Simon McBride Admits Feeling Nervous In Front Of Ian Gillan

For an upcoming October issue of Guitar Player, the magazine hosted an interview with Simon McBride. Deep Purple’s new guitarist offered details about his early experiences performing with Ian Gillan and the other members during the chat. Revealing whether he felt pressure due to the band’s shows, McBride said:

“At the moment, no. But the first time I did it, I was very nervous, because that was with Ian Gillan in front of about 10,000 people. But it’s such a simple riff. The main secret is just giving it the right tempo. Then Don [Airey] kicks in with the Hammond playing the same thing, Roger [Glover] kicks in with the bass, and it’s just a wall of power.”

He went on to comment on the guitar parts in ‘Smoke on the Water:’

“Some people overcomplicate the ‘Smoke’ riff by playing it like a guitar player – you know, they throw vibrato and other things into it – but then the riff loses its essence. You just have to keep it simple.”

Mentioning some songs he needed to be careful about, the guitarist explained:

“There are plenty of other places in the set for me to try new things. People always ask me, ‘Do you have freedom to improvise in Deep Purple?’ The answer is yes. But there are certain things you just have to play as they were recorded, like Blackmore’s solo on ‘Highway Star.'”

McBride also added to his point by saying it would be ‘arrogant of him’ to try to outdo the original versions of some Deep Purple tracks. On the other hand, the guitarist revealed he had a plan for playing these pieces in past interviews. Talking to Louder Sound about the topic, he said:

“You can’t get away with playing anything else. But I don’t try to copy how Blackmore or Steve [Morse] played. You just take the concepts they used and put your own thing to it.”

You can check out the new Deep Purple member’s words about performances with the band here.