difficult language that I tried to do. (laughs) I can do Russian, or I fake it at least. I can do German and I can do Greek, and I've done all these other things and for some reason it took me the longest time to do French. It was so difficult. But I was lucky because when I sent it over there to them, they did get radio play on it, and the local fans heard it and they said, "Oh my goodness, it's amazing you got the accent down." So I guess I must have done something right. (laughs)

antiMUSIC: You mention never having played France before. Why is that?

Candice: You know, I think there's certain areas in, obviously in Europe we've built up for the past ten years, like Germany we go back to every year, because well first of all a lot of the songs are steeped in the German Teutonic roots and that's where we get a lot of the melodies from. So it's kind of like we take the melodies and breathe fresh life into them in a way and you know, add new lyrics, new instrumentation and then bring them back and try to see what the people over there think of it. Because it's really their old traditional folk songs and things that have been there for hundreds of years even. So a lot of the German people are aware of the songs or at least of the melodies because they've grown up with them, and they've heard them in the past. And they do have so many more medieval bands over there than we do over here anyway. So I think the German people were very accepting of us, from day one, which is why we've always kind of built on that market. And it's grown and grown and of course we play all the castles over there. So the visuals of seeing the band on stage in a castle really kind of completes the picture we're trying to get across...it's not just the audio and the dressing up, but it's actually performing in a 12 to 15th century castle. It always completes that transportation of bringing you to another time and you can really escape from the stress and pressures of today, just by driving up that kind of winding and twisting path up the mountain. As soon as you see that castle up there you know you're in for an event, for something different. That's why Germany was one of the ones that we've gone to for so many years at this point and really built that market up. And then there's a couple of other ones like the English market. They completely get involved in it. They've got Sherwood Forest over there and Robin Hood (laughs) so they're kind of used to looking back into the veil of the past and really kind of revamping that. And plus they have these amazing folk bands that really were doing a lot of thislike John Renbourn or Pentagle, or Griffon. There's a lot of things. Maggie Reilly comes from there. Michael Oldfield has revamped some Renaissance tunes so I think they've got it in their blood as well. They're used to it. But the French market, it's a strange kind of market because you know, they're usually kind of closed and we hadn't really gone there before specifically if you don't sing in French or if you don't have any French members of the band they're very patriotic, and very nationalistic over there. And they're much more for really pushing their own bands first before anyone else, so it's really very hard to try to get your foot in France. I guess when we started finding out that we did have a strong base after so many years, enough people kind of discovered it on their own and started really wanting to see us. It's just taken us this amount of time for us to get there and have that following, which now we know is there and is strong, we'll definitely be going back. So it was good to see---it's taken a while but it's good to see that door is finally open.

antiMUSIC: Can you really feel the momentum building for the band considering the success of "The Village Lanterne"?

Candice: I think it strange because you never really know when momentum is building or not. I think basically when you're creating something, whether you're doing it on stage or you're doing it in the studio or your home or wherever you are, if you're feeling that incredible passion about the music and those real pure feelings, if you're not doing it for, you know, the fame and the fortune aspect which I think so many bands are doing it for today, unfortunately… You know we do its strictly for the passion of the music. So even if there wasn't a buzz out there, I really don't think we'd even know if there was or there wasn't at this point until you really step on stage and see if there are people out there who've come to see you or not. But it's always good of course when you get the correspondence coming through whether it's the emails or the handwritten letters and people just saying how much the music has moved them. And those moments for me are really the ones that really hit home. Besides the fact that obviously we love what we're doing and we're so involved in it, we're absorbed by it every moment of our day. As a matter of fact I was just downstairs, and we were just working on some new songs, thinking about putting out another holiday album, so we're running through some arrangements for other songs that we could possibly put on that. But it's the kind of thing where you know everyday we're just immersed in music and the possibility of it, and the creative aspect and the creative freedom of it. And it's something we need like the air that we breathe. So as long as we're really, really enjoying ourselves, I think people can hear that in the music. They can hear the honesty and the passion and the fact that we love what we're doing. And like you said, when you can see Ritchie smiling on stage, you we must be heading in the right direction…(laughs).

antiMUSIC: Your show is quite the opposite of most rock shows. At a lot of those, you really feel the distance between the band and audience and come away thinking that the band feels they are above the audience. At your shows, there seems to be a real rapport with the audience. How do you approach your concerts in terms of first the set list and what you think the audience will react to and also from a personal standpoint in terms of interacting with the audience and by that I mean, working out what you're going to say to them in advance?

Candice: You know it's funny because we were discussing this the other day. We found that if you do go back to the Renaissance times, you go back a couple hundred years, the minstrels were the ones who kind of played in the gallery and they played for the people. And the people were the royalty, and the minstrels were sort of like the lowly peasants that would just travel through the forests like gypsies and get to the next place and then hopefully get some kind of job playing for the king or the queen or the higher nobility of the time. And you know playing in the courtyard of castles or places and they'd try to go on and they'd try to play in the next place and the next area. And the people were the ones that we're the high and mighty ones, and the minstrels who were doing the music, were more like the lowly scale of people I suppose. Or at least looked upon that way in the class system of that time.

But I think it was probably around the1960s, 1970s where they completely switched around. And it came that the rock bands were the royalty. You know you have the Rolling Stones. So they became the royalty with the five separate limos and the huge penthouse suites, and if they didn't like the color on the walls, the walls would be changed. They were bringing in pianos. I mean it was amazing the demands of the egos sometimes. And people started becoming more…I guess there was more of a separation, more of a wall, like you said, there was more of a rock royalty at that point. So we've decided that we're just going to completely switch it back around to the way it was supposed to be, the way it was a couple hundred years ago, and the people should be the royalty. And the band on stage are the ones who are providing the entertainment for the evening for the ladies and lords of the house of the day. And we love doing this. Actually we even try to keep the amount of people who come into the shows, we always try to play theaters that are much smaller. We first originally started where we wanted between 200 and 500 people because we felt with those smaller places you can really have that intimacy. Not that it would be more of a controlled environment but you know that the people who were coming into see you are there 100 per cent to see you, that they're going to be involved 100 per cent, and they're really going to enjoy the experience and the event and the emotions that you're portraying and they're really going to take that journey, that musical journey with you.

Then it started building. It became between 800 and 1,000 seaters. Now in a lot of places, especially in Germany, it's probably between 3,000 and 5,000 seaters. When we go to Russia it's like 10,000 seaters. And we always feel like the bigger the audience gets, you know the promoter's smiling. He's making a lot of money. We're not because we're trying to keep the price of the tickets down, so even though we're playing specialized venues it's important for us that everyone can come, who wants can come is able to come. It shouldn't be because they can't afford the ticket prices. I'd rather give them free tickets and allow everyone to come see the show; it's something they're going to want to experience. So we always try and keep the ticket prices really low, which mean basically (laughs) we always lose money on tour. But the promoters make more money because they sell more and more tickets each time so, for us we just end up losing that connection and that intimacy, the more and more people that are out there.

So in our perfect world we'd want just that 200 to 500 people even if we played a couple of places in that one night, just to keep that closeness and that connection with the audience. I enjoy seeing their faces and I enjoy seeing smiles and seeing people singing along, and dancing, asking them: okay what do you want to hear, and the kinds of requests and having that rapport with them. And I think kind of closeness and that kind of connection really… not only does it had to the positive experience of Blackmore's Night's music and what we're putting out there, I think that also, you know, one of the things that keeps people coming back to see us, is that they have that positive energy, they feel like they've really connected with the band.

We often call our fans, just friends that we haven't met yet, because they're so like-minded to us. You can tell when you come to the show, and you're dressed in garb and you know all the words to the songs, that they really understand us as people, because that is ultimately what we're putting out there, that's our message, that's us, our personas is musically what we're putting out there. And if they really understand that and they get that and they come to shows and they're all dressed up and they're so involved in our way of thinking, and our way of life, then we know we're on the same mindset and so we'll always have that really strong connection with them.

And as far as the set lists are concerned, actually I'm pretty lucky with that because Ritchie is usually the one who winds up coming up with the set list so I guess I kind of rely on his musical expertise and experience for that. But usually what we end up doing is, we'll do probably the first three or four songs, will be standard, we'll usually do the same things. But after that, he usually reads the audience, so if they're more of a partying kind of audience who wants to get on their feet and really sing and dance along, then he'll change the set list to really accommodate that. If there a more quiet, listening audience, then he knows he can do some incredible instrumentals, that he can do extended solos and extended intros and really kind of pull from an other place and just sort of expose himself and emote these amazing things throughout music and his guitar, because he knows they'll be listening and with him on every note and hanging on every note that he does and just his musical brilliance will be out there. So every audience is different and because of that every set list is different. We're never on auto-pilot (chuckle). Whereas a lot of bands, I think, go out there and do their perfect hour and fifteen minutes, or hour and a half show and it's the same every single night. We never play the same show every night. And in fact, I don't think Ritchie ever plays the same song the same way twice in a row. I don't think he could if he tried because he's so into improvisation. So I think that's one of the main reasons too that people keep coming back to see the shows because they know that if they see five shows in a row, it's going to be five different, separate shows. And they can last 2 hours. They can last 3 hours, they can last…we've gone over four hours sometimes because we're having a good time. And it's great because he and I live together and because we love what we're doing so much even if we go to a local restaurant, like last night we went out for dinner, he brought his acoustic guitar and I brought all my little renaissance woodwind instruments that no one ever knows what the hell they are and usually can't pronounce anyway (laughs), and we just kind of sit in a corner with our friends, and we sing and we play until about two o'clock in the morning so he and I are well versed and we have a very wide repertoire to choose from. So even if the rest of the band doesn't know what songs we're doing, because he and I play together so often, and it's second nature to us to be sensitive to each other and where we're going in the song, it's easy for us to go out there. We could probably play 60 songs that we know off the top of our heads, and that the band probably has never heard of before. Sometimes he'll just look at them and tell them to go off stage, and he and I will stand out there and do 3 or 4 songs on our own for the audience, and it's great because it always keeps the band on their toes cause they never know what we'll come out with next and they have a lot, probably about 40 songs that they have to know, that he can choose from so I just happened to have more songs (laughs) that he can choose from. So it's always different and it keeps it exciting. And I think it always keeps it interesting for the fans as well.

antiMUSIC: One of the highlights of the show to me was "Diamonds and Rust". I know the original was terrific but this takes on a new life live. Your vocal is outstanding! You've done several covers over the years including "St. Theresa" and of course "Soldier of Fortune" and "Street of Dreams". How do you pick the covers that you do and what is it usually that stands out to you, the music or the lyrics that makes you want to cover it?

Candice: Actually I have to interject for just one second because I'm so excited. Because it is the 10th anniversary and we have a fanzine that is dedicated to us and the gentleman who runs the fanzine actually just wrote to everybody, and said if anyone wants to write in and say a couple of words to Ritchie and Candy, through their magazine, let us know, for their anniversary. And Joan Baez wrote in and said she loved our rendition of "Diamonds and Rust". Which was like a HUGE honor.

antiMUSIC: Wow, absolutely!

Candice: So, that kind of blew me away. The fact that she had heard it, that she knew about it, and that she actually liked what we did, I'm still kind of beaming from that, even though I read it like a week ago. (laughs) I've still got a big smile on my face.

antiMUSIC: I can certainly understand that.

Candice: (laughs). That's a huge, huge honor for me. Now that I've gone off on that, sorry …just wanted to make sure to tell you that…(laughs). Well, I think it's usually songs that are very melodic, that my voice can basically handle, like I'm basically not going to go out there and do "Highway Star" (laughs). A song that's really untouchable. They have to be songs, that obviously that Ritchie enjoys and that he likes to play, because I just love singing. If you put a song in front of me, I will sing anything. It's just something I love to do. So with Ritchie he looks at it from a very, very different perspective. He's much more judgmental when it comes to music. So he'll usually narrow down the list of songs that he wants us to attempt or to try and there have been some songs that we thought we really captured an amazing moment when we performed them on stage, and it really had that magic. And then we brought them into the studio and no matter what we did, we could not recreate that same magic that it had on stage. And an example of that is Randy Newman's "I Think it's Going to Rain today", which we love, and actually we recorded part of it in a cave at the base of a castle on the Rhine River called Rheinfels and that was on the bonus disc on Castle and Dreams and because it had a natural echo in there in the cave and it was very quiet, and there was probably less than 100 people there who were just loyal fans from the street teams and things. So it was a really special concert, quiet and intimate. And so we played that and they recorded it and it was just beautiful. It was exactly how we wanted to portray it. And yet the second that we stepped inside the studio with that, no matter what we do, we can't get that same feeling, that same kind of spellbinding, bewitching magic that allowed that hush to go over the audience, and allowed them to be entranced.

So you know, that's kind of one of ones that stays on the editing room floor unfortunately, unless we do it live in concert. But we kind of feel like, if we hear a song, for us, I mean this is how we decide. There's no point in us covering or doing it if its going to be done exactly the same way as the person who originally did it because then you're just doing a second rate version of what they've already done. So we really have to put the Blackmore's Night style or stamp to it, or whether that's new instrumentation, different harmony scales, or different arrangement, it's got to be something that adds to it for us, that makes it a little bit different to what the original is. With "Diamonds and Rust" of course you know, you can hear the slight differences. For me, once I hear the lyrics, I can really, especially with "Diamonds and Rust:, it hits such an emotional depth of my soul that it's one of those sings, that I WISH I had written a song like that. It's the kind of thing, it's so strange, even though it came from another writer, it just kind of infiltrates you and takes you to another level. I'm really able to dig my teeth into that emotionally and kind of get lost in the lyrics of what she's singing about and I think that really comes through on stage. We're able to really portray the original emotion that she probably wrote that with, when she was writing that about Bob Dylan so many years ago. So you never know when it's going to work and when it doesn't. but you know, those moments when it really does, it just transports you and it's really amazing.

antiMUSIC: I absolutely love "Ariel". Can you tell us about that song? You haven't recorded that before, have you?

Candice: "Ariel", believe it or not was the very first song that Ritchie and I ever wrote together.

antiMUSIC: What? Wow!

Candice: I know, it's really strange, and we really wrote it even completely different than we do it on stage now. When we wrote it, we have a bar room, the dungeon room in our basement, very dark, and lots of Christmas fairy lights up, and foliage there year round, and stone on the wall and very woody too. And we were down there and he had his synthesizer attached to his guitar and he was just down there playing and he came up with this melody line. And I just thought it was so haunting. I kind of wanted it to be about this very ethereal woman, kind of like Stevie Nick's Rhiannon, like that idea, where you can still… although Stevie Nicks wrote that about the legend of Rhiannon, when she introduced it, in the early days she was always introducing it as "this is about a Welsh witch" which is the myth and legend of Rhiannon, but yet so many people could still relate to it. I don't think anyone sat there, in mainstream, and said, "Oh it's mythology". I think some people said: I know a girl just like that. Or so many women said, "Oh I want to be like that", or "I wish I was like that!" So you can still relate to it on a personal level even though it's about a mythical creature. But for me, it was like: that's what I wanted to really personify in the song, was that same, I wanted people to relate to it, but still it would be this very ethereal, kind of dark bewitching presence, lyrically to sing about. So I wrote these words out, and he really liked the way the words came out, and that was really before Blackmore's Night ever existed. So when we writing, it was actually, thinking back a decade now, it was right after he left Deep Purple for the last time---well, that we know of---in 1993, just stepped off tour, and he was just playing down there in the basement, we came up with this song and after that he reformed Rainbow. In 1995, they put out the album, Stranger in Us All, and I remember when they were up in Massachusetts, in winter, is six feet of snow, and remember it difficult, or at least, the lyricist-slash-singer at that point, Scottish guy, Doogie White, he had written the lyrics for probably about 5 songs then, and I guess the producer and Ritchie who were reading the lyrics kind of felt that some of the titles or some of the song ideas were kind of becoming a little redundant because they tended to be about drinking and fighting (laughs) and women leaving him, so after five songs of that they said, we need fresh ideas. And they were really ready to fly in a professionally lyricist that they had worked with years before. And they called me up, actually I was taking the ferry up. It was about an hour and fifteen minutes on the ferry and they played some backing tracks for me, and originally the backing track they played was a track called "Slave to the Highway"

So we worked on a song .. which was called "Wolf to the Moon", at one point so they used that as one title and they got a song out of it. So actually I wrote or co-wrote the lyrics of three of the songs on the Rainbow album like that. Then when they were looking for the last song to record, Ritchie said to me, well what do you think if I give them "Ariel"? Well you know at this point we weren't in Blackmore's Night, there was no Blackmore's Night in existence. So at this point for me, it was just like: "Wow, that would be amazing. It would be great. I'd love to hear how it sounds when you guys bring that rock and roll stuff into it, so let's see how it goes." And they did, and they came up with their version of "Ariel" which was much harder. We originally had it very rolling acoustic singer style, very haunting. And sure enough when they did it, you know Doogie was doing his screaming bits over it, and it was a much harder type you know style of vocal, and Ritchie added that great kind of Arabic, Indian run, with that really heavy rift. And it just became this whole other life, like a whole other song, and I was just amazed at watching that process, at seeing how it started and seeing what happened to it at the end, you know where it grew to. And that actually wound up being the single off of that album that they released. And we did a video for it. So it was interesting to watch the growth process. It sounds like I'm talking about a child: the growth process of the first song. (laughs) I'm so proud of her. And now we're at the point where, you know, I think ten years in my voice has really grown to that strength and I've kind of built that range up where we're now able to do that kind of thing on stage. Of course Ritchie always loves the excuse to bring out the electric guitar so it works out for him, and I get to show my range a little bit whereas I don't normally I don't usually get to do that because a lot of the songs are softer and quieter and it just adds a whole other dimension I think to our stage show. So it worked out for everyone. It's good that we had the birth of "Ariel" (laughs), so many years and she's gone through so many incarnations now that I think it's great. A lot of the Blackmore's Night's fans are writing in and saying: What album's this off of, we can't find it on any Blackmore's Night's albums? And I have to send them back to old Rainbow stuff for...you know, for them to hear where it started.

antiMUSIC: You've obviously grown as a performer over the years, as obviously a result of the many shows you've done. How do you feel you've evolved as a performer? Do you still get nervous before a show?

Candice: Oh god of course. I ALWAYS get nervous. It's terrible. I lock myself in the room. (laughs) I'm very anti-social. My stomach has butterflies. I talk to Ritchie about it and he loves to stand behind the stage, you know, when the opening band is out there, and he LOVES to kind of stand behind the curtain, and he was looking out at the audience and reminding himself, hey, they're just people. You know, it's okay, you know, don't make it more than it is. It's alright. They're here to see you. They're here to sing along and to have a good time. And that always calms him down a little bit. Between that and the quarter bottle of scotch…(laughs)….he winds up drinking, but I can't drink that because I'm scared to death that did drink that I'd probably crawl on stage and then I'd forget half the words and then I'd be Courtney Love or something. (laughs) So, I kind of rather ride out the nerves and then get out there, and as soon as I grab that tambourine or grab the shawm or grab the mic stand and you know look out there and see people so happy that we're in their town, you know, that we can spend the night with them, and you know we all get to experience the party together. After the first couple songs, your nerves start to dissipate a little bit. But they never go away. But it's not the kind of thing we're you're ever sitting back stage going; "Yeah, you know in 10 minutes we go on, I'm going to take a nap, wake me…" you know it's never that kind of thing. (laughs) It's always, "oh my god, don't talk to me right now". (laughs) I can't eat. Of course, after I get off stage, I'm like gorging myself on the cheese platter because before you go on. (laughs) Like any dairy products. Ice Cream? Sure, yeah, bring it on. After the show when I can eat like a horse. (laughs) So that relaxes me. Yeah. You always get nervous. I think you probably wouldn't be human if you didn't get nervous about that kind of stuff. Ironically, you know when I was in high school, I used to take a zero in speech class because I was so scared to get up. Even if it was…it wasn't singing, it was just reading a page that you just wrote the night before that you were designated to write. And every time I knew, if I had to make a speech I was out sick. I just couldn't. I was so wracked with nerves, there was no way. And that was 20 people in class, in front of your peers, friends you had grown up with for years. So it's amazing how life has this way of saying, alright, so you think can't handle this? I'm going to throw you right in the lap of it and you're going to deal with it. And you know, you're kind of try climb that mountain after you realize you know, ok, after a while your voice kind of gets stronger and you get a little bit more comfortable with it, you start…learning.. almost …the front row, in almost every place we play, they kind of travel wherever we go, so there's a lot of familiar faces out there and it really makes you feel really good. We've come a long way at least since the speech classes in high school…(laughs).

antiMUSIC: Absolutely. 20 people to 10 thousand …there's a little bit of a difference. (laughs)

Candice: Yeah, a slight difference, eh? I agree. Oh my goodness, I can't even imagine what I would have thought if ten years ago somebody said: yeah, you're going to be playing in front of 10 thousand people. I would have climbed under my bed and you wouldn't have gotten me out. (laughs)

antiMUSIC: What is the highlight for you during the show? Any particular song?

Candice: Oh, my god. It's so strange. I don't know if it's a fear of commitment or whatever but I'm so bad (laughs) to committing to one particular song or even, with anything. I just find that your range of emotions always tends to draw you to different things. Like I have a different color that I like every hour of the day, or different song. I can never really commit to a favourite anything. I'd rather experience everything rather than commit to one. But I have to say I do love "Diamonds and Rust" and I just feel like that allows me to wear my emotions on my sleeve and to just really put myself out there. It's probably the most dangerous point because it makes you very vulnerable when you're out there so much emotionally and you're so wide open and there's nothing to hide behind. And there's a lot of times actually, we've done songs, we've done "First of May" a number of times on this last tour, just for fun. And it's just Ritchie and myself and a lot of times, if he really likes the way the vocals sound, he'll just stop playing completely. So it's just your voice out there hanging... (laughs)…(spooky voice) in the middle of the theatre.

antiMUSIC: That would be nerve-wracking…

Candice: Oh yeah, slightly. You never know whether you should just stop and look at him and go: "ah, excuse me, are we doing this together? Or what?" (laughs). You kind of just get so caught up. It almost doesn't sound like you sometimes. Sometimes you're so able to detach yourself from the emotion and from what's going on , although you're signing, it's almost like out of body, like you're watching it or seeing it like a third person, or a place above, like an astral kind of connection. Yeah, the people seem to...there's so many ups and downs in this show, there's so much variety, I mean, I kind of get more drawn more to the sensitive moments, so whether they're being evoked by me or by Ritchie instrumentally those are the really kind of tug on your heart strings and kind of really you know, grab the depths of your soul. But then you know, when you're singing songs like "Under a Violet Moon" that everybody can sing along too, or dance to or get involved with, then that really warms you and gives you such a great friendship type of warm feeling. So it is a huge, vast range of emotions t that you end up going through throughout the whole entire stage set. So it's kind of really hard to say you enjoy one more than the other, because it's almost like a rollercoaster ride.

antiMUSIC: I understand you are working on a new record, is that correct? Can you tell us anything about it at this point?

Candice: We'll lets see. There's actually so much going on, it's so strange. We're always working on things back to back. We just put out Paris Moon as a DVD, and actually there's a limited edition set. There's a beautiful, as a limited edition, there's a beautiful old sort of antique style box, like that old Toulouse Letrec, Moulin Rouge type style cover art that we've got on it. That one actually includes the DVD as well as CD, the audio CD. Of course the DVD has more tracks on it so you get to see and experience most of what we naturally put out there in the show. And the CD actually has less tracks than the DVD does. There's a couple of bonus tracks, we actually put "Village Lanterne" back on there and the reason for that was because we had just recorded a video for "Village Lantern" while we were overseas, last time we were in Germany at this big beautiful castle that we were staying at. The story line of that was it was supposed to be the lady of the lake sort of idea. And what they did, me and my brilliant ideas, I said, you know, basically in the last say four videos, you got me out there doing a lot of kind of spinning around in circles, with skirts, and that's great but I'm starting to get a little dizzy, so can we do something a little different now, you know? So they said, well what can we do? Can we make this concept? And I said, you know what I would really love to do, what I think would be a beautiful visual is if I do the thing under water….Okay, remind me never to say that. (laughs). What was I thinking?

antiMUSIC: Big regret.

Candice: Oh my goodness. So of course the production people were like: that's brilliant, we love it. Let's definitely do it. So they came up with this concept, this storyline. And we kind of went back and forth on what it was supposed…you know the visual and the whole story. And you know, we really wanted it to all make sense and everything, and for it to be complete. And I would do research on other videos and send over a fax, and okay, we did this, and can we add this? So we really kind of worked together on it. And when I got over there to Germany they were ready to shoot and I had all my costumes because I thought oh, it's going to be beautiful underwater with all the long skirts and the long sleeves, and you know, the hair going. So what they did, was they booked me into a dive centre, a 15 foot tank. One of the reasons I'm a singer is because I'm terrible with numbers. So when they go: 15 feet, I'm like oh sure, no problem. But I had no concept of how far 15 feet is, until you try to swim to the bottom of it. (laughs). And then it's like: what was I thinking? And of course the bottom is where they had set up the camera because there's one little window all the way in the bottom. And this isn't like a swimming pool, it's not like there's a gradient where you can walk two feet, and then a little bit lower, and you kind of get used to it. No. This is 15 feet all the way around so when you jump in you're like paddling your feet, dogging paddling as much as you can (laughing), and the only way you can really rest is if you can kind of make your way over to the side, and hold on for dear life onto that ladder. Now I'm in the water, with all my skirts which are not cooperating. They were kind of wrapping themselves around my legs and trying to pull me down. (laughs) and I'm like: "What am I doing? I can't believe it." And of course they have the underwater speakers so I can lip sync under there. And I'm trying as hard as I can to dive down while the skirts and the bell sleeves, and the corset is getting tighter. Oh my goodness. Yes, this is the making of the hell video for me. But if you can get even 30 seconds of footage out of this…they actually had me in there for 7 hours.

antiMUSIC: Wow!

Candice: Yeah. (laughs) I was exhausted. (laughs)

antiMUSIC: I would imagine. All the weight from your clothes…

Candice: It was unbelievable. Because you know, as you're going down, your skirts with gravity, want to go up, (laughs) to the top of the pool.

antiMUSIC: Kind of a problem there…

Candice: What I'm trying to do is as I'm starting to dive is I'm trying to unravel them from being around my legs, like seaweed, trying to pull in different direction, I'm trying to look very (sexy voice) look very ethereal and flowy. While trying to get down deeper. Oh my goodness. It was definitely an experience. So that was very interesting. (laughs). I kept thinking: if he just drained some of the water. And they said, "We don't have that on the time schedule. It would take like three hours to do that and we have to be at the castle and so there is no way to do that." So I just tried to do everything I could possibly under the water while I was there for that 7 hours and they did actually to get some amazing footage. They wanted me to hold onto this sandbag filled with weights that would pull me down to the bottom. And I was like, if I get down to the bottom, I'm not going to be able to get back up in time to actually breathe. Do you want to kill me? It was just…we had a lot of fun but it was definitely exhausting and draining and kind of a little insane.

antiMUSIC: So the next video is going to be a live one… (laughs)

Candice: Yeah, I'm thinking I'll be spinning again. (laughs) Something safer. Or at least you know, where I can breathe would be nice. They even tried to give me like scuba gear but you can't…have you ever scuba dived before?

antiMUSIC: Never.

Candice: See, like I'm a snorkel girl. I like to hover round the top, so I can stand and breathe if I need to. So this whole snorkel thing apparatus, no, it just wasn't working for me. And I didn't know that when you breathe into it all these bubbles come out, while they have the masks on. but if you're doing a video you can't have the masks on so, of course I've got these big huge fake eyelashes on and all the bubbles are hitting me in the eye…(laughs). So no matter what we did, at the end of the day, you just had to laugh. You couldn't even be mad. You just had to laugh at the whole thing. It's amazing that the footage that they actually did end up getting out of that wound up pretty good. Pretty impressive. And right after that they took me right to the castle which is 80 miles from the Czech border, and we shot until about 4 o'clock in the morning with the rest of the band there. So it was a heavy day.

antiMUSIC: And you slept for the next week.

Exactly. (laughs). My big DO NOT DISTRUB sign outside my door. Exhausting. (laughs) But it was a lot of fun. So that's actually hitting a lot of different internet portal sites right now. They're doing a mass internet campaign on that video since it's not available anywhere else but the internet right now. Just wanted to let you know about that one.

antiMUSIC: Absolutely.

Candice: Actually if you go on our website there should be a link there so you're able to do that. They even have the making of, which (laughs) should be kind of interesting to see that one. And of course we're re-releasing Winter Carols, which already is starting to hit some of the pre AC charts over here for Christmas eve again, so that's great.

antiMUSIC: That's amazing for a second round.

Candice: Yeah, absolutely. I mean we believe so much in that song, "Christmas Eve". I just think it really embodies the whole spirit of the holiday season and having the neighborhood kids sing along on it. To me it doesn't delve too much into religious content. It's just about the pines, and first snowfall, and whole magic of the season and the warmth of the friendship and celebration. And so for me, I think it's the perfect embodiment of the holiday spirit. And so that'll be out there and in January, actually in December we head over to…and I'm telling you my whole entire schedule, sorry. (laughs)

antiMUSIC: That's good. We want to hear…

Candice: (laughs) More, more, more. But in December we're actually heading over to Germany to do some television shows for Winter Carols. And in January, we head back into the studios here. We've actually got five songs recorded already for the new album which we did kind of in between touring this past year. And so we're going to head back in with our producer Pat Regan form Los Angeles, and probably spend the next two to three months in January through to probably March recording I guess the next seven or eight songs for that one. So that should be out soon. (laughs). Next year. I think. And we actually do have some cover songs on that so, you may find some of that interesting. (laughs) (mysterious voice) ah, the mystery ensues…(laughs).

antiMUSIC: We look forward to that.

Candice: Me too actually. I think there's a lot of really cool stuff that we've got going on with that. Some of it is very organic and just really …beautiful and some of them have that fun pop kind of flavor to them, especially the cover song. You know the problem, every time I mention we're going to do a cover song, somebody else takes it and puts it out immediately right before we're going to do it. (laughs). So I kind of have to be unfortunately kind of elusive when it comes to that. But as soon as you get it, you'll know exactly what I was talking about.

antiMUSIC: Well, I wish you all the best with the DVD. It's really terrific and I'm sure it'll do very well for you.

Candice: Thanks so much, Morley.

antiMUSIC: Thank you for the time.

Candice: Thank you. Take care.

Morley and antiMUSIC thank Candice for speaking with us.


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