It has been more than 20 years since Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow) and Candice Night decided to create Blackmore's Night, a musical project where they could share their love for Renaissance music and Folk. This 2021, they released their eleventh studio album, "Nature's Light", the first album in 6 years (the last one was "All Our Yesterdays"  from 2015) Because of the release of the new album, we had the chance to have an interview with Candice Night, where she talks about the last album, the experience of working with Ritchie Blackmore for many years and their plans for the future.

Lee la entrevista en castellano aquí: Entrevista a Blackmore's Night

DARGEDIK: Welcome to Dargedik Webzine from Latin America Mrs. Candice Night. Thank you very much for your time. First of all, how have you been experiencing all the restrictions we had due to the pandemic? Is there anything that you miss from the days before the pandemic like concerts?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: Hello and thank you. Yes of course. We have been keeping to ourselves. Obviously canceled our tours and have been adhering to the strict mask rules and guidelines. 6 ft from others, sanitizing and washing hands constantly. We usually enjoy staying home in our sanctuary so that part wasn’t so hard, but it was difficult for our children who missed their friends. It was hard to get used to not being able to do things we took for granted. Travel, go to movies as a family, have gatherings with large groups of friends and family, especially for the holidays. And of course, touring and experiencing our live shows with our fans. The energy of live shows is electric. It’s hard not being able to perform and see our fans.

DARGEDIK: After 24 years as Blackmore’s Night and now with 11 eleven studio albums. How do you feel about releasing a new studio album comparing to the times when you released “Shadow of the Moon”? 

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: Each CD is a snapshot in time and a true representation of where you are as a musician, and in your personal life as an ever-changing ever-evolving human. So, looking back over the past 11 studio albums is like looking back over a scrapbook of your life and remembering certain moments that were related to the songs as you go through the years of your life.

DARGEDIK: You released your new album “Nature’s Light” on March 12th. When did you decide to work on new songs and why did it take 6 years to release a new studio album?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: We released a double cd in 2017 when it was our 20-year anniversary called To the Moon and Back. We asked the fans to vote on their favorite tracks via social media and that became the 1st cd, the 2nd cd was new songs or new versions of released songs, all tracks remixed and remastered. It even had previously unreleased video footage of the band. Then at holiday time, we released a double cd of Winter Carols, again the 1st cd remixed and remastered, the 2nd cd had video footage of an intimate show at our home, Minstrel Hall, as well as new Christmas songs. Then in 2018, we had a really dark year. Ritchie lost his last remaining family member, his brother Paul; he then lost his best friend in the music world- Jimmy Tornado Evans- who was the drummer in the Three Musketeers; then we lost our cat of 16 years- Romper and finally my dad lost his battle with cancer in Dec. I didn’t feel like creating or singing.  I was grieving very deeply. But my dad sent me so many signs to let me know he was still with me. 1 of them was seeing white feathers everywhere- in the kitchen, in the car, in the hallway…When it came time to record again in 2019, I took those signs and weaved them into the lyrics of the song Feather In The Wind, taking the symbols into the idea that maybe we are all feathers on the wind traveling through life to our ultimate destination. After being able to write that, I found healing in the songwriting, I was able to sing again and it really helped me dispel the darkness until I was able to sing the songs that had more joy in them, like Natures Light or Going to the Faire. We were scheduled to release the album in 2020 but Covid hit. Then we, the whole world, were in a dark place together with fear, solitary confinement, sickness…but now that its 2021 and the spring sunshine is back, the cold winter has faded away, I'm hoping that these songs will help heal people the same way they healed us to create them. 

DARGEDIK: I really enjoyed "Nature's Light", It has all the elements we can expect from Blackmore's Night and Ritchie Blackmore gives some beautiful solos. I know that your music is inspired by the renaissance but I can notice that many Rock/Metal fans follow the band (included myself) Did you expect to have such a wide audience or listeners when you founded Blackmore's Night?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: No, we never expected such a great following. It’s a wonderful surprise. We fine that because our songs don’t follow the mainstream, we don’t get played on the radio or get a lot of press, people who do discover us tend to be more independent-minded people who ardent told what to think or what to listen to. They discover you for themselves and that winds up being a much more loyal fan base than people who follow trends and fashion. We create the music for ourselves, and the fact that as we brave this path, others are looking through the forest to join on the path with us, is a great feeling because we find that we are like-minded with those who enjoy our music. So our fans wind up being just like friends we haven’t met yet. 

DARGEDIK: Also, you were invited to sing in projects or bands like Aina, Helloween and in recent years in Avantasia. How has been the experience of singing in music that is far away from what you are doing with Blackmore's Night?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: I absolutely love it. It’s always a great compliment for me when bands like that approach me with a song, they want me to sing on. I have to love the song in order to sing on it and luckily all the songs I have been approached with have been amazing. My teenage years were in the 80s so I love the rock music of that era. So that style of music is never far from my heart- but I often don't get to sing that style in Blackmore’s Night. So, it’s awesome to get to show another side of me. 

DARGEDIK: Mr. Blackmore is known for being a musical genius but also a difficult person to work with because he always gives his best. I really admire the way he gets the best from every musician he has worked with. How has been the experience of working with him for so many years? Did it change much the way you compose your songs through the years?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: Yes, all of the above is true. He has definite ideas in mind as to what he wants songs to sound like. And he gives 100 percent of himself so he expects everyone to give 100 percent of themselves. If you give less, he gets very angry because he knows that the fans are there watching and you have 1 chance in each place to do your best. But I think it’s fascinating to watch his process and I have learned so much from watching him. Being able to ask his advice on ideas I might have or see how he commands the directions of songs, or stage sets, or setlists, or shows is an experience you couldn’t get if you tried to get it elsewhere. I learn from him all the time. And he’s also an amazing support system. If I’m unsure of something I sing- he’s right there giving me the thumbs up and making me feel supported. He isn’t the easiest person to get along with. But he is a sensitive, introverted, interesting genius of a musician and it’s worth it to have a communicative relationship with him. He feels on a very deep level- but he feels everything too much sometimes, so a lot of people may misunderstand that. 

DARGEDIK: You are married and have kids. How can you both deal with the band and your personal life? Also, to work with your couple may sound like the perfect job but sometimes we need some space and when I see you on the stage, it is pure joy and I can see that you really love what you are doing so I think you achieved a good balance between your job and personal life. Am I wrong?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: It's tricky to balance family and work, but that probably goes for everyone trying to balance the 2 worlds. Love is a great motivator. Love of family and love of your work and it’s amazing what you can do if “no” isn’t an option. So, you make it work. I’m up with the kids for school at 630a. Then, when I’m recording- I’ll write or do tracks while they are in school, then when they get home I help them with homework, do the cooking, help with homework, take them to their extra activities, then put them to bed at 9 and go back into the studio till 2a. My children and my family bring me indescribable joy. To have created these 2 incredible beings and be so closely entwined in their lives is magical. But music has its own magic as well and stepping on stage, closing your eyes, and letting the music take you to another world is transcending time and space. Both worlds have magic. Both are very powerful. And I love them both. 

DARGEDIK: For me, and of course Rainbow fans, it was a great pleasure to see Ritchie Blackmore performing on big stages again. Again, he nailed it by picking up a great singer like Ronnie Romero. How was the experience of touring with Rainbow again? Do you prefer big concerts like the ones with Rainbow or intimate venues like the ones where you perform with Blackmore's Night?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: I was so excited to be a part of those shows! I was totally ready to just be on the sidelines, or in the audience just to be there. But when he asked me to sing back up, I was thrilled. Brought me back to when I sang back up for Rainbow in 1995. But I grew up listening to the songs we did on these last Rainbow tours when I was a teenager ager so I knew them all. When he told me, he was thinking of doing the tours I immediately got on YouTube and looked up singers who were in Rainbow cover bands. I found 3 singers and Ritchie chose Ronnie. I wrote to him right away, at 2a, on Twitter and he answered right away. Again, it goes back to 2 different worlds. I love that rock side, where I get to bang my head and wear leather pants and set that part of me free with a huge festival audience- and being in the background takes a lot of pressure off so you can enjoy it even more. But the mystical side of my that is Blackmore’s Night is also very much a huge part of me- wearing the long skirts, the glitter, and the mystery for a smaller group that you can really connect with and take with you on an emotional musical journey- that is just such a blessing. Ritchie always says he prefers doing the Blackmore’s Night shows- and he’s done Cal Jam to about 300,000 people. But I guess after the first few thousand it just becomes a blur and you don’t connect with them anymore. So, to be able to connect with your audience and keep it intimate and personal- that is just an amazing thing to be able to do.

DARGEDIK: What’s next for Blackmore’s Night? Are you planning to tour once the situation gets better? I saw you did some streamings, are you planning to do more?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: Yes, we have been told by the agent that everything should be back to normal by Sept so we are keeping our fingers crossed and planning for that. We did a couple of streaming concerts, but there’s nothing like a live show! 

DARGEDIK: Again, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. Congratulations for the new album and we wish you all the best. Before we finish, is there anything you want to say to your fans in Latin America?

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT: Thank you all so much for your support. Hoping you are all well and know that we miss you all! Sending light and love and looking forward to seeing you all soon…

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