Deep Purple’s Steve Morse: “producers don’t listen to guitar players!”
Steve Morse has taken a light-hearted jab at producers and their relationship to guitar players, noting their differing priorities when it comes to a mix.
Morse made the comments about the recording of a new version of And The Address, an early Deep Purple track. The track originally featured the playing of founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, whose tones Morse paid tribute to but didn’t want to ape exactly. Morse described how he got the chimey, pushed-clean tones heard on the 2020 version of And The Address when speaking to Guitar World: “I was trying to get close to that tone without completely copying Ritchie. I used a bit of level overdrive on the clean channel, because it can be very clean on those Engls, but they also accept varying amounts of input and still break up smoothly.”
He went on to describe how he used a wet-dry rig to add ambience: “In addition to that, I used the TC Electronic Flashback Delay and Hall Of Fame Reverb. There was also the two-knob Keeley Compressor pedal. The ambiences go through a separate amp, so the guitar straight into the amp is what you’re mainly hearing.”
He did admit that the sound was occasionally a little too dry for his tastes, saying: “ In fact, in some of the mixes I could have used a little more wet amp, but producers don’t listen to guitar players!” The 2020 version of And The Address (originally recorded in 1968 for Shades Of Deep Purple) comes from the band’s latest record Woosh!, which arrived this summer. The jab is, of course, most likely in jest, as the record is the third made over a 7-year period with producer Bob Ezrin at the helm.
To that end, Morse discussed the collaborative way in which some of his solos came together on the record, saying: “I don’t really plan out my solos. It’s not really a solo if you do! I don’t mind taking bits of improvisation and fitting them together. In fact, Bob does that sometimes without my knowledge!
“He might take the parts he likes best, which are often not the parts I like best, and put them together into a new solo I never would have played. And I don’t mind that at all, it becomes a whole new section to explore.”
In a 6/10 review, Guitar.com described the album as “a continuation of the cultivated musicianship and eye-catching guitar playing” that defined the band’s last two records, however noted that lyrically the album is a low-point, with singer Ian Gillan “turning in perhaps the weakest collection of his entire career.”
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