Abderrahim: At first, thank you for the new album and also for all the music you have shared with us.
Candice: Thank you. We’re really enjoying our musical journey. This year will be 18 years of the bands existence. Just enjoying each step.
Abderrahim: How are you and I hope you are doing good so far?
Candice: Doing well. On tour now in Germany and I can not believe how hot it is! Like Caribbean hot without the sea breezes or piña coladas. But we had our 1st concert of the tour last night and played for two and a half hours and it felt so good to get back on that stage after a year away from it.
Abderrahim: Can you tell me about your last release?
Candice: Our newest release is called All Our Yesterdays and will be available in September. There are 2 CDs, a regular edition and one with additional bonus video footage and 2 music videos. Each time we release a cd it always seems to be a true snapshot in time of where we are as a band and as humans since we are always learning, experiencing and evolving. So we have a general theme to our music as some of it is based on melodies from hundreds of years ago but some of the songs are cover versions of songs you may be surprised about coming from us like Moonlight Shadow or I Got You Babe. Then of course there is some rock, some ballads and some songs that touch on the supernatural and other worlds.
Abderrahim: Why did you decide to release it at this moment?
Candice: We usually release a cd each year or at least every two years. It took us about a year to create this cd but not continuously. What we tend to do is record a few songs then go on the road to tour. It gives us a chance to get away from the recording process and hear the song with fresh ears because we can get away from it for a while. Then we can revisit those songs to see if they’re working or need to be reworked as well as recording the next group of songs. We find its a healthier process instead of locking ourselves in a studio for a month and not getting a break from the recording process at all.
Abderrahim: Is it a tale or a concept album from last ages?
Candice: We never have a worked out concept for the CDs. We don’t lead the music in a particular direction. The music leads us.
Abderrahim: Who write the lyrics? the music? and what are the themes? could you give me details about the album?
Candice: Ritchie usually comes up with the musical ideas 1st. Once he has an idea we go through the melody line together and see if it has promise. Once we settle on the top line I take the melody and I need to be alone with it…somewhere, anywhere. Maybe driving or walking through the woods. I try to channel the song and paint the pictures I see in my head through the melody into words. Then once it’s all together we go into the studio and add the extra instrumentation where I’ll be playing all the woodwind instruments and Ritchie handles the string instruments from guitars to hurdy Gurdys to Mandola etc. the rest of the band comes in to do their parts and our producer pat regan adds the extra touches. The only song that was a bit different on this release is earth wind and sky which I wrote myself for my solo cd but wound up using it on the bn release instead.
Abderrahim: I really like your voice and your performance ( I still listen to the village Lantern and that doesnt mean that I dislike the others no ), can you tell me about your influences?
Candice: Thank you. I listen to many varieties of music and musicians but I don’t think I emulate them. I listen to them as an escape from the stress of the industry. And they’re so varied but I like them all for different reasons. Sarah Brightman, Lambretta, Joan Osborne, all about eve, Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac , Maggie Reilly, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and of course many classic rock and hard rock bands from the 70s and 80s. Too many to mention of that genre.
Abderrahim: What is your first instrument? First buying album? first show? and your first own performance?
Candice: First instrument besides voice lessons going back to the age of 4 would be piano which I have all but lost at this point. I still write my demos on piano for new songs though. But I began with the penny whistle in this band and have since learned about 10 different reed instruments to supplement the instrumental sound in blackmores night. My first album that I ever bought with my own money was rainbow down to earth. Ironic isn’t it? First show was Bryan Adams in 1985. First own performance not as a back up singer but front and center was in Japan Tokyo in 1997 in front of 5,000 people and terrified. That was a long time ago.
Abderrahim: What can you tell me about Blackmore’s night experience?
Candice: It’s incredible. To be able to not only be supportive of your husband in what he’s doing but to be able to work together as a team and with such a musical genius each day goes beyond words. He blows me away on stage every night. I love that we can play any style of music we want at anytime. Once you taste that music freedom it’s hard to go back into a box of one genre. Plus we make it a great fantasy escape. Reinvent ourselves through new identity our costumes. And the whole band is so close. A group of friends . It’s just really fun to go onstage each night.
Abderrahim: How is Ritchie ?
Candice: He’s great. Playing better than ever. We never know as a band what he’s going to play next so we just watch him very carefully and keep up with the ride. He’s quite unpredictable on stage never playing the same song the same way twice and changing the set list each night. And then of course off stage he’s up to his usual practical jokes so…it’s always interesting.
Abderrahim: If I ask you to choose your favorite album from BN? What about the songs? And the songs from this album?
Candice: That’s hard. Like choosing your favorite child. I loved the innocence of the 1st one. Or that we got more orchestral in ghost of a rose. Or started adding wood winds in fires at midnight. Each one was a step in a certain direction. A moment in time like looking at old photo albums you get nostalgic. I think dancer and the moon was really great and secret voyage too. I think the circle is one of my favorite songs. Locked within the crystal ball I really love also if I’m in a rock mood. But if I’m reflective it would be believe in me or empty words. On the latest cd my favorites are will o the wisp and the other side.
Abderrahim: Are you satisfied about what you have done so far?
I don’t know if you’r’ ever satisfied. You always feel like you could have done something better or that it doesn’t exactly sound like what you envisioned in your head. But I love the songs and I love what we do.
Abderrahim: Have you ever been to Africa? To Morocco?
Candice: I never have been. Closest I got was Gibraltar where I actually got bitten by a Barbaray ape. That was the only tattoo I ever entertained getting because the teeth marks when it bruised were so clear you could’ve identified that ape by his dental records.
Abderrahim: Could you tell me something about « Light the universe » performance with Helloween? How come and who has the idea?
Candice: We had the same record label and I was in the studio with blackmores night at the time. The record co said that they were looking for someone to do their first duet with. I won’t do a song unless I love the song so I played the song and instantly fell in love with it. I recorded my part and they sent it to them on tour in Japan and they really liked what I did. They wanted to film a video so we finally got to meet up in schools weldenstein where we originally recorded castles and dreams. I think they flew in from their tour from Sweden to do the video. They’re a really great group of guys. We had a lot of laughs while filming the video.
Abderrahim: Could you comment on the current situation in the world?
Candice: Hard to do. Ritchie would say serious but not hopeless. I’m afraid to watch the news because it’s terrifying but I’m afraid not to because I want to stay informed. It depends also on which aspect you’re referring to. There is so much beauty in the world to enjoy amidst so much negativity. I try to focus on that and stay hopeful. But sometimes melancholy thoughts are better for song writing. More dimension to it.
Abderrahim: Thank you very much and send my best regards to Ritchie and tell that I am fan of Deep Purple and DP dicedoesn’t sound the same since he left after the 93 Battle Rages On and no one can play Anya and other DP tracks like him
Candice: I will tell him. Thank you! See you in Paris.
Interview by Abderrahim Bourkia