Ritchie Blackmore detailed his decision to step away from Deep Purple in the ‘90s and pursue the more traditional folk-rock project Blackmore’s Night, explaining that he had grown bored with the travails of playing in a world-famous hard rock band.

The guitarist left Deep Purple for good in 1993; he then briefly rebooted Rainbow before starting Blackmore’s Night with singer (and now-wife) Candice Night in 1997. As Blackmore recently explained to New Jersey Stage: “The stress was from the traveling to do with rock ’n’ roll, the continual trying to come up with different augmentations of heavy riffs, which can be boring. I was getting stale playing the same type of music: heavy rock for the sake of playing heavy rock.”

After spending several decades with the group he co-founded and writing some of the most enduring hard rock and metal anthems in history, Blackmore felt compelled to dive headfirst into another passion: traditional medieval music. “I have always been interested in melodic rock — melodies in general,” he said. “Toward the end of Purple, it was just being loud for the sake of being loud, so when I heard renaissance music, there were so many incredible melodies that struck a chord with me. That was such a relief in many ways, so I jumped off the monster train just to play some melodies more organically.”

READ MORE: When Ritchie Blackmore Melted Down Onstage at a Deep Purple Show

Blackmore's Night Offered an Escape From the Music Industry

Night — who contributed to Rainbow’s 1995 album Stranger in Us All prior to the formation of Blackmore’s Night, and who married Blackmore in 2008 — added that Blackmore’s Night provided an escape from the pressures of the music industry for the titular guitarist.

“It really began as a personal journey and escape from what the rock ’n’ roll world had become for Ritchie in the late ‘90s,” she said. “Having had such success in the ‘60s and throughout [the ‘70s and ‘80s], he was used to creative freedom and individuality of bands. But by the late ‘90s, when he reformed Rainbow, the corporations wanted approval over everything. Record companies wanted a say in titles of songs, demos to hear the direction of the album. It wasn’t what he was used to dealing with at all.

“So, while the other band members in Rainbow were doing their tracks, we were sitting fireside in a farmhouse studio in Massachusetts, playing acoustic guitar and writing songs for our own pleasure,” she continued. “When our friends heard them and said they loved them was when we decided to put them out for the rest of the world. But it continues to be a path of stress release from the pressures of society and form of escapism — not only for us when we are creating the music, but for those listening to it as well.”

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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff


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