STEVE MORSE Reflects On Leaving DEEP PURPLE, And His Current Musical Endeavors: “I Think I’m In A Better Place Musically That Fits Me”

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In a recent interview with Pete Pardo of Sea Of Tranquility, legendary guitarist Steve Morse commented on his departure from the iconic rock band, Deep Purple. Morse officially left Deep Purple in July 2022 to care for his ailing wife, and Simon McBride took up his role as the guitarist. This move came after Morse initially took a hiatus from the band, hoping to return once his wife’s health improved.

When asked if leaving Deep Purple was inevitable regardless of his wife’s health condition, Morse responded: “Well, that’s a really impossible question to know the answer to. I think when you’re close to a situation, you don’t see it the same as when you’re away from the situation. As I’ve been away for actually now a couple of years, I can see that my, I guess, natural inclination and talent and drawbacks and everything just fit the instrumental — well, the stuff I do with Flying Colors, The Dixie Dregs and Steve Morse Band, all that fits me… It’s an easy fit, that’s what I’m saying.”

“However, I don’t think I would have just quit because I thought we were going to go a little more, maybe one more album project and tour and be done. So I wanted to finish with the band. That was my mantra. And I thought by being part of the band for so long I’d be able to, and welcome to be part of things, future events involving Deep Purple, whether they be a celebration of all the little splinter groups that were associated with Deep Purple — you know, family tree kind of thing. So, yeah, I wasn’t saying, ‘No, I’m glad I’m out of here.’ But the situation happened the way it did, and having stepped back, I think I’m in a better place musically that fits me”, Morse added

Morse believes that Simon McBride is a better fit for the band, especially considering their rigorous touring schedule, which he found challenging: “And I think Simon, he’s fitting them better than I was, as far as… They’re churning out gigs. And I was always the guy that said, ‘This is a really long tour. There’s a point where tour fatigue comes in. We could make shorter legs. ‘And nobody wanted to hear that, especially not management.”

Despite parting ways with Deep Purple, Morse holds the band in high regard and believes they are in a good place creatively: “I think they’re exactly where they wanna be. And they’re a great rock and roll band and will continue to make great music.”

Reflecting on his time with the band, Morse expressed satisfaction in introducing Deep Purple to a new generation of fans during their extensive touring. He acknowledged the changing landscape with the advent of the Internet, which now provides instant access to live shows, making it easier to connect with fans globally.

“The band decided to go everywhere they hadn’t been, as well as continue to play the places they had been, we met a lot of young people along the way that had never seen the band. So I was glad to be part of that, opening up the access of the world to the band. But I guess with the Internet, now that that in itself does that job. But back then there wasn’t the instantaneous super access to full shows.”

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