The Portugal News: How do you find living in Portugal?

Ian Gillan: I live in England but I have a house in the Algarve, which I love and I spend a lot of time here, mostly for writing because it is so peaceful and the atmosphere is just perfect and inspirational so yes, I love it here and I have a lot of friends down here now and I just love spending my time here in the Algarve.

TPN: Could you kindly share your favourite spots in the Algarve, Portugal?

IG: Yes, and my favourite place is home! I’ve got a few places I love like La Piazza Restaurant in Santa Bárbara de Nexe,that is my local restaurant, unfortunately, it is closed in November so I am hoping it opens up again in December. I think that is my favourite restaurant in the whole world! I have a boat here, which I keep in Olhão and I like pootling around on it on a nice summer’s day, and going out to the sea around the estuary and going to the restaurants in Armona and Quarteira and also the restaurants in Olhão. So yes, it is fantastic here and years ago, I would rent villas all along the coast and try all the coastal resorts and restaurants but not so much these days because I enjoy staying in the hills. I really enjoy staying in the countryside and it makes such a great place to relax, we are in a new city every day and we are on the road and it is just one round after another and I love it but it is great to get home.

TPN:How are you feeling about touring again and how have you found the break due to the pandemic?

IG: “It is strange really because I have been on the road since I was 17 and I have never known a two-year break and to work like this. I have still had plenty of things to do, I have finished my book and loads of other projects that I have been putting to one side but yes, the excitement is building up and we are already talking about what our repertoire is going to be in February when we start in America and then we have got the Summer Festival season in Europe and then the Arena tours at the end of the year and we are closing in Lisbon, Portugal, which is absolutely perfect because I can come straight back home and have a party!”

TPN: How has your Rock n’ Roll lifestyle changed over the years?

He answered with a chuckle and said: “Well you know that is always a difficult question to answer, because you are working on the premise that I’ve got a rock n’ roll lifestyle. What we do is we spend most of our time travelling and just two hours a day on stage. I can give you my daily routine which is virtually the same everyday: up at 8’o’clock in the morning, shower, breakfast, interviews, pack, go the airport, get on our plane, and go to the next city, into the next hotel at 1’o’clock, have some lunch, do some more interviews and have a siesta and go to the venue and more media stuff and get ready for the show, listen to the opening act, do the show and get back home for 11’o’clock, have a drink in the bar and go to bed. It is the same routine every day except maybe once a week we get a night off and have a meal where we can sit down at the table. So, in the early days, we didn’t do so many shows and yeah, we had normal young people’s lifestyles… we weren’t as crazy as the others. I don’t think we are that crazy, you can’t do things if you are that drunk/on drugs but I still enjoy having a bottle of wine, but I swim every day and I try and keep active. I suppose we are healthier as we haven’t got the capacity to go out and get trashed every night and still get up and do some work, I have to look after myself so reluctantly the answer to your question is yes!”

TPN: The entertainment industry has been hit hard due to the pandemic and I wanted to ask if you could please give any advice to aspiring musicians?

IG: “I can’t give any advice that they want to hear, the only advice I can give is from the bottom of my heart and that is that commercial success in music is one thing and the music itself is entirely different. Just keep practising and work with as many people as you can, broaden your influences, become better, love it, and take a Calvinistic attitude towards music because if you are successful or not, music can be a friend for your whole life, and sooner or later things will improve and I think probably there will be a renewal of energy from across the board, not just for musicians, perhaps with the capacity of people wanting to see live performances. The problem we have got at the moment is that there is so much of everything, there are so many people, there is so much music, the kids today are just as talented, if not more than the generation I grew up in but the opportunity is less because there are more of them and they are all competing for less opportunities whether that is performance, venues or recording contracts which don’t even exist anymore so I would just say love your music and take every opportunity to practise. Every musician I have worked with practises for six hours a day and if you do that you will become adept with your instrument and suddenly one day you will find your voice and express yourself with an instrument the same way as you are speaking.”

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