During a July 2016 interview with the Dutch radio station Radio Veronica, former DEEP PURPLE guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was asked if he approves of the fact that the band is still touring and making albums, more than twenty years after he left the group: “I don’t really have much say in it. I left them twenty years ago. But I think, personally, they’re milking it a bit too much. And I hear that from a lot of people — that they just keep going. If I was them, I would give it a five-year rest or something. Some of them are not very happy at home, so they like to be on the road. For me, they’re doing their thing, which is… What I told them at the time when I left, I said, ‘Just get another guitar player. It’s no big deal.’ So they do their thing.”
He continued: “I think they kind of work too hard. And I blame their agent. I know their agent, and I think he’s a bit of a whip. They’ll work in North India, then be in Australia, then South America, and, of course, now it’s showing — a couple of them are starting to become very sick. Ian [Gillan], the singer, he gets sick very often, so I really think they should take a rest, but that’s up to them.”
Blackmore added: “I remember [late DEEP PURPLE keyboardist] Jon Lord saying, when he was in the band, ‘I don’t know if this band will ever know when to stop.’ I thought that was quite funny.”
Ritchie, who turned 71 in April, also talked about his health and how it is affected by the touring life with BLACKMORE’S NIGHT, in which he is joined by his wife, Candice Night. He said: “Optically, I’m deteriorating very fast, as we all are. All my friends are passing away. Some of my enemies are passing away too. But we try and keep up with it.