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Interview with

Over The Rainbow

A famous heavy band formed by Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple guitarist) in 1975. Originally started with elf members, with Ronnie James Dio as their lead singer, before he joined Black Sabbath. This year there is a rare reunion between the old members. Vocalist is Joe Lynn Turner, also well known from Yngwie Malmsteem. They performed on the Sweden Rock festival and there was a press conference before their gig.

press: Are you gonna film future shows or record them?
Joe Lynn Turner (singer): As soon as Tony Carey ( keyboards, Planet P Project) comes back we probably go back to the studio and then also record a live DVD -  in Russia maybe. So yes, we might do that.

press:Why did you form “Over the Rainbow”
Joe: Well, in Russia there were many promotors, always asking about a Rainbow reunion. I was kinda drunk there and I said there will be no reuinion without Blackmore and I knew Ritchie didn’t wanna do it - but then I thought ... he’s a Blackmore (points at Jürgen). So after that I went to Germany and we had it all set up.
press: How come you ended up in that very lineup right now?
Bobby Rondinelli (drummer): Joe called me and asked “what do you think about Over the Rainbow?” and  we wondered who should be involved. So we decided Tony was the obvious choice cause he was involved in rainbow during the dio years and he already asked us to play together in a band he wanted to name Purple Rainbow (laughs).

press: How would you describe the difference between Jürgen Blackmore (guitarist, son of founder guitarist Richie Blackmore, Deep Purple) and the original Blackmore?
: He’s easier to get along with (all laughing)

press: So who’s the leader of the band, who’s the Ritchie?
Greg Smith (bass) : We didn’t want a leader, we wanted democracy. So everyone has a vote in the band.

press: Whats your favorite Deep Purple album and what’s your favorite from Rainbow?
Jürgen Blackmore (guitarist): Deep Purple - Made in Japan, from Rainbow: It was me growing into it but i can’t say which album is my favorite, sorry.

press: Arent you guys afraid of being a bit cliché? Afraid that fans would look down on you because you are reliving the past?
Joe: There’s bands that tour with just one original member or just the drum tech... so who if not us should have the right to tour. Half the bands on this fest should not play if it was about that.

press: How many times were you actually able to play guitar when you were touring with Ritchie Blackmore?
Greg: Sometimes Ritchie would give me the guitar when he was fed up with the encore and he went off stage to do some coke and stuff. Haha.

press: Rainbow released many albums. How did you choose the songs for the setlist?
Joe: Good question ... Well I think we needed some heavier songs from the Dio era. Some great songs like Star gazer and King Of The Silver Mountain. And then we wanted to do the obvious grand songs like. I think it’s some really good representation, so if I were a fan I’d really like it.
We had to choose and keep the balance but you can’t have all of them. Our initial list was very long and it was hard to choose.

press: Have you thought about writing new songs?
Bobby: Yeah, thats the plan. We first wanna walk before we run. If the fans like the project then we will make some new songs.
Jürgen: I got a lot of emails from fans asking me to go on stage to do this. I didnt join for money or anything. So I wanna give something back you know.
Joe: If Jürgen didn’t do it, the whole thing would not have happened. We are here to be authentic, were not a fuckin tribute. We wrote the songs, we are the band. (Applause)

press: Did you enjoy your latest touring in Russia? I know your drum was stolen in Minsk. So whats the story?
Bobby: So that was our first Over the Rainbow show and the president of Russia was in the next building ... doing whatever. And there was a lot of security. After he left, the security left aswell. And then some fat guy ran on stage and stole the drum and he got on a taxi with it. We searched for him but  we never found him, never heard anything about it again. But aside from that the Russian tour made us a band. It was great.

press: What was a really embarrassing situation with Over the Rainbow?
Bobby: Aside from the thing with the drum ... I think it was when Tony fell off stage in Tokyo. I see him walk back and fall. (Laughs) 

: Just one final thing: Tony is still in the band, he’ll be back.
Also, we just had one rehearsal for this show basically, but it feels very positive here. We’re looking forward to play tonight

Jürgen: I just wanted to say that I really thank everyone for accepting me in the band. I know I’m not the original Blackmore and it’s not what I’m trying to be. At first I was afraid that the fans wouldn’t like me but that wasn’t the case. So I just wanna give something back to the fans.


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