Purpendicular was formed in October 2007 by Irish vocalist Robbie Thomas Walsh. Born in Dublin, he was inspired by vocalists such as Ian Gillan, Robert Plant, David Coverdale, with a love for blues, rock and roll, hard rock, classical music and soul.
With over 25 years of experience, he played in several semi-professional bands before starting to perform professionally with Purpendicular and has the knowledge of what it takes to develop the perfect rock and roll band and what it should sound like for this project to be so successful .
Tell us more about the Perpendicular project and the current tour:
The project itself has evolved quite naturally over the past decade. The tours got bigger and Ian stepped in as the main drummer. We went from a tribute band to a band with more original material, although we also play a lot of Purple songs. We recently released our third album called Human Mechanic, released by Metalville records Germany.
During this leg of the tour we decided to do more Whitesnake songs as Ian had been involved with this band for a number of years, in the process of growing it to global prominence. So our set now is a nice mix of Purple, Whitesnake and Purpendicular songs.
we currently have a long tour that started on the first of September in Germany and will end in February 2024. We will visit 14 different countries. After that, we will release our fourth album, which we are currently preparing. It should be out sometime in 2024.
.We know that you have been to Bulgaria several times for club tours. Tell us more, what are your memories of people, country, fans, some special experiences?:
Yes, we have been here before and have happy memories from that time. I think it was 2013/14 if memory serves! We played in cities like Bansko, Blagoevgrad, Sofia, Plovdiv, Tarnovo and had a big party. We remember your great beers, great food, great crazy fans! It’s great to be back, especially with this lineup. Bulgaria is a beautiful country in terms of its culture and landscape. I have a lot of good friends there that I can’t wait to see again.
Many people have been involved in the Purpendicular project, some really famous musicians, some star status guests, tell me more what is the effort to keep the group integrated, with a strong core in your face?:
Over the years we have grown professionally, working and touring very hard and with that we have attracted big names. Some played live with us and some just in the studio.
This is a pure live rock and roll band. We never rehearse… we have a high level of discipline and anyone who causes inconsistencies or mistakes buys the beers 😆 Good musicians and even famous ones know this and have no problem stepping in if needed.
How did the initial idea to start as a Deep Purple tribute band come about. What was the impact and how has the band evolved since then, having the status of one of the most popular tribute bands, but also having their own original music:
Well, all those years ago, while trying to make a living from original music was simply impossible, it became clear that if we wanted to continue our music career, we would have to take a different path. Personally, after doing a few sessions in other bands, I found a group of guys who played fantastically.
We decided that a tribute band was the way to go and the common denominator for all of them was Deep Purple, mainly because of the freedom in their songs to be expressive. We never planned to copy or dress like deep purple.
We have our own approach. On the other hand, when you have the Hammond organ sound, you’re playing great, and you add the original Deep Purple drummer to all of that, it’s obvious that we’re going to resemble the Dark Purple in some way, but that’s not intentional. We are developing in a nice way, in a natural way, we have our own identity and I hope we will continue for many years to play Deep Purple, Whitesnake and write new songs with Purpendicular. The most important thing is to work hard. Tour after tour… we’ve been doing this since the early years. The rest will come by itself.
Tell us more about yourself, your family, what makes you happy, what motivates you? Are the rest of the current members really that experienced? Tell us more about the boys:
I’m blessed with a nice family and a little daughter who is growing up very fast 😆.Away from touring I’m a crazy GT3, BMW motorsport fan and that takes up a lot of time whether I’m on the track or in my simulator at home. A lot of people and fans think I listen to hard rock or go to concerts when I’m free, but that’s like telling an office worker let’s go to the office on Saturday night 😂.
Our tours are intense and we put a lot into them, so when most of us are free we do different things. I also like nature walks and cook a lot at home. The motivation is to always have something to look forward to. Whether it’s touring, racing or vacationing with the family. This usually creates happiness in you.
Let’s go back to Mr. Pace, the legendary drummer of Deep Purple. What does it mean to work with him, travel with him, live with him? How do you rate him as an artist, friend, instrumentalist, inspiration, what makes you proud to work with him?:
Working with Ian is very simple and easy. We travel together on tour separately from others. We share the same humor, we share the same interests in football, beer, food and we eat dinner very early in the day to be well prepared for the show later that night. On stage he is flawless.
It plays as well if not better than before. A master of his craft.Unfortunately he is one of the few innovators left and when you hear him playing on the radio you know who he is! Just like when John Bonham or Cosey Powell played…you know them straight away. Such an individualist is hard to find nowadays.
I’m very proud of what this band has grown into with big names involved. It’s so hard for bands in this day and age and the music industry is fading fast. If you had told me years ago what this group would achieve, I would have thought you were crazy.