1.) Congratulations on the Global success of "Good To Be Bad". It must have been a great feeling to see and hear the way in which the new songs from the album has been embraced at shows all over the World?
DC... Thank you... yes... it was most heartwarming to feel
the album & the new in concert songs so well received...
It's also probably the best reviewed Whitesnake album by
most music critics... But the most rewarding aspect I heard
& read in reviews was that the new songs seemed to blend
seamlessly with the older Whitesnake classics in concert... YEAH,
For me, & the band, the new songs injected a much needed freshness which I feel crossed over into the older songs... They certainly felt vital to me again...
The other great thing is that the album is selling consistently, which means we had some converts because of the shows... Splendid stuff... Oh... & we just found out that we've been nominated for best band, best album of the year & most memorable event from our shows with the Leppards in Classic Rock magazine... Not too shabby!... Joe E & I are thrilled...
2.) The "Good To Be Bad Summer Of Love" World tour also coincides with the 30th Anniversary of Whitesnake. This means that we are now seeing "Second Generation" Snake fans at shows... and they know ALL of the words! Inspiring?
DC... A splendid coincidence... I love when the Cosmos
puts it all together in a nice tidy package, don't you?... There's
only so much you can plan... the Universe does the rest!
& yes... we are seeing more & more young people at our shows
& they are more than welcome... Truly inspiring & once again,
it helps keep it fresh & keeps us on our toes...
By the way, it's also 35 years since I joined Deep Purple... Extraordinary...
3.) To compliment the traditional "Full On" electric intensity of a Whitesnake live show, we have seen the introduction of acoustic touches for the first time during this tour. Following the (often overwhelming) success of this, will you invest in unplugged parts of the show in the future?
DC... Oh, yes, absolutely... I've wanted to do this for
years, but, never had the balls, to be honest...
When we came back to touring 4-5 years ago, there were times I had no choice but to become 'The Human Juke-Box' & sing a cappella onstage during the shows... Most often it was for the softer, more melodic songs that people were wanting to hear... Then a couple of years ago I suggested to Doug that he accompany me on a European promo trip for the 'Live In The Shadow Of The Blues' album & play some unplugged sets... & we enjoyed that experience immensely... so, then it was just a matter of time before we brought it into the show... & I was delighted with the response we received... so, yes... this will become a definite part of the future Whitesnake shows...
4.) A "Stage Extension" was used for the co-headlining shows with Def Leppard. Are there any particular positives and negatives from this stage configuration and is this something that you would consider using again?
DC... I loved it, to be honest... vive le difference... I prefer to call it... 'The Thrust'... ( ahem )
It was a fresh challenge for me, as you know, that style of production has never been part of our live shows, other than at some festivals... It is actually the Leppards US production set, so, I had to learn to use it pretty quick... I loved being able to get into the middle of the crowd like that... It was new & fun & exciting... & there's nothing wrong with that... Most of the people I spoke to enjoyed the change, tho' of course there were some who weren't too thrilled... but, as always, you can't please them all.. .Personally, I had a ball... & a bloody good workout!
I loved having the video screens, too, so everyone could see the band, in close up, while we're jamming up there... Seeing the soloists in all their sweaty glory! We'll be using the same production set up when we visit Japan in October... We're doing the same co-headline bill with the Leppards at 4 big arena shows there... then they go off to Australia, I believe, & we move into Asia for the first time... tho', as I speak, we are still putting that part together, I believe... so, don't quote me just yet...
5.) It is often thought these days, that albums promote tours, rather than the traditional route of tours promoting albums. Do you have a view as to whether the release of "Good To Be Bad" has helped to promote the tour, or vice versa?
DC... There is no question it has worked for us both ways... The album definately revitalized the image of Whitesnake as a still potent entity & from all accounts, it captured the attention of some of our older fans who came back to the fold because of what they heard in the new songs... I'm indescribably delighted we committed to making a new record... it's recharged & rejuvenated every aspect of who we are & what we do...
6.) How instrumental do you believe WS.com to be in terms of a promotional tool for Whitesnake, both during a tour and generally?
DC... It is a veritable oasis of fun & mostly all things
Whitesnake... From what Poor Albert tells me we have daily
hits of more than 5,000 per day... only a fraction decide
to post on the BBS... It's huge!
When the record company made the album available online for journalists to review... one of them... just one, gave away the secret web address & the proverbial shit hit the fan... There were so many hits it brought down our local server... Amazing... You know, when we set it up we hoped it would become the place to go for information related to the band, it's history, etc... but, it became so much more... It really is a Global Family... There's a positive energy that goes much further than most music websites I've seen... & the opinions & suggestions have contributed immensely to how I've proceeded with the band & the projects in recent years... It was select members of WS.com that told me what you guys still wanted from Whitesnake & myself... & we delivered, I hope...
Tho' I must warn you, we reached the limit of our patience in regard to what Poor Albert & I refer to as 'The Piss & Moan Club'... those who bring negative energy on board are usually asked to bugger off in no uncertain terms... There are occasions when some feel an 'entitlement' to post whatever rant they want, regardless of other peoples feelings, then when their post is deleted by Sheriff Albert, get all pissy about how they are entitled to their opinions... yes... you are... but, not necessarily on our website... particularly when we're out there on the road, busting our bits & pieces... seeing some unsavoury remarks is very distracting... Fortunately, it is so few... so minimal, it's hardly worth bothering about...
All in all it's been a fun, rewarding experience exploring the positive possibilities of this fine, relatively new tool... the internet... yet another aspect of keeping us on our twinkling toes...
7.) I was in the U.S.A recently and was talking with a large group of "Classic" Rock fans. Naturally, within a split-second, I moved the conversation on to Whitesnake. They spoke, with great affection about their past live experiences and the '87 album, but had little awareness of WS 2008. I played GTBB for them and they were truly OVERWHELMED ... .and all "Off to FYE", to buy copies. In a modest way, this supports my point of view that WS could (and should) be doing HUGE business in your adopted homeland, right now. Do you expect that an appropriate platform to deliver against this potential, will be available anytime, soon? Is a co-headlining approach a possible route?
DC... The lack of success in the US has been a repeated
disappointment, to be honest, & we are still determined
to change this... As I have told you all before, the tours
we've been offered so far simply don't cut it, unfortunately,
on most levels... tho' we are trying to change that... & we
will... Since we reformed, we've never really had all the
elements necessary to properly take on this amazing country... no
record company... no support system... nobody fighting for
us... just, as you say, so many with great memories from
I'm recognized everywhere I go over here to the point of embarrassment & I am consistently having to explain, as you did, that Whitesnake is alive & well & kicking like a proverbial bitch in heat... however, this still has to be proved in this neck of the woods... But, if anyone can... we can...
At this time we are planning an all out US assault in 2009 to change the dynamic, as it is simply unacceptable to us how it currently is... So there!
8.) In 2003 you mentioned a "Five Year Plan". Following several successful tours, an award winning DVD, a fine Double Live album and the critical acclaim of "Good To Be Bad", how does the reality compare with the plan?
DC... Better than I thought... otherwise I'd be out there looking for a proper job! I'm currently working on a further '3 Year Plan' because it makes sense... We have a great band... positive new material to take around & introduce to the World... particularly the US... Also, that will take me up to the ripe old age of 60 then I will definitely be looking around, reviewing & appraising the situation... but, in reality, who knows what could happen in the meantime... as I've said so many times... we amuse God the most when we make concrete plans so far ahead!... That's when we get thrown 'The Cosmic Curve-Ball'!
9.) Any particular positives (or negatives) from the "Co-Headlining" shows with Def Leppard?
DC... No negatives... only positives I'm happy say... I'd
work with those guys anytime... We got on great from the
get-go... our crews as well... We inspired each other to
be the best we could be every night... there was no nonsense,
no bullshit... Totally supportive of each other from the
beginning thro' 'til the end... I wish we could have done
more, to be honest, tho' we'll be together again in Japan
later this year for 4 big shows...
Joe & I solidified, or more likely, liquefied, our friendship... Much fine whiskey was poured & enjoyed... Sponsored by Bushmills & Lagavulin... oh, & Fernet Branca... good for the digestion... Hee Hee...
Very fine company, them Leppards... the best... & once again, there were no negatives... none, as far as I'm concerned...
10.) Do you and the band formally meet to discuss aspects of the show with which you/they are happy or unhappy, or do such discussions simply evolve?
DC... We are constantly reviewing, tweaking this & that... but,
'formally', no... It's not necessary... This is an extremely
gifted, talented, supportive bunch of guys... & we know instinctively
if something needs addressing... or our valiant, exceptional
crew, will bring it to our attention... We have a great
team & we're always looking to improve the show where we
can... I feel with the addition of Chris Frazier on drums,
we have returned to adding the 'roll' as well as the 'rock'
to the band... Whitesnake has it's groove back, & without
losing any monster power... He has brought a great vibe to
the band... onstage & off...
I'm thrilled with these guys... they're all playing better than ever as individuals & as a band... It's such fun to work with them on stage...
11.) In view of the bands intensive touring agenda, how difficult is it to find time to take care of all aspects of "Whitesnake business", whilst out on the road for months at a time?
DC... Thank God for email!... No... we can usually take
care of business... it never stops... Fortunately, we have
excellent associates... lawyers, business managers... our
brilliant agent, Mr Rod MacSween... the industrious Poor
Albert... who, as we all know, never sleeps...
On the road, Gideon Hogan, our intrepid Tour Manager & Michael McIntyre, back in the States, pretty much keep things running as smoothly as possible... It's a tight, little operation... no deadwood...
If you put a good team together, it should be able to function well in any circumstances... & we have a GREAT team...
The most important thing is that everything works... If we miss something, then, maybe we were supposed too...
12.) Is traveling still the major drawback of a World Tour? Does it get easier, or more difficult to live with, as a tour progresses?
DC... It has never been easy for me, tho' recently, I
realised that by repeatedly saying that the traveling was
hard on me, I maintained the energy so that it stayed hard!... So,
I have changed my mind set to a more positive approach... YES!... The
traveling's one of my favourite parts of touring... Ha Ha!!!
You know, whenever you see a day off on the itinerary, I can pretty much guarantee it's a travel day... There are no days off when you're on tour...
I'm very fortunate in that I have a fabulous new assistant, Erika, a wonderful, nurturing human being, who cares for me & my well being & is tireless in making sure I get as much rest as humanly possible & that I'm not subjected to unnecessary distractions... Quite the dominatrix! We also have a terrific new wardrobe girl, called Lauren... She came to us from Van Halen... A truly exceptional young lady... & a most welcome addition to the Whitesnake Family... She decorates my dressing room so beautifully, like a sheik's desert tent... that whenever we have guests, they inevitably want to stay in there... Pagey told me he wanted one!
The only time I fought illness this year was immediately after the South American tour, when I got home for 6 days... I was very sick for 4 of them... Mercifully, I recovered in time to get my arse over for Sweden Rock... & then later in the tour, on my few days off in Athens, I was smitten with some intestinal horror for 2 or 3 days... Thank God the local doctor had me up & running in time for the show... no pun intended...
With me it's usually stomach related with being in different places almost every day... Almost inevitable...
13.) Does rarely being anywhere for more than one night must play havoc with your sleep, or is the energy used during a show sufficient to guarantee it?
DC... You just deal with it... It is what it is... The most
important thing for me is the two hours of the day I have
to be 'on' for the show... My whole day is built around that
An audience should not have to hear excuses... They've been thro' their own trials & tribulations getting to the show, too...
After a show I am usually pretty tired, but, amped up, energy-wise... but, a couple of hours in a car, no matter how comfortable the vehicle, will change that dynamic...
14.) Clips from your shows often appear on "You Tube". Do you review live footage from there, whilst the band are working on the road?
DC... No... not really... I like to enjoy the live experience as it happens... Sometimes one of the guys will send me a clip, but, I don't actively search for it...
15.) Any of the shows filmed or recorded, for potential future release?
DC... But, of course... but, I know if I go into detail
I'll be hammered by you guys into making promises I may
be unable to keep as quickly as you would like... After
considerable thought, I passed on making a new DVD this
year because we've committed to more touring than I normally
agree too because the momentum has been too good to ignore...
I'm not burning my candle at both ends anymore... or I know
something will very likely suffer... & we don't want that,
now, Boys & Girls, do we?
I was supposed to be starting work on a project after catching my breath from the tour, but, I'm going to enjoy my Family & my home instead... I've missed them very much this year... & Jaz starts school again soon... Time is so precious...
16.)It's the 25th anniversary of Donington '83, this month. Any chance that the complete show may be released on DVD, by way of a celebration?
DC... Sweet Jesus, is it?... Thanks for reminding me... You know, with all the in-house turmoil at EMI since it was taken over, the project has been shelved for the moment... Really, we were lucky to get the 30th Anniversary 3 CD package out as a celebration, or salute to the past to tie in with the tour... & to be honest, I don't have the time to get as involved as I will need to... but, rest assured, I have no doubt it will see the light of day in the not too distant future...
17.) Any "Red Candle Caper" type stories to share with us, from this tour, or has all accommodation been to your complete satisfaction and all hotels left intact?
DC... There are always close encounters, Boys & Girls... always... but,
I was a good boy this time out... not to say there weren't
any 'iffy' moments... but, fortunately, no one, or property
was damaged on my adventures...
Did you hear about the incredible Sofia show?... Where the Lepps & Da Snakes performed in unbelievably torrential rain, while an electrical storm did the special effects for us all around the stadium?... It was one of the most heroic shows I've ever been involved in... The crowd was amazing... a total inspiration...
Then, Spain... Dear God... indoor shows, over 100 degree heat, no a/c... with so many people smoking cigarettes... My Lord... I didn't think I would make it thro', but, we had some great moments with the crowd... then to hear some people saying we were performing to playback... are they serious?... Man... it certainly takes all kinds in this World... Still... we all got thro'... got home safely... & I believe most of the people we played to on the tour truly appreciated our efforts...
I also had a surprising encounter with one, Bernard Marsden Esq, in Terminal 5 at Heathrow, before we flew off to Prague after the 2nd set of UK dates...
It turned out to be very pleasant... very agreeable... I introduced him to whomever of the band was around... then we adjourned to Starbucks for a java & a catch up chat 'til he had to leave for his flight... Nice... after so many years of silliness & misunderstandings... very nice... I enjoyed seeing him again...
Of course, we had the added bonus of the Flying Dutchman, Adrian Vandenberg jamming with us when we played the Arrowrock Festival... & this time I had more time to have private time together with him, which is a blessing, as we don't see each other as much as we'd like...
Then, of course, we had the great sadness of losing guitarist Mel Galley... Quite the emotional journey this past tour... highs... & lows...
18.) "I'm Dreaming Of A Whitesnake Christmas". Any chance of additional 2008 dates, anywhere in the World during December?
DC... Yes... we resume in Japan in October... then venture
for the first time with Whitesnake in Asia & India... then
we co-headline 9 or 10 shows in good ol' Germany with my
old friend Alice Cooper...
I can't tell you how happy it makes me as we could not get into Germany this time around... so, for me, it's better late than never... I think Russia is on the cards... & maybe some more Scandinavian shows... I still haven't received a final itinerary, so, don't hold me to any of this!
I'm told we will be working up 'til Dec 20th... so, there you have it...
19.) Presumably, in view of the success of GTBB, Whitesnake/SPV remain mutually happy?
DC... Oh, I think you could say that... yes... The success has & continues to surprise & delight us all...
20.)Looking forward, do you have the "Bare Bones" of an agenda for Snake activity during 2009... . and beyond? In view of the fact that 2008 has been so successful, is there any way that by use of charm, bribery or gentle persuasion, that we can tempt you to into another studio album? I mean why stop now??... We're having so much FUN!!
DC... Who knows... but, right now, I'm still very much
enjoying the 'Good To Be Bad' album... it's still fresh for
me... & believe me, that's not how I usually feel after I'm
finished with an album, so, for now, let us enjoy what we
have rather than wish for something that at this time, we
don't... & the album still has 'legs', as they say... so,
let's see how far we can take this baby!
I'm told the DVD continues to sell well, too... Always nice to hear... I will say, however, that there have been several discussions regarding new projects, some that perhaps don't take as long as a whole new record would take to write & record...
21.) Thanks for your time and best wishes to you and the 'Snakes for the remaining 2008 shows...
DC... You are so very welcome... & remember, it takes ALL
the elements to make a successful tour... & YOU, the audience,
everywhere we were blessed to be able to perform, have played
your part far above & beyond what was expected, or hoped
from you... so, let us sincerely thank you for your part
in the proceedings... & remember... we ain't thro' playing
shows this year... Roll on October!
Onwards & Forwards, Muchachos & Muchachas!!!