Ian Paice On Deep Purple’s Retirement: ‘We Are Realists’

Speaking with Zoom in a recent conversation, Ian Paice talked about Deep Purple’s future and the band’s aging members.

When asked about when he and the rest of the band plan to retire from live performances, the drummer replied:

“We have never planned a date to stop working. We are realists. The guys are getting older, and there’s gonna come a point where maybe one or two of us don’t want to do it anymore, or [it’s] not physically possible for them to do it. But we don’t think about that. We’re still having a great deal of fun. A lot of people still enjoy what we do, and so long as those two things stay in harmony, we’ll continue.”

The Unpredictable Final Curtain Call

Paice continued, sharing his thoughts on how Deep Purple might end their touring days:

“I don’t think we’ll ever know what the last gig, what the last tour is. I think it’ll come and just smack us in the face. Unless there’s a definite plan, which there isn’t, to do something as a final bye-bye, I just think we’ll just go, ‘Sorry, guys. We’re finished. We can’t do it anymore. It’s been wonderful.'”

The musician added the following about continuing to create music:

“But even then, I think if we stopped touring, there’s no reason why we couldn’t make more records. That’s the easiest thing in the world. All you’ve got to do is have the ideas. That’s the hardest thing in the world. But physically making a record is easy.”

Don Airey’s Reflections On Retirement

Paice’s bandmate in Purple, Don Airey, shared similar thoughts about the band’s final tour in a 2022 interview with Rolling Stone. The keyboardist explained, talking about his retirement plans with the band:

“The words of T.S. Eliot come to mind: ‘This is the way the band ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.’ I think we won’t know it’s the last gig. We won’t have a clue that this one is going to be the last one. That’s how it’s going to end. It’s going to be no big scenario. I like what Buddy Guy said. He said, ‘Musicians don’t retire. They drop.'”

Airey also said that even though he sometimes imagines a peaceful life, playing music and touring are so much a part of him that it’s like an addiction. He feels driven to keep doing it and hopes to continue for a long time.

You can watch the full interview of Paice below.