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By Martin Popoff
"Oh, without a doubt. I mean, we know as a fact... if you've ever read a book about Ritchie Blackmore, he paints Vanilla Fudge as a total inspiration for the band. If you listen to the first album, you can hear them redoing other people's songs with the Fudge arrangements, you know? And one of the song that's on the new record as well, Good Good Livin', is sort of like a blueprint for a lot of the Deep Purple sound that came in the early '70s, with the keyboard playing the riff in the bottom of the organ, which makes it sound really heavy. If you listen to that song, it sounds very Deep Purple-ish, with the sound that made them really big in the '70s. So if the band would have stayed together, we probably would have fit in that realm of where Deep Purple was."
And what were Vanilla Fudge's influences in terms of two things, the heaviness, and the heavy Hammond sound?
"Well, the Hammond thing probably came from The Rascals originally, from New York. But being a New York band, in those days, most bands had a B3 in it, being a heavy James Brown influence, I would think. But the heaviness came from the fact that big amplifiers were becoming popular; manufacturers were just starting to make big amplifiers. And on my part, the heaviness came from the fact that there were no microphones, no PAs system, so you just had to play as loud and hard as you can. In my case, I went out and bought a big bass drum at a pawn shop for five dollars, and I recovered it with my red sparkle and what that did is it made the whole drum sound heavier, from the bottom. And I had to turn my sticks around and hit with the butt ends in order to equal the volume that was coming out of the rest of the guys. Before you know it, I created this heavy rock drumming thing out of necessity (laughs)."
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