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Russia is a very colorful, vital place to be, says veteran UK rocker Tony Carey

Tony Carey opens up about the upcoming show, his new band and his impressions of Moscow

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Three ex-members of the legendary British rock band Rainbow will perform with their projects on stage at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on Wednesday, January 31. The rock veterans are two keyboard players Don Airey (now member of Deep Purple) Tony Carey and singer Doogie White.

On the eve of the concert in a phone interview with TASS, keyboardist Tony Carey spoke about the upcoming show, his new band and his impressions of Moscow.

Under his current project, Carey plays several songs from the Rainbow catalogue.

"There are a few songs that I have to play, songs that define the Dio-era Rainbow, and I'll be doing all of them," he said without naming the songs.

Rainbow was founded in 1975 by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore after he had left Deep Purple.

The band recorded its first three albums with legendary rock singer Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010).

Keyboardist Tony Carey played with the band precisely when the band released two great albums "Rising" (1976) and "On Stage" (1977), which immediately became icons of hard rock style.

In his current band, Carey performs with musicians from Norway.

"Age Sten [Nilsen] is singing. Per Ole Iversen on drums, Jostein Svarstad on guitar and Jan Holberg on bass. All four of these guys are Norwegian, I met them in 2012 and we've been playing together ever since - fantastic musicians who can play anything I ask them to," Carey said.

Carey also asserted that Age is "the best rock singer and showman I’ve seen in many, many years."

"I met him through Jan Holberg, who has his own band, The Jan Holberg Project, and he uses guest singers. I hadn't heard Wig Wam (a Norwegian glam-metal band Age sang with - TASS), but I was very impressed with Age and asked him to come down and sing with the Rainbow Project. Halfway through the first verse of 'Tarot Woman' (a Rainbow song of 1976 - TASS) I knew I'd found the perfect singer for this music," the musician said.

Carey added that Age is "completely comfortable with an improvised show which is perfect for his Project.

"Our shows are mostly improvisation, they can be two and a half hours long. The Moscow show will be shorter, there are 3 bands playing," Carey said.

Can’t get through to Ritchie

When asked if he might work with Ritchie Blackmore in the future again Tony said that this is very unlikely. Regarding his relations with Blackmore, the topic most of Rainbow fans are concerned about, Carey said that he had lost contact with Ritchie 40 years ago.

"I haven't seen or talked to Ritchie since 1977, and I don't expect to. No. I never thought of a reunion, because Rainbow wasn't really a band - it was Ritchie's baby, and he had about 30 members over the years. The only phase of the band that I care about is the very early years with Ronnie James Dio, and the only songs I play are songs I played on records, which were 'Rising', 'On Stage', 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll', and a few other live albums., " the musician said.

"I tried to reach Ritchie in 2006 - the 30th anniversary of 'On Stage' - just to say hello. I got through to his mother-in-law but couldn't get through to Ritchie. I respect his privacy, though - it's all okay," Carey added.

Third time in Moscow

Carey recalled that he first visited Russia with his trio in 2004. Five years later, he came on a longer tour with the band Over the Rainbow, which included participants in various line-ups of the Blackmore's Rainbow. Jurgen Blackmore - Ritchie’s son, took the guitar duties in that project.

Tony’s current visit to Moscow will be his third in a row.

"I won't have time for any sightseeing this time, but I've been in Moscow several times and it's a fascinating city - especially for an American," he said.

"I grew up with black-and-white images of purges, mass-murderers, famine victims in the Ukraine, and missiles rolling through Red Square. The reality is that Russia is a very colorful, vital place to be, full of interesting people and absolutely great music fans. I always have a great time in your beautiful cities - St. Petersburg and Moscow stand out the most, I guess," the musician said.

Wrapping up the interview Carey wished all his Russian fans health and a peaceful life.

"That's the best thing you can wish anybody. I'm looking forward to seeing some of you in Moscow on the 31st (of January)!" he said.