2004 Christmas Interview





1.) So how do you feel now after the European Tour 2004?

DC... You mean the 'Gluttons For Punishment Tour'???... The tour that never ends!!!... Ha Ha!!!... I am very, very tired... but, also extremely grateful & happy that it was as successful as it was on so many levels... Well done, you Snakes!!!... And very well done you audiences!!!

I was away from home for 3 & a half months... It was the longest, most concentrated tour I have ever undertaken without having breaks in between...

Filled with memories, actually... Great shows... beautifully received... We were treated royally wherever we went...

I'm still processing the tour in my mind, to be honest... It was quite the adventure... The band & crew were simply exceptional... overcoming all adversity, and whatever challenges, illness or obstacles that were tossed in our way...

There was also the exciting revelation of seeing so many really young people at a lot of the shows... 14 or 15 years old... At times they made up at least a third of the audience... We attract a very interesting mix of people, I'm happy to say... At first I thought they were just there out of curiosity... then I saw them singing the words to all the songs... wearing the tour shirts... going nuts... Incredible!!!

I also feel we raised the bar on the sheer energy we generated during our shows... I'd better stay fit & healthy if this is how it's going to be!!!

2.) There was talk of a shoulder injury during the tour... What exactly happened?

DC...  A couple of weeks into the tour... around my 53rd birthday... I was onstage in Copenhagen, kicking substantial arse... when I felt something rather uncomfortable happen in my right shoulder... Oh dear, I thought... what's this???... After seeing an abundance of specialists I was diagnosed as having tendonitis... and, of course, the preferred treatment is rest... & more rest... Not much hope of that during a tour!!!

Rather than cancel the tour, I decided to try & 'accommodate' the injury, & adapt my performance around it... which of course meant not quite as much mike stand tossing, if you'll excuse the expression...

I had to avoid repetitive actions with my right arm... As I put such tremendous strain on it when I'm power singing... I had to kind of 'lock' my arm in one position and sing... It was tough... but, hey... no one said it should be easy, did they???... Some nights it was OK... others it was very difficult...

Of course I prayed that it would not cause permanent damage by exacerbating the problem due to my rather aggressive physical performances...

After the shows was the worst... particularly when I had to drive to the next city... which was pretty much every night!!!

3.) There were some rumors flying around the net that you were miming at your shows. Care to comment?

DC... Complete nonsense!!! ... Everything you hear at our shows is absolutely live... Where all this stuff comes from I'll never know... Actually I should be flattered if it sounds that good!!!

4.) You seem very happy with the band... are they going to continue working with you?

DC... I am very happy with 'em!!!... Someone told me this is the first time they've seen me with the same line up on consecutive tours... I'm not sure about that... but, I have a grand time on stage and off with these guys...

As players & performers they are exceptionally consistent & talented... a pleasure to be with...

I love being able to just get on with what I do... and be confident the band are with me 100% every night... They are very inspiring players... and I never feel they are simply going through the motions...

Also, it was very noticeable this time out, that people embraced them as Whitesnake... Especially when I introduced them to the audience... they were greeted with open arms...

5.) I saw some of the early shows in Europe... and then caught the end of the tour in the UK... and I was astounded at the energy level put out by you and the band... How do you have such powerful performances from the beginning to the end of such a long tour?

DC... Well... for myself... I know that my healthier lifestyle has certainly contributed to my energy level... and stopping smoking has definitely given me more power & strength in the ol' vocal department... I found myself riding the wave of energy the band & the audiences were creating together...

Also, being driven by a drummer of Tommy's ability doesn't hurt, either!!!... All of this... plus my Angels!!!... They're with me every step of the way!!!

6.) It is not unusual to see people actually crying at times during your shows owing to the depth of the passion you put into your songs, and the songs themselves... How does that affect you?

DC... Very profoundly... It's very touching... Perhaps it's so many elements... so many emotional variables kicking in at once... The memories of when you first heard the song... what you were doing in your life... who you were with at the time... After all... some of these songs take you back many, many years... We've all been on an incredible journey together, haven't we???

My feeling is... go right ahead... let it all go... you're safe here with us...

7.) How did your son, Jasper, deal with being gone so long?

DC... It was difficult, to say the least... We are very, very close... and initially the tour was only going to be approximately 6 weeks long... My dear friend & assistant, Michael Mac, got Cindy & I computer video cameras & a program called 'iChat'... it gave us the ability to video conference each other... That helped us immensely, & I thoroughly recommend it to anyone with a family who has to travel a lot... Being able to see each other when you talk... in real time... felt much closer than simply talking on the phone...

I think it also helped that he joined me on the road so much last year & saw for himself what his Daddy does and that experience enabled him understand why I was away and to cope with my being absent from home...

Sadly, he didn't come out to Europe this time, as we hadn't set up the tours traveling arrangements to suit a family... I was in a very fast S-Class Mercedes saloon... packed with luggage... Elegant gypsies!!!

It was the tour being extended that proved most difficult for my family and I... that, and the distances involved...

Next year it will be different... I cannot go so long without seeing my gang... Cindy flew over to spend two days with me in London... that was an absolute treat, I can tell you!!!

Jasper continues to impress me with how he deals with unusual situations... I am very proud of him... He was very brave... and being a young, very bright man he proved to be exceptional company for his Mama, I understand... Cindy & Jazz are the very best of friends...

It was also rather tough to see so many VERY young children at the shows... When I asked... some were 6... 8 years old... I immediately flashed on Jazz... and how much I missed him...

8.) Did you have a favorite show from the last tour?

DC... I won't get drawn into that, if you don't mind!!!... As I have said repeatedly... every show is important to me... and all of them have something special to remember... Altho' I will say that the London show was very special for me...

As you probably know... we filmed & recorded it for an in-concert DVD... that alone can be very intimidating for a performer... Who knows how the show is going to be???... How your performance is going to look like???... The place was packed... it looked beautiful... and all the elements seemed to come together... to gel...

I saw faces in the crowd I recognized from all over the World... It's incredible to think that someone would fly in from as far away as Japan, or the States to see the band play... It's very humbling... I met a lovely woman who came in from Venezuela too... Extraordinary...

I felt everyone rose to the occasion... the audience included... It was truly a night to remember... and thank God... we got it all on tape...

When do you plan to release it?

I believe it will be a late Spring 2005 release... I can't confirm that right now... Keep an eye on the Whitesnake web-site for further information... Hey... I still have to mix the bugger!!!

9.) When do you plan to release it?

DC... I believe it will be a late Spring 2005 release... I can't confirm that right now... Keep an eye on the Whitesnake web-site for further information... Hey... I still have to mix the bugger!!!

10.) What about the 'live' CD?... Next year too?

DC... No... unfortunately not... the deal we made with the DVD company was that we could release the live CD a year after the DVD... I don't really understand that... I would have thought that each would help promote the other... I am very excited about the CD... The stuff we had from the 2003 tours came together just great... I can't wait to get it out there!!!... I believe we had too much material for a single CD... and not enough for a double CD... so, we arranged the show this time out to give us another 6 songs... and hopefully, we can sweet talk someone into releasing a double, kick arse live CD...

Just wait 'til you hear 'Burn' from these guys... it's so intense... It grabs you... and doesn't let go!!!

11.) Will Whitesnake tour in 2005? If so, in which continents are you most likely to perform?

DC... Wherever we're invited I suppose... Probably the US... Japan... I have heard there's a possibility of us doing some European festivals... As yet there is nothing confirmed... only tentative discussions... There is still a lot to do on the 'live' record... and I have been writing quite a lot with Doug...

I would definitely like to make a start on a studio record... if indeed there is a market for studio albums in this day & age... I have a feeling 2005 is going to be a very busy year...

To the delight of many fans, Adrian Vandenberg joined you on stage at two shows in Holland (Zwolle in 2003 and Tilburg in 2004). What were the circumstances that led to his appearances there and how did it feel to share the stage with Adrian once again?

Ahh... me little Dutch Brother!!!... One of my favorite people... Well... as you probably know... Adrian & I maintain a great friendship... and he did actually work with me longer than any other players in Whitesnake... So, there is hardly any need for discussion if I am playing in Holland... He has an open invitation to join us onstage... and it's always as absolute pleasure to see him & to jam with him...

12.) I have a bootleg from one of your German shows when Cozy was your drummer... It has a cool little song at the end... something about you singing 'thank you'... Can you remember?

DC... Yes... and thank YOU for reminding me!!!... It was a very short song called 'Thank You Blues'... A simple appreciation I wrote very quickly that enabled me to mention the city name where we were playing... We played it just before segueing into the last song in the show...

Mmm... I think I shall have to get the dust off that one and feature it next time around... "DOUGLAS... Get your guitar, Mate!!!"

This band will nail it to the wall... Man... the ol' memory cells are starting to leave an awful lot to be desired!!!

13.) Many people have mentioned that the smaller venues allowed for a more intimate atmosphere, especially when it came to your rapport with the audience.

DC... I just enjoy playing to people... full stop... Sometimes it works in either forum... The promoters usually suggest the venue... I must say some of the larger places we played in Scandinavia were large, freezing cold icehalls... usually designed for hockey games... As you can imagine... the acoustics leave an awful lot to be desired... as does the bloody temperature!!!... We played a huge indoor bullring in Madrid... and the place got so hot... they were dragging people out of the audience who were fainting from heat exhaustion... or from Marco's performance... I'm not sure!!!

They ended up opening the roof to expose the beautiful Spanish night sky... VERY special...

We are very fortunate that our audience wants to involved in the show... to be a part of it... from the moment we take the stage... and that suits me just fine...

14.) How did the idea of including a portion of "Stormbringer" in the middle of "Burn" come about?

DC... It was an idea Doug & I discussed... The band were really after me to do 'Burn'... so, doing a taste of 'Stormbringer' was icing on the ol' cake... Next time it's 'Mistreated', Mate!!!... The songs people were calling for mostly all over Europe were 'Slide It In'... 'Slow & Easy'... & of course, 'Mistreated'... So be it... You asked for it!!!

At the Glasgow show, an audience member requested you to sing "Whitesnake Christmas", to which you gladly obliged. Has this ever been performed live before?

Probably... in the dark, misty past... We actually just recorded a rather jolly acapella version in the Southamptom dressing room for the Whitesnake.com... Check out North C Radio...

15.) What goes through your mind every time the Whitesnake choir sings to you?

DC... How lucky I am to be a performer... You have no idea how fulfilling it is to be standing there... doing what you love... & being appreciated for it...

I can't truly describe the feeling you get when thousands of people sing your songs back to you...

My emotional response is entirely related to the passion of the crowds singing... On this last tour to see & hear such new young people singing along was a mind blower... Touching... & very inspiring...

16.) Do you enjoy it when people call out songs for you to sing acappella?

DC... Yes, of course... I love the intimacy of the one to one vibe... Providing I can remember the lyric, of course!!!... I usually pick a key out of the air... and hope for the best... that wing & a prayer thing... Sometimes it works... depending on the mood... sometimes not...

The only problem for me is my discomfort at having th band stand around twiddling their thumbs while I do it... but, sometimes... it feels there is magic in the air... then it's worth it... isn't it???

It happens mostly in the UK..

17.) Who designs the white shirts that you have been wearing on stage?

DC... My girls & I... Cindy, Christie & Christina... We usually get them from Fred Segal in LA... or, as the girls love to shop wherever they are... they keep an eye open for stuff for me... then we tend to distress them a bit...

I know we got a bunch of stuff from a great little shop in Manchester called 'Intro'...
We lose a lot on tour, as well... particularly this last one... Christina sends the stuff out for laundry pretty much everyday... and we keep our fingers crossed that they come back in one piece... if at all!!!

18.) Many fans who are not able to attend the shows have expressed an interest in purchasing Whitesnake merchandise through this site. Will this be a possibility in the near future?

DC... I have quite a good, successful relationship with our merchandisers, Bravado... and I will probably be asking them to host that kind of store... I don't have the necessary elements in place to cope with that... Poor Albert & I discussed at the very beginning our reluctance to have a 'commercial' site... altho' now I have a new, gung ho manager... who knows what ideas he will bring to the party... I do know that we sell a lot of merch... that's for sure!!!

19.) Who designed the artwork for the Whitesnake T-shirts and who did the layout for the tour programme?

DC... I work very well with a good creative & talented friend of mine in Tahoe... another David, actually... We have a design company called 'Two Cool Coyotes'... and we do most of the designs for pretty much anything Whitesnake related... My Wife Cindy is also involved in designing the women's stuff... She has a great eye... a good feel for what is cool...

There is a great guy we work with at Bravado called John Vanatta... He adds his excellent ideas to the mix... It's basically a Lake Tahoe cottage industry to be honest...

The distressed retro T-shirts were the idea of the European Bravado guys... They did great!!!

20.) The 2004-05 tour programme includes Japanese characters for each Whitesnake band member. What do they mean?

DC... Ahh... I was wondering if anyone would ask... Yes... I actually believe they are Chinese characters... The cover is 'Spirit'... and that's representing the band too... Doug's is 'Friend', as he is everybody's friend!!!... Tommy's is 'Courage'... Marco... 'Star'... what else could he be???... Reb... 'Destiny' cos' he told me he felt it was his destiny to join the Snake... and Timothy is 'Harmony'...

There are also symbols for 'Wisdom'... 'Peace'... and, of course... 'Love'...

21.) Will there be a video release of Monsters of Rock 1990? If so, when?

DC... I hope so... I will be leaving that particular fun-filled chore for my new manager to deal with... There are lots of negotiations currently taking place... on many levels...

It feels that the Snake is back... & up & running... It's will be a grand adventure... and I look forward to sharing with you all...

Everyone is excited about the new DVD. When will it be released and will it have worldwide distribution?... Also, will there be any Whitesnake CD releases in 2005?

DC... At this moment I believe it is to be a late Spring 2005 release... Keep checking in with Whitesnake.com for further news about that... I do believe it will be a World Wide release... It had better be!!! I have heard that Universal/Geffen is planning a'Definitive WS Collection'... hopefully I will be asked to participate in that... Also, EMI is rumored to be putting out remastered versions of 'Trouble' & 'Lovehunter' with extra tracks... live stuff from the early years... etc...

Will the next Whitesnake album have a bluesy feel, now that you have the perfect blues rock guitarist in Doug Aldrich to fit your vocal style?

DC... Absolutely!!!... How could it not???... I am very interested to see how everything takes shape... One very exciting aspect is that there will be no necessity for compromise in terms of accommodating radio, or MTV... Just let the song run it's course... I am curious if in today's musical world if there is a necessity for a full blown album... Maybe 6 very cool songs... Who knows what will happen... This is when it gets exciting... The dull part is when you know exactly what is going to happen... You know... the 'corporate' way of doing things... This way it keeps you on your creative toes... This is an explosive bunch of guys to take in a studio... I believe it will be kick arse in the most positive way.

It has been said that you, and possibly Adrian Vandenberg, wrote a song for a Clint Eastwood movie with the title "You Can Never Forget" or something similar. Is this correct? If so, what became of the song?

DC... Oh my Lord... Apparently, you can forget!!!... I'll have to ask Adrian... I have absolutely no recollection of the song... or the movie!!!

Is there anything you would like to achieve in your music career that you haven't yet?

DC... Write new potent songs to capture the essence of who Whitesnake is & who I am now... and to have them find an appropriate place in everyone's heart & loins... and hear them sung with passion by Whitesnake Choirs all over this fascinating, precious World we share... Mmm... not asking too much, eh???

How do you prepare mentally and physically before a performance?

I work out... usually on a morning... that's my busiest time of the day... I start with meditation... then I do my yoga stretches... breakfast relatively light... normally oatmeal... then I do a few vocal exercises... Then off to the hotel gym... or a power walk if there's a park close by... I try to rest mid-afternoon the day of a show... Meditate again... this meditation involves focusing on the show... setting my intentions... then I eat around 4... 4:30p.m... This is my meal of the day if I'm doing a show... I have to eat at least 4 to 5 hours before showtime... then more vocal exercises... cold steam for my vocal chords... shower... Then it's... SHOWTIME!!!

What do you do with the gifts you receive on stage from your adoring fans? What kind of items have been given to you?

DC... Other than underwear... I receive beautiful crosses... angels... fairies... Not that kind!!!... I usually find some way of wearing 'em... er... NOT the underwear!!!

Everyone wants to know, especially the female contingent of the fan base, what is the name of the fragrance you wear?

DC... Angel, by Thierry Mugler... mixed with an exotic cocktail of essential oils...

In the same vein, if Whitesnake were an essential oil, what would be its scent?

DC... Sensual rose...

What was all that about your 'scorched arse' during the last tour?

DC... Oh, yes!!!... That wasn't much fun at all!!!... My trainer, Christie & I were on our way to the gym and steamroom in our hotel... I think it was Frankfurt... and just next to the elevator was the hotel beauty shop... Christie says, hey... they have sunbeds... so... I thought bugger it... get it when you can... (ahem) After an interminable amount of time trying to find someone to explain the very complicated instructions... I climbed into a brand spanking new technical marvel called 'Formula Uno'... and 20 minutes later I headed on to the steamroom... I distinctly remember pressing the 'Really Dark Nipples' setting on the options offered by the device... and most definately NOT the 'Painful Scorched Arse', or 'Waffle Toasted Back & Shoulders' buttons!!! My skin was compromised for almost a month... and sitting in car... no matter how comfortable a vehicle it was... was challenging to say the least!!! Once the actual 'burn' started to retreat... it was replaced by an arrangement of sensitive blisters that resembled a map of the Orkneys!!! Needless to say... spanking was out of the question for a while!!!

Who are the two blondes we see backstage at your shows?

DC... My Babes!!!... Christie Lee & Christina Affholder... Christie & I have worked together for 10 years... I call her my 'ATM'... my assistant, trainer & masseuse... She's also my Pilates intructor... and, I am very happy to say... my Friend... Don't worry... she is very happily married !!! She takes care of me, pretty much... we work together on the road & off... We live close to each other at Tahoe... She's very motivating... gets me up and ready to work out... We share a similar spiritual path... She meditates... and she is very intuitive... A very gifted Human Being... and quite honestly, she's the best masseuse I have ever had... OOO-ER!!! Christina came into the WS Family last year... She works with me in my dressing room... whereas Christie travels with me, and is with me pretty much 24-7... Christina travels with the crew... She sets up my dressing room, and decorates it in the most exotic and pleasing way... and in some very daunting circumstances... You'd be surprised at how disgusting the conditions are in some backstage areas are... She's great at overcoming the challenges... and very caring... In essence she creates a sanctuary for me... a peaceful oasis where I can prepare for my show... Colourful drapes hide whatever questionable damp walls there are lurking behind... She fills the room with candles, lava lamps... my Family pictures... and has my pre-show dressing room music playing for my arrival... Quite the home away from home... or at least my on the road home... I feel quite the desert sheik in my backstage habitat!!!... Sheik Yerbooty!!! She thought she was coming in just to do my make-up & hair... but, NO!!!... I suggested she add 'Interior Decorator' to her resume... Ha, ha!!! She is a very welcome member of the team... and an Amazon, if you ever meet her... Very tall & striking... Both my girls are very easy on the eyes, Mate... and, as I prefer the company of women... they are very welcome in my life... Both of them are extremely responsible in helping me do what I am there to do... I appreciate them very much...

What do you see yourself doing five years from now? What do you think you will have accomplished in those five years?

DC... Baby... I didn't see myself doing what I'm doing now, 5 years ago!!!... I have no idea... other than I will be living my life to the absolute limit of my ability as a Human Being... I sincerely hope I will still be successfully spreading as much LIGHT, LOVE & JOY as I possibly can... and preaching the gospel of the Snake as far & wide as I possibly can... I disagree with Clint Eastwood... but, don't tell him for God's sake... A man doesn't have to know his limitations... cos' there are NO limitations!!! Extraordinary... I only wish my Beautiful Granddaughter wasn't so geographically as far away as she is... I am hoping my Fab Daughter will get an iChat camera so we can see them more... but, to be honest... I see myself spending more time in Europe than I have for many years... Working... and being a grandparent...

Can I have your private email address?

DC... Absolutely not!!!

What are your plans for the holidays?

DC... To enjoy my home & my Family... catch up on movies I've missed whilst I was on tour... play with Jasper... & Cindy, of course... (ahem)... and do a bit of work on the DVD edits... and probably work more than I plan to... My Wife will keep an eye on me, tho'... She helps me maintain balance... That's the hardest thing for all of us on this Gorgeous Planet... 'Balance'... and... along with love... it's the most important...

Is there a message you'd like to give to your board members for 2005?

DC... Yes... Be safe... be happy... & don't let anybody make you afraid... Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to You & Yours... See Y'All in 2005!!!