~ Interview mit Candice Night ~

Candice Night und Ritchie Blackmore sind seit weit über 20 Jahren BLACKMORE’S NIGHT. Anfang März erscheint ihr elftes Studioalbum ´Nature’s Light´. Mit einem herzlichen „Seid willkommen an dieser Stätte“ haben wir Candice Night zu einer netten Plauderei bei Wein und Met begrüßt.

Hello Candice, with Ritchie you stay true to renaissance folk, as we listen to ´Nature’s Light´. Do you see the album as a further development of BLACKMORE’S NIGHT?

Candice Night: I think each album is a perfect reflection as to where we are at that moment in time as musicians, as creative partners and as life partners. No one is the same as they were a year ago, we’re always constantly changing and evolving and its’ the same with the cds. They are a snapshot in time.

With ´Here We Come A-Caroling´ did you only warm up on your Instruments or was it a little bit wounding people with Christmas songs these days? By the way, I love it.

The holiday time is our favorite time of year. And we love delving into the songs that have been around for centuries and sitting around our fireplace with friends and family and singing and playing these olden melodies with our interpretations of them. There is such a warm spirit and love at that time, no matter how cold it is outside. It’s beautiful and magical and the music represents that feeling.

Or do I have to assume that you have access to a mandolin, hurdy-gurdy or nyckelharpa day and night, to play new ideas?

We do have access to many instruments in our home, Minstrel Hall, and the stringed instruments are more Ritchie’s realm – although I play hurdy gurdy as well. The instruments that I play are the woodwinds. The double reeds of the renaissance times amongst other instruments. Shawms, rauchpfeife, bombard, gemshorn, cornamuse, crumhorn, penny whistles and recorders. And, yes, we play these instruments in our home all the time. Whether writing new music, or reinterpreting old music.

You can look back on an over 20-year career with BLACKMORE’S NIGHT. What have been the highlights so far these days?

The highlights is being able to create music for a living. I love the crafting of lyrics and songs. It’s a dream career. Traveling to foreign lands and experiencing regional legends and myths and music of areas you would never normally be exposed to. Waking up in castles and playing in historical venues. I still find the most amazing thing is performing in a castle, looking out from the stage and seeing a few thousand people wearing renaissance garb and singing and dancing to songs you created, along with you, everyone smiling and creating and exchanging positive energy, seeing open fields for miles, the moon rising overhead and a clock tower bell chiming in the distance. It’s a perfect moment.

If you are able to see that once in a lifetime you remember it forever, and we’re lucky enough to experience it each time we play on stage on tour.

And were there moments when you wanted to change something fundamental or were annoyed that you had not done something?

Whenever I hear a cd back after its finished there are things I would’ve changed, done differently or better, but that’s what live performance is for. You can correct anything that you didn’t feel was as it should be in the recorded version and continue to build on it and amend it each time you play the songs live, as you go.

How long have you been working on ́Nature’s Light´, collecting ideas and finally taking it up?

We write all the time, year round. But when we go into the studio, we normally have 5 songs or so that we feel are the strongest and mostly finished. Then we call our producer from LA up and he flies in and we map the songs and then record them. It takes 2-3 months. Then we usually take a rest from recording for a few months and go on tour and return back to the recording studio in the winter time with 5 or 6 more songs and do it all over again. Usually the whole process takes a year, but not straight through as we get away from recording for months in between the time in the studio for the recording process.

Are you always inspired by personal incidents, such as the friendships with two friends in ´Four Winds´, or do you incorporate imaginative thoughts alongside traditional ones?

I find inspiration in many areas. Myths and fairytales from regions we have toured always fascinate me. Nature is a constant source of inspiration. Colors of a sunset, star filled skies, the ocean, the wind in my hair, the moon rising…nature always finds its way into my songs. And love, love lost, found, longed for…experiences, dreams, fears…of my own, of people I’ve crossed paths with. Inspiration surrounds you always, if you look for it.

Which songs are particularly close to your heart, especially in terms of the lyrics?

Besides ´Four Winds´, which was the tale based on my 2 best friends; ´Going To The Faire´ has my children singing at the end so that makes it very personal.

And ´Feather In the Wind´ is a song that was written after my father passed in 2018 after battling cancer. I was devastated and there with him at every step. But when he passed on, I started seeing many signs that he was till with me. 1 of these signs was noticing feathers in the strangest places. The kitchen, the bedroom, the car…and so when I wrote the lyrics to the song, it took me on a path not just to notice and acknowledge these feathers as a sign but to recognize that maybe we are all connected to them, that we all in essence become these feathers floating on the wind until we reach our final destinations. Maybe that wind is the journey of life, maybe it’s beyond.

Now you lead the band as a singer for many years. Do you think that there is now equal opportunities and equal rights for women in the music business?

I think there have been many ground breaking women in the music industry for many years. But each year there are more and more. It’s a progression.

Do you see your music as a counter-trend to all the fast-paced music, where only the clicks for one song count and the listener immediately skips to the next? You still have an album, a song collection, that counts!

I think our music has never been part of the trends and the fashions that are out there. Bob Dylan once said, “If you never have a hit, you can never be dated” and that’s true. So it’s more about the body of work that we create and have been creating for almost 25 years now. The journey, musically, is, selfishly more about ourselves and what we spiritually need and transform into a creative musical path.

But by creating that personal musical journey we have found a strong family of listeners that see themselves on that same journey as us through the music. They’re independent thinkers who aren’t dictated to by radio what’s cool or trendy. They discover us or stumble upon us and become you’re most loyal fanbase because were more of a well kept secret than something everyone gets brainwashed by repetition to listen to. We have a very loyal, grassroots following. And we’d much rather have it that way. It’s a much truer love.

I love the song ´Wish You Were Here´, but why did you record it again after the debut and the winter collection ´Winter Carols´?

Ritchie said that ´Smoke On The Water´ was released 3 times before people really heard it and connected to it. We think that the song ´Wish You Were Here´, which is a Rednex song we heard many years ago, should be heard worldwide because of the responses it gets when we play it in concert.

It’s one of our most requested songs when we play shows and now doing a 2020 version released in 2021 its now stood the test of time with us since the beginning and the version we did on this cd is truer to how we now play it in concert. Its evolved over the years with us.

How hopeful are you that you will be able to play your minstrel music live again soon?

Very hopeful but also in being a realist we just want to make sure everyone is safe and healthy too. We did a couple of livestreams, but playing for people through a screen without that live energy is so alien. So we hope to be able to get back to it again soon so we can share the music live and share the love.

Gehabt Euch wohl. Love & Peace.

All Pics: Copyright earMUSIC
Credit Michael Keel